Thursday, 18 February 2016

How to Boost Your Immunity

We have heard a lot about our immunity. Our immunity if the defence systems of our body, it helps the body fight against disease Microorganisms, but it sometimes fails, and when it does, germs invade resulting in illness. We have heard a lot about our immunity. Our immunity if the defence systems of our body, it helps the body fight against disease Microorganisms, but it sometimes fails, and when it does, germs invade resulting in illness.

The winter season signifies blocked nose, coughs and colds. Kids come from school sneezing and coughing, the chorus of bless you is raised as a soothing balm.

We hope and pray for a remedy. My favourite soothing companion during this period is none other than fresh ginger and lemon, with a squeeze of honey. This mixture does provide temporary relief, but what happens after the hotness wears off? Kids have missed several days of class due to cold caused by virus. Mums have had to endure sleepless nights feel helpless.

The elderly, kids and other groups of people with certain illness, diabetics, immunity illness like Rheumatoid Arthritis are given a yearly shot of flu jab to help boost their immunity.

So the question is why are we susceptible to constant colds? What is missing? How can we get it right? And Can we prevent it?


According to the study conducted by the “china project”, having a great health isn’t by chance, there is a relationship between diet, lifestyle and disease, they also found that heredity was a very small factor for disease.

The study shows that although our genetic heritage may dispose us to certain diseases, diet and lifestyle factors are largely able to control whether these genes ever lead to disease.

Several other results are still emerging on the effects of lifestyle on immunity: Factors such as diets, age, stress level, herbal supplements, exercise etc. are still being researched with a view towards determining their effects on our immune function.

While we are wait for the conclusion to these various research I think we have enough evidence to support the fact that a change in lifestyle choices is the best step to take to bring about a strong immunity

What Can We do? Specific changes to our lifestyle may boost our immunity:

1.    Drink Less Alcohol: It is generally known that excessive consumption of alcohol increases exposure to infections.

2.    Eat Plenty of fruits, vegetable, nuts and seeds: eating a combination of these daily will provide your body with a daily dose of vitamins, nutrients and minerals. So be sure to stock up your basket when you go shopping.

3.    Avoid Smoking: smoking raises the risk of pneumonia and bronchitis.

4.    Take supplements: as mentioned in previous article: Should we? Should we not? Supplements are recommended where we are not able to get enough from the food we eat. The recommended immune boosters are supplements with the following:

·         Echinacea

·         Garlic/thyme

·         Ginseng

·         Licorice root

5.       Probiotics: Probiotics are recommended for gastrointestinal infections.  Scientist have found a relationship between good bacterial and our immunity. Probiotics are good bacterial which resides in our digestive tract, but at the moment there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support its helps with the immune function.

6.       Reduce your stress level: One of the main reason we feel run down is due to lack of enough sleep and increase stress level. When we are stress our brain releases Cortisol, and it has been shown that prolong elevation of this hormones suppresses the immune function.

7.       Regular exercise is also a good way to maintain overall good health. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Exercise can contribute to general good wellbeing and therefore to a healthy immune system. Exercise may contribute directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

8.       Get plenty of Sunshine: The skin’s production of Vitamin D is triggers with exposure to sunlight. 10-15 minute of exposure to sunlight daily is enough to get our daily supply of vitamin D. From November through February, we have very little sunlight, therefore supplements rich in vitamin D are recommended to boost our levels

9.       Mushrooms: Some mushrooms have been found to have immune boosting properties: try shiitake and maitake. A study by the national library of medicine showed that concentrated extract of shiitake enhanced immune function in women with breast Cancer.

In conclusion: My advice to you is to adopt a healthy lifestyle one that will ensure you are in top tip health all year round. As a sufferer of Rheumatoid Arthritis I do take regular supplement to boost my Vitamin D levels, as well as several others to support my immune function.

Also reduce your stress level and aim to leave a more peaceful and simple life.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Should we? Should We Not?

Should daily supplements be taken? This is the big question that needs answering.

We’ve been advised to get our 5 or 7 a day from our food.
However, given our busy lives who can honestly say they eat a rainbow colour of fruits and vegetables. It is true we can get our vitamins and minerals by eating healthy balanced diet. It is also true that supplements are needed when we do lack some of our nutrients.

Why are vitamins and Minerals important?
They are important simply because they are essential nutrients that our body needs to function.
Supplements are recommended for various reasons:

For instance, Folic acid in pregnancy: women are advised to begin taking Vitamin B12 3 months before they get pregnant and up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, this is because folic acid can help to prevent neutral tube defects such as spina bifida.

Iron: plays several important roles in our body, it helps to makes red blood cells
Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth
Vitamin C has a multitude functions

It is also recommended that all pregnant and breastfeeding women, children aged 6 months to 5 years and those who are 65 and over, anyone not exposed to the sun take vitamin D supplements.

Supplements for Children:

I have had this discussion with my friends a few times, those who believe children should take supplements and those who think they shouldn’t.

