How To Support Family Members With Making Healthy Changes

healthy changes
By Be Well Health Coach Jenny Sansouci

We all know how exciting it can feel when we find a new healthy lifestyle plan that really works for us, or when we learn something new that we think could help people we love. We want our enthusiasm to spread to everyone we know, and we often expect that people will be as quick to jump on the healthy bandwagon as we were. We suddenly want to motivate everyone to live a healthier lifestyle as soon as possible. 

Have you ever found yourself nitpicking at other people’s diets or lifestyle choices, constantly making comments about what other people “should” be doing, or acting like an authority figure around other people when it comes to healthy living? While your intentions are undoubtedly to help the people you love, sometimes the best way to truly support people in making healthy changes is a less aggressive approach.

Here are a few ways you can lovingly support people you care about with making healthy changes: 

Be a Power of Example for Others

Instead of always offering up your opinion about what other people are doing, focus on being a strong power of example and really walking the talk – for yourself. If something you’re doing is really working for you, radiate that happiness and vitality with the intent to inspire. Other people will see the changes and will be curious about what you’ve learned. If people want to know what’s going on with you, share what’s working for you without suggesting it’s the right way for everyone. If you show how pleasurable and rewarding it has been for you to make healthy changes, others will want to jump on board.

Make Sure They’re Actually Looking for the Advice You’re Dishing Out

People aren’t going to change their lifestyle or behavior until they’re really ready to. Make sure you’re not offering up your endless health wisdom all the time to unwilling ears — that could cause rebellion and resentment in close relationships. The desire and readiness for change has to come from the other person, so pay close attention to when people are actually asking for your help and when you’re just volunteering information.

Listen More, Talk Less

People are pretty impressive and intelligent about what they need if you give them the time to talk through it themselves without interruption. Most people who are behaving in ways that are damaging to their health already know – more or less – what they need to do. Once they share, relate to them and offer up suggestions where it’s relevant.

(more…)

Posted by on Nov 25, 2016 | 2 Comments
24
Nov

Real Thanks

gratitude
Written by Courtney Helgoe
Reprinted with permission from Experience Life Magazine.

What is the essence of true gratitude?

Beloved children’s book author Maurice Sendak once shared a story about a memorable exchange of thank-you notes. After receiving a drawing in the mail from a little boy named Jim, Sendak sent a return note with his own drawing, telling him how much he liked the gift.

He soon received a letter from the child’s mother that read, “Jim loved your card so much that he ate it.”

It seems unlikely that anyone coached young Jim to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude,” yet his unmistakably sincere gesture feels good to us, even when described secondhand. Perhaps that’s because it reminds us of just how wonderful it feels to give and receive genuine thanks.

This is something we often forget how to do as adults.

Rote thanks have long been a polite convention, so most of us learned to say thank you unthinkingly. And ironically, our developing knowledge of gratitude’s many benefits may pose another potential obstacle to actually feeling it.

A raft of research now shows that a grateful disposition positively affects physical health, from kidney function to blood pressure. And the social benefits are legion. Gratitude combats entitlement, reduces stress, and improves relationship bonds like little else. It eases workplace relationships and bolsters romantic ones.

Is it even possible to get too much of anything that does this much good?

Well, yes. Because with gratitude, sincerity counts. And when gratitude effectively becomes the new kale, another panacea for all ills, we may become more likely to treat it like eating our vegetables. Just one more dutiful obligation.

And when we hear someone chirping on about finding the blessing in something he or she is clearly bummed about, that sincerity can be called into question. Who wants to hear someone suggest that we should be grateful for our mother’s death, or a cancer diagnosis, or the fact that we “only” lost a leg in military combat?

At moments like these, it can start to feel like the gratitude Zeitgeist has taken a diabolical turn.

But it is possible to find our way back to the genuine heart of gratitude. Often, a little skepticism — or at least some restraint — may be exactly what’s needed to find it.

Discover Real Gratitude

If we habitually practice gratitude exercises but aren’t detecting any noticeable improvements in our worldviews, it may be because we’re coming at gratitude from the head rather than the heart.

To more fully feel the positive effects of gratitude, we may need to challenge our own reflexive tendencies to express it without really feeling it, suggests Amie Gordon, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher who studies gratitude at the University of California at Berkeley.

