Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Keeping your children healthy.

Has all of the media coverage about the swine flu got you to thinking about how to keep your children healthy? Schools are closing, businesses are changing hours and closing in some areas of the world, people are frightened, and even though the CDC says don't panic, the media is using words like "pandemic", quarantine & contagious... how can you not think about it?

Helping your family maintain a strong immune system is key to avoiding the normal bugs that are passed around every year, but it can also be a very important factor in beating serious illness, too. Drinking soda, diet drinks, energy beverages and eating fast food are a sure way to hamper your bodies ability to ward off disease. Add in some normal daily stress, a lack of exercise and contact with hundreds of people every day, and you are sure to contract a virus at some point. Whether the virus settles in and makes you sick depends on your health and immune system.

In order to regain optimal health we need to stop eating and drinking chemicals and chemically altered foods. Soda, Pop, Cola, Soft-Drinks or what ever it is you call them... contain a number of chemicals. Sodas contain; phosphoric acid - which interferes with Calcium absorption, Caffeine - which raises the blood pressure, shortens attention span, causes fatigue, headaches and other symptoms, Very high amounts of sugar, or worse yet aspartame - which has been linked to MS, Fibromyalgia, Lupus and other serious illnesses.

  • Aspartame when stored at temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit changes its chemical composition to methanol. Methanol is an alcohol that ultimately turns into formaldehyde and formic acid, which are both carcinogens.
  • Phosphoric acid not only interferes with the absorption ability of calcium, it also depletes the calcium in healthy bones and teeth.
  • Sugar, even though it is a natural product (in what we consider a normal dose of about 1 soda) reduces your immune systems ability to fight off bacteria and viruses by 50% for about 4 hours.

Eating your RDA (recommended daily allowance) of 7 fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein and essential fatty acids are very important to your immune system because without these things your body is short on the building blocks it needs to create healthy new cells.

Part of having a healthy immune system is managing your stress level. Our standard of living has changed so that we rush everywhere. We eat on the go, we run from event to event, we grab unhealthy snacks and teach our kids that mealtime is not a time of day. It may sound old fashioned, but there is something to be said about a sit down meal at the end of the day with your family. If you have the whole family get together for dinner every evening, you can cook it together, sit and relax while you eat a nutritious and balanced meal, digest your food as its meant to be digested, know what your kids are putting in their mouths, teach them a great way to stay in touch with the family, wind down from the busy day, reduce stress and enjoy family mealtime. If you just do not have time for mealtime, plan ahead and ensure that your family has good on the go food choices. Carrots, Apples, Bananas, Celery and other easy to carry foods are great ideas for fast snacks.

Eating for a healthy body will help your heart, cardiovascular, maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress on your body and make you feel great. Reducing the stress on your body from all causes will help your immune system be ready for the next attack!

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