The health department’s recommendation is that children aged 6 months to 5 years should take a supplement containing Vitamins A, C, and D. this is because growing children tend not to get enough from their diet. If you have kids like mine, who have a certain liking for some food groups, fruits and vegetables, and a deep dislike for others, then you will understand their need for supplement.

It is true that a balance diet will definitely provide you with all the supplement you need. But my conclusion is, unless you go purely organic, and have at least a daily combination of 7 to 10 potions of fruits and vegetables, are in the best health possible, supplement may be taken.

I am on a several supplements, A, C, D and folic acid as a result of my rheumatoid arthritis, and I attribute my daily strength to taking supplements as well as having a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and other healthy foods.

According to Harvard publication: a recent randomized trial in men suggested multivitamins have possible benefits for cancer prevention. Results from other trials regarding other supplements will be available within the next five years. According to Dr Manson.

Should we? Should we Not?
Supplements can be dangerous when taken in larger than recommended quantities. always check with your doctor before opening a bottle of pills. If you are lacking in a particular nutrient, consult our doctor for advise on whether you can take a particular supplement and always stick to the recommended daily allowance.

Please comment, like and share if you found this valuable. Also subscribe to receive our emails.

Sources: Harvard Health publications, BMA publications, NHS health wise.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Arthritis and Aloe

Our body is made up of very complex organs, which need taking care of. I have always prided myself as been very healthy in terms of what I eat and drink, no alcohol, boring some may say, but that's for a reason. lots of fruits and vegetables and very little rice.

As a young child I use to wake up crying from pains on my hand, no one took me seriously as the pains comes and goes. While at university I will often stay awake due to severe pains on both hands and feet. It was at this time I decided to see a Doctor, even then nothing serious was one. It was initially thought I Lupus, but after a series of test, I was diagnose in my early twenties. 
despite eating a relatively healthy diet,  I still had to make serious some changes.

It is generally accepted that a good diet can and does help protect the body against some of the potential side effects of the drugs, taken to control the progression of Arthirtis.

What is Rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflamaiton in the joints, it is the second most common form of arthritis in the UK.

  • stiffness
  • tiredness (fatigue),
  • irritability
  • flu-like symptoms, feeling of being ill all the time
  • jont pains and welling.
There are other less common symptons like
  • inflammation in the eyes
  • weigth loss
  • rheumatoid nodules
  • inflammation of other parts of the body.
When to get tested:
If you have constant joint pains and stiffness, see your doctor immediately, no single test can give a definitely diagnosis of early stages of the disease. I went years before being diagnose, thankfully, no damage was been done to my joints.

I had the following test performed;
  • C-reactive proten (CRP)
  • tests for anitbodies called rheumatoid factor,
  • test for anaemia, and
  • X-rays on my joints.
Medical treatment of the disease ranges from the use of non-steroida anti-inflammatory drugs, like Iburophene,  Steriods, and what is called DMARDS, (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

other treaments includes:
  • gentle exercises which may help relief stiffness:
  • Podiatrist treatment: a podiatrist can give advice on how to look after your feet and the type of footwear that is suitable. I do not wear heels, or hard sole shoes, a small price to pay to keep my joint safe.
  • However, losing weight goes a long way to help reduces the strain on the joints.
  • Surgery which may range from minor surgery (to nereve) to major surgery (such as joint replacement)
How do you manage the disease:
  • Eat a balance diet and keept a healthy weight
  • protect your joints from unnecessary strain, like wearing heels
  • get a good nights sleep to help with fatigue
  • strike a balance between rest and exercise.
Having a balance and varied diet which comprises of fruits and vegetables, will maximise our intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients.Supplements can help a great deal if you cannot be disciplined enough to religiously have your 5 or 7 a day potion of fruits and vegetables.
The most important minerals for people with arthritis are
  1. Calcium
  2. vitamin D
  3. Iron
How has Aloe helped me:

My daily intake of aloe vera based products has helped relieve fatigue,  stiffness and pains.
Forever freedom has been specifically designed for joints. It is fortified with MSM (methylsulphonylmethane, glucosamine sulphateand Chondrotin Sulphate, vitamin E, ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Glucosamine sulphate and chondroitin sulphate are two natural substances that help maintain the structure and health of the cartilage, keeping this natural shock absorber well hydrated and the lubricating fluid withing the joint at the necessary viscosity, to allow one surface to glide freely over the other.
Other Products which have helped me from the forever range are:
  • Forever Calcium
  • Forever Immublend
  • Arctic- Sea (fish oil)
  • Absorbent-C
According to Arthrits Research UK: some foods and food supplements can help with arthritis, although the effects are farly specific to the type of arthritis you have.
I have personally found great relieve since I started taking supplements rich in calcium, vitamin D and Iron.

Please check with your doctor before taking any supplement.

If you would like to know more about any of the products refered to in this article, please drop me an email.
Like, share, twit, if you have found value in this article.
You can get any of the supplements referred in this article at