This might mean, for example, deciding not to automatically say thank you to someone who has ceased standing on your foot. (more…)

Posted by on Nov 24, 2016 | 0 Comments
23
Nov

Fight Inflammation With These 10 Foods

inflammation
By Be Well Health Coach Katie Ulrich

If you want to use food as medicine, there is no better place to start than a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods.

Inflammation, a sign that something is off balance in the body, can trigger everything from fatigue to poor digestion to muscle and joint pain to chronic disease. Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet is a great way to fight free radicals, reduce inflammation on a cellular level, and help prevent and ease such ailments.

Instead of the standard American diet, which is chock full of processed foods, sugar, and refined grains, follow a diet rich in whole foods that are high in minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners have also used herbs and spices to treat ailments for centuries due to their high antioxidant properties. Incorporating spices and herbs into your daily routine as well may help combat unwanted inflammation.
Here is our top-ten list of anti-inflammatory foods, as well as how to incorporate these delicious foods into your life today!

1. Dark Leafy Greens

Organic dark leafy greens (especially Swiss chard!) are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and flavonoids that restore cellular health.

How to use: Lightly steam and toss with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, throw into a salad, or blend into a smoothie daily.

2. Beets

This root vegetable is loaded with minerals and vitamins that help fight inflammation.

How to use: Roast with spices and herbs, steam and toss in a salad, or use the beet greens in a smoothie.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables

Organic cruciferous vegetables help combat free radicals and reduce chronic inflammation (especially broccoli and bok choy!). These veggies are antioxidant powerhouses.

How to use: Lightly steam and toss with extra-virgin olive oil and some lemon juice, roast with spices and herbs, or sauté with aromatic garlic and onions.

4. Bone Broth

Broths made with bones from grass-fed/pasture-raised animals contain both compounds that reduce inflammation and minerals that are easy to absorb and can help heal a damaged, inflamed gut.

How to use: Use in a soup or enjoy a cup with turmeric and ginger in the morning or as a midday or evening snack.

5. Berries

Organic berries (especially blueberries!) are high in quercetin, a flavonoid that helps fight inflammation, and relatively low in natural sugars.

How to use: Eat as a snack, blend into a smoothie, or add to high-quality coconut yogurt.

6. Spices

Spices (especially turmeric and ginger, but also garlic, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and cloves) are highly concentrated powerhouses that contain antioxidants as well as antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer components. They are key for those suffering from chronic illnesses and inflammation.

How to use: Add to salad dressings, sprinkle into a smoothie, or add to roasted/sautéed/baked foods. Also great to add to herbal teas and coffee. (more…)

Posted by on Nov 23, 2016 | 0 Comments
22
Nov

The Be Well Recipe: Sweet Potato Soup with Garam Masala

sweet potato
Photo by Betsy Nelson

Looking for a different way to do sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving? Try this warm and nurturing (and Cleanse-friendly!) sweet potato soup, which is spiked with garam masala, a delicious Indian blend of spices that can aid digestion and help regulate blood sugar.

Sweet Potato Soup with Garam Masala (serves 4)

  • 2 T. coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 T. garam masala, plus more for garnish
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup diced celery (about 2 stalks)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
  • 1 (13.5-14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 T. pumpkin seed oil or toasted sesame oil

Heat the coconut oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, ginger, turmeric, garam masala and black pepper. Stir until fragrant.

Add the celery, sweet potato, coconut milk and stock, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the vegetables are tender.

Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in a blender and season with salt to taste. To serve, drizzle with pumpkin seed or sesame oil and sprinkle with garam masala and freshly ground black pepper.

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 | 0 Comments
21
Nov

8 Tips to Manage Post-Election Stress

post-election depression
By Dr. Frank Lipman

No matter which side of the fence you were on, it’s safe to say it’s been a very long election season. While some Americans were pleased with the outcome, for others the results were deeply upsetting. In recent days, I’ve seen many people struggling with a kind of post-election hangover. While everyone copes in their own way, I’ve put together a few simple ‘do-now’ strategies to help soothe tension and support physical and emotional health through the transition and beyond. Here are some tips to let the healing begin:

1. Clear Your Head

Turn off the social media firehose for a while, or at least dial it way down. The info will still be there when you’re ready to turn the spigot back on. With tensions high and the post-election vitriol clogging up everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, take a stand for your mental health — and a cue from the hippie days and just ‘tune out, man.’ Give your brain some quiet time for the next few days (or weeks) instead of filling it with the non-stop negative chatter (from both sides of the aisle) that’s at a fever pitch right now.

