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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Staying Healthy And Avoiding the Influenza Virus

I talk a lot about stocking up and gaining knowledge to prepare for an emergency or disaster that may some day affect us. I also want to emphasize the fact that staying in good health, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding diseases is almost as important as any other preparations.

I’ve been reading this week about a particularly strong strain of the flu that is currently sweeping over the US. It’s proved to be highly resistant to traditional treatments, and so should act as a signal to us that we should always be prepared for the possibility of an influenza pandemic. Not only do we need to be prepared to treat any family members that would contract a treatment resistant virus, but we should do everything in our power to avoid getting sick. A strong immunity is the best defense against a deadly flu, so here are some foods, mentioned in an article on MSNBC today that help build and maintain a strong immune system:

1. Red Meat - one of the best sources of iron and zinc that will both keep your immunity strong. Limit portions to 3oz for optimal health benefits without worrying about fat and cholesterol.

2. Yogurt- you’ve probably heard a lot about probiotics lately and yogurt is the best source. It also provides calcium and vitamin D - all good things!

3. Chicken Soup- it is really a good remedy for the common cold, but also contains amino acids that help prevent and cure bronchitis and other upper-respiratory illnesses.

4. Sweet Potatoes - beta-carotene keeps your skin healthy which will help fight viruses and bacteria passed by touching.

5. Tea - drinking tea regularly helps your bodies cells put out up to 10 times more virus fighting cells than normal. Drink it regularly.

6. Mushrooms - all kinds of mushrooms boost your white blood cell count which in turn helps you fight infections faster.

7. Fish and Shellfish - all types help boost your immune system.

8. Garlic - we know garlic is a powerful antibiotic and it also lowers your cancer risk.

9. Oats and Barley- both contain beta-glucan which is a powerful antimacrobial with antioxidant properties.

In my continued quest to prepare myself and my family for survival - I’ve made a commitment to myself to eat a healthy diet. You’ll notice that most of these foods are either whole grains or vegetables. What doctors have been telling us to eat for years. Are you doing it? I try to eat a healthy, well balanced diet, but sometimes it’s easy to grab that bag of chips or something not so good for us. While treats are okay in moderation, I’m committed to making a greater lifestyle change by eating more whole foods and less junk. It’ll be good for my health and good for my survival.


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