2. Soothe Your Heart and Mind

If you haven’t done so before, now is a great time to begin a meditation practice, either with a local meditation group or with an individual home practice. Many people find a group ‘sit’ experience is a great way to foster a sense of community and calm when both are elusive. A regular meditation practice will help take stress down a notch and enable your cooler head to prevail. It’s also an excellent way to help support heart health and brain function, so indulge frequently.

3. Unleash Your Endorphins

Again, step away from the digital world and hit the gym, hop on a bike, jog around the neighborhood, or dance around your living room — whatever it takes to get the blood flowing again after all that sitting around waiting for the election to end. Get the heart rate up, trigger the release of your endorphins, aka ‘Mother Nature’s happy hormones,’ and enjoy the free, natural, good-for-you high. There’s no fighting the contagious, sweaty fun of a Zumba class so get out there and lift your spirits while doing something positive for your body.

4. Indulge in Ubuntu

As you go about your day, regardless of the mood you may be in, remember to practice ‘Ubuntu.’ It’s a concept that means, “I am because you are.” In other words, be conscious of how you treat others, and interact with humanity and kindness — now more than ever. In those little moments of simple, positive connection, we have the power to spread good feelings and help build some bridges over the chasms that have recently opened up.

5. Play Better with Others

Here’s an idea one of my patients recently shared regarding getting together with friends who were also feeling down: engage in discussion, not obsession. In other words, agree to set a time limit (or frequent time-outs) on talking politics. For example, if you wish, do a deep political dive while having drinks, but as soon as the main course arrives, table the political talk and move on to other subjects. While some people may enjoy an entire evening chewing over the political changing of the guard, if you’re not one of them, it can drag spirits down further. To prevent this, graciously ask that the rhetoric be contained and be prepared to gently guide conversation elsewhere if it starts to get too negative.

6. Give Back — Not Up

If the change that took place on November 8 is making you feel sad or stressed, do something good for those people and organizations who need your help. Give your time, energy, expertise, and/or money to the causes you believe in, and particularly to those groups whose funding may be compromised going forward. Don’t just vent on Facebook — get out there and protest (peacefully) to support causes in a tangible way. By standing up for what you believe and taking action, you’ll lift so much more than just your spirits.

7. Just Say ‘No’ (to pharmaceuticals)

That often-mocked phrase made famous by Nancy Reagan back in the 1980s is one I agree with, but for different reasons. I am not a fan of prescription drugs that aid sleep or settle jangled nerves because their overall health cost is simply too high. Cocktails and wine aren’t a healthy way to take the edge off either. If you’re finding it difficult to unwind or fall asleep these days, skip the drugs and try Be Well’s Sleep Bundle or Be Well’s Stress Support formula.

8. Have a Mood-elevating…Cry

Try something you probably haven’t done in a while: have a good cry. Studies indicate that crying, for most people, can actually elevate mood and instantly reduce stress. So don’t hold those tears in — let ‘em go. If tears won’t come easily, listen to a few of your favorite sad songs or check out some renditions of the late Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ — here’s a great one by Choir! Choir! Choir! (led by Rufus Wainwright) — for a little tear-inducing inspiration.

Last but not least, think of things that make you feel good and do more of them, more often. Get a massage. Sit in the sauna. Sign up for kickboxing class. Hug the kids. Listen to comedy radio or binge a little on funny movies. Find ways to lift your spirits — as long as they’re healthy for both body and mind.

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 | 1 Comments

Dr. Lipman’s Wellness News Roundup (Nov. 18)

wellness news
By the Be Well Team

Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.

Take a Deep Breath

Still anxious about the recent election? You might want to try controlled breathing, which has been shown to boost immunity, reduce stress, and decrease symptoms associated with depression. “Breathing is massively practical,” says psychologist Belisa Vranich, whose book “Breathe” will be published in December. “It’s meditation for people who can’t meditate.” (NYT)

Healthy Lifestyle Trumps Genetic Heart Disease Risk

DNA is not destiny when it comes to heart disease risk, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Healthy habits, including a nutritious diet, regular exercise and no smoking, can greatly reduce the risk of a heart attack among those who have an increased genetic risk. In short? Genes may load the gun, but environmental factors pull the trigger. (NPR)

More Doctors Need to Learn About Food

Most docs don’t feel comfortable talking about nutrition, and that’s a huge problem, writes Agustina Saenz, MD, director of nutrition education and policy at the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, in this opinion piece. Why? Because diet is a critical tool to fight the chronic disease epidemic. “For someone with diabetes, it may mean the difference between losing a foot or keeping it,” she notes. “For someone with heart disease, that conversation could free them from workplace disability or empower them to work harder. For someone who is steadily gaining weight, it could save them from gastric bypass surgery or from a lifetime of medications to treat obesity and weight-related complications.” (STAT)

 When It Comes to Sleep, Are You a Lion, Bear, Wolf, or Dolphin?

Forget early birds and night owls, says sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus. When it comes to sleep, there are “actually four different chronotypes: the early one, which I’m calling the lion; the middle, which is a bear; the late evening people, which are wolves; and then there are the insomniacs, which are dolphins.” If you figure out your type, you can better customize your morning routines, he says. Take wolves, who are energized in the late evening. In the morning, “walk over to the window and get some direct sunlight,” says Breus. “It turns out that direct sunlight hits very specialized cells in your eyes and turns that melatonin faucet off in the morning, which is the one of the big problems that wolves have because we’re not morning people. One of the other things I ask my wolves to do is take a cool, not cold but cool, shower in the morning. It turns out that hot water makes people feel sleepy. And if you’ve already got a sleepy wolf in the morning, you don’t want to make them any sleepier.” (CBS)

Ghee Vs. Butter

Is ghee — butter that’s been clarified by removing the milk solids — healthier than regular butter? This article from Authority Nutrition compares the two fats across a broad range of categories and concludes that while ghee has a higher smoke point and is a better choice for those trying to avoid dairy, both ghee and butter can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. Be sure to pick grass-fed either way! (Authority Nutrition)

Exercise May Improve — and Even Prevent — Depression

Exercise can both treat and block depression, according to three recent studies. In one study, researchers found that people with the lowest fitness levels “were about 75 percent more likely to have been given diagnoses of depression than the people with the greatest fitness…[and the people] in the middle third were almost 25 percent more likely to develop depression than those who were the most fit.” (NYT)

Millennials Are Changing ‘Big Food’

Millennials are putting pressure on the food system — in a good way. More interested in sustainable, nutritious food than cheap, unhealthy, convenience foods, millennials are “changing the landscape of our food industry,” says Laura Batcha, CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association. “Millennial parents seek out organic because they are more aware of the benefits of organic, that they place a greater value on knowing how their food was grown and produced, and they are deeply committed to supporting a food system that sustains and nurtures the environment.” (Forbes)

How to Have a Peaceful Thanksgiving

Dreading the potentially explosive conversation with your Trump-loving Uncle Dan this Thanksgiving? Then, read this very helpful piece about how to argue fairly with your loved ones. Tips include listening carefully, minding your body language, and not arguing to win.“Think of it from a courage perspective: I can go in and I am going to ask questions that are truly, honestly aimed at increasing my understanding of where he or she is coming from,” says Amy J. C. Cuddy, a social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard University. “How did they get there, and what is leading to that?” (NYT)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2016 | 1 Comments
17
Nov

Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes from Danielle Walker’s New Book!

grain-free
By the Be Well Team

For most people, holidays are intimately intertwined with food. In fact, most of our happiest holiday memories are about the dishes we share with family and friends.

However, writes Danielle Walker in her new book Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion, when people need to alter their diets, they are understandably anxious that “fond memories and traditions will be lost along with the newly eliminated food groups.”

Walker, who was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when she was 22, switched to a Paleo diet to alleviate her symptoms. It worked, but she was still apprehensive about what effect her new diet would have on holiday gatherings.

“I will always remember my first Thanksgiving just weeks after switching to a Paleo Diet,” Walker writes. “I longingly looked at other diners’ plates full of stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy; my plate had only turkey, salad, and a deflated, runny mashed cauliflower that I had brought for myself. Watching everyone enjoy all the traditional pies and desserts after the meal was even more torturous.”

After that Thanksgiving, Walker decided to re-create her favorite holiday dishes. They were a big hit, and she’s been making them ever since. In her new book, she collects several celebratory dishes, including many Thanksgiving classics.

Here are two favorites you can make next Thursday: “Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots” and “Maple Pumpkin Pie”.

Ten Speed - Celebrations, Danielle Walker

Green Bean Casserole with Crispy Shallots

Thanksgiving just doesn’t feel the same without this creamy casserole, so I have re-created Against All Grain-style, without the heavy cream, MSG, or gluten. I could eat the mushroom sauce in this dish by the spoonful.

Serves 10 to 12

  • 1 cup whole raw cashews
  • 2 T. ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 T. sherry (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 lbs. haricot verts, ends trimmed
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings (for topping)

Place the cashews in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Soak for 1 hour. (more…)

Posted by on Nov 17, 2016 | 0 Comments
16
Nov

Grain Brain’s Dr. David Perlmutter Talks About His New Book

grain brain
By Dr. Frank Lipman

What’s good for your brain is good for the rest of your body too. That’s the simple-yet-radical message of my good friend Dr. David Perlmutter’s new book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan.

Dr. Perlmutter is the author of the New-York-Times-bestselling books, Grain Brain and Brain Maker, which explored how the food we eat directly affects the health of our brain and can contribute to dementia, ADHD, depression, and anxiety. These books have been translated into 28 languages — it’s clear, says Dr. Perlmutter, that they “seem to have moved the needle in terms of global understanding of the importance of these issues.”

With his new book, Dr. Perlmutter wants to help people turn his advice into action. The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan is a practical and empowering guide for achieving optimal health. Yes, it’s about preserving brain vitality, but his plan can also help you reduce your overall risk for chronic disease and lose weight.

I chatted with Dr. Perlmutter about his new book — here’s what he had to say:

What propelled you to write The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan?

My recent books, Grain Brain and Brain Maker explored the science of connecting things like sugar, carbs, gluten, and damage to our gut bacteria to brain disorders, weight gain, and a whole host of degenerative disorders. These books explored why these lifestyle choices were so threatening to health. My new book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, is the deep dive into how — how to implement this exciting new information into a total lifestyle program to regain health and become powerfully resistant to disease.

So many people think of the brain as a separate entity from the rest of the body. Can you explain how a program that lowers the risk for brain ailments also improves overall health and may even help people lose weight?

Degeneration of the brain, like we see in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, is caused by inflammation. It turns out that the origin of this inflammation is in the gut, and represents a manifestation of changes in the gut bacteria. So a program that is designed to keep the brain healthy and functional is actually a program that focuses on keeping the gut healthy. This reduces inflammation, [which]…underlies virtually every degenerative condition in humans including diabetes, coronary artery disease, and even cancer. We now fully understand that inflammation is also the cornerstone of obesity. So attention to keeping the gut healthy by reducing carbs, sugar, and gluten, while at the same time upping the consumption of healthful fats and fiber, will have wide-ranging benefits well beyond the brain. (more…)

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Allergy Treatment You Probably Don’t Know About

Immunotherapy
By Dr. Soyona Rafatjah

Your body wants to be well. In order to understand how to treat someone with a disease, we first need to recognize the fact that our bodies are constantly trying to create wellness. Even when someone is suffering in a state of illness, every process that happens is in the pursuit of establishing a balance.

For example, if someone has acute diarrhea from ingesting a parasite, the diarrhea is the body’s way of ridding itself of this foreign invader. Another example is stress, which leads to high blood pressure. Evolutionarily, if we were stressed, that meant we needed to run away from some kind of danger — like a saber-tooth tiger! — and elevating your blood pressure helped get the blood you need to your muscles so you could run faster.

Since beginning my pursuit of understanding the complexities of the human body more than 10 years ago, I have been constantly amazed at the ability of the human body to repair itself.

Allergies — An Immune Response Gone Haywire

Allergies are not an exception to this rule. In the case of allergies, the body is mounting an immune response against something that it wrongly perceives as a threat. When the proper checks and balances are not in place, the immune system can go haywire and mistakenly overreact to things like food and the environment.

Think of your body’s immune system as security guards at the front-door entrance to your body. If the security guards suddenly stopped recognizing the people that work in the building every day, they would start a fight with these people, which would lead to chronic stress and unnecessary roughness. In this case, unless you’re able to get rid of all of the people who work in the building, this constant state of distress would not resolve itself. Therefore, the solution would involve re-introducing the security guards to the workers slowly, on a daily basis, so that over time, they would stop overreacting to them.

How to Cure Allergies

This is the same way that immunotherapy works. It’s a re-education of the immune system in order to down-regulate the hyperresponsiveness that it has against specific allergens. A few weeks ago, I was in Onalaska, Wisconsin, with the incredibly intelligent and gracious group at Allergychoices and Allergy Associates of La Crosse, in order to learn how to implement this extremely helpful and underutilized treatment of allergies for my own patients.

Immunotherapy is the only proven method of curing someone from allergies to the environment, molds, and foods like wheat and dairy. The doctors at Allergy Associates of La Crosse have been using sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) to treat illnesses related to allergies for almost 50 years, and it has been effective in the majority of cases.

SLIT involves creating a completely personalized formula of liquid, tailormade to the person’s allergies, which a person places under their tongue on a daily basis until they’ve built long-term tolerance. It is extremely safe in that there have been no life-threatening reactions to the billion-plus doses given.

So, why use drops under the tongue instead of injections? Because our natural response to foreign molecules in the mouth is to develop a tolerance to them. Injecting foreign substances with a needle activates a different immune response, which can actually cause a more severe reaction.

Why Haven’t I Heard of Sublingual Therapy Before?

You’re probably wondering how this extremely effective and safe method of treating allergies can go unnoticed and underutilized for so long. One unfortunate and simple answer is that the pharmaceutical companies can’t profit from it. Pharmaceutical companies can only sell drugs that have been through stringent testing. And, the FDA will only approve specific doses of a specific chemical which must go through millions of dollars of testing. (more…)

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 | 0 Comments

Winter is Coming — Boost Your Immunity With These 6 Foods!

superfoods
By Dr. Frank Lipman

As winter approaches, many folks demand an antibiotic at first sneeze. Not only does this add to the epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, but antibiotics don’t kill viruses anyway — they kill bacterial infections, so taking them for viral ills like colds and flu is truly a waste, and a potentially life-threatening one at that.

Instead of popping pills, pop good food, herbs, and spices instead. Minimize the need for antibiotics by lacing your diet with foods that have naturally antibiotic properties. Doing so will not only boost overall health but will also help strengthen immunity, balance the good and bad bacteria in your gut, and give you a better shot at fighting off superbugs should they come knocking.

Here are a few of the delicious ones that are easy to work into your diet:

1. Extra-virgin Coconut Oil

A tasty antimicrobial and antifungal food, extra-virgin coconut oil (EVCO) contains the all-powerful lauric acid. The body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which helps smack down certain types of viruses and pathogenic bacteria. Try adding EVCO to smoothies for antimicrobial effects and delicious tropical flavor. In addition, it’s also great for brain health, so dig in. To cook with EVCO, go with a moderate heat (up to the smoke point of about 350 degrees), and always buy organic and unprocessed versions to avoid chemical solvents, preservatives, and additives.

2. Garlic

Chopped, crushed or sliced, raw garlic is a powerful, pungent, and delicious medicinal food with known antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic properties that have helped mankind fend off flu and cold viruses for thousands of years. To get the best of what garlic has to offer, crush a few cloves and let them sit out for 10 to 15 minutes to aid the release of additional health-boosting chemical compounds.

3. Ginger

Fresh raw ginger is another good-for-you food that has an antibiotic effect on foodborne pathogens. While not a cure-all, some fresh ginger eaten before meals can offer an extra layer of protection from foodborne illnesses like salmonella and listeria. That can be a lifesaver, particularly when traveling and eating questionable or unusual foods, or dealing with indigestion.

4. Honey

Roman soldiers used to slather honey on battle wounds to prevent infection, and it’s thought to have been used as far back as the Stone Age as both a food and a medicine — it’s one sweet and delicious medicinal food that’s stood the test of time! Known for its ability to fight back against some 60 species of bacteria as well as various fungi and viruses, honey is also loaded with health-supportive antioxidants — just one more reason we’re sweet on the stuff. Just make sure it’s raw and don’t use too much! (more…)

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 | 0 Comments