The Mediterranean diet — with its vegetables, fruits, beans, lean meat and fish — may be heart-healthy. Add nuts and olive oil to the mix, and the brain may also get a lift.
A new study found that older patients who enhanced a Mediterranean diet with olive oil and nuts showed better functioning of the mind and memory compared to those eating a low-fat diet.
Past research has linked the Mediterranean diet to lowered cholesterol and reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease. Some studies have shown that this eating plan may also reduce the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
With all the concern over the Swine Flu, I thought I’d post some of my favorite tips for staying well. You don’t need to buy into the American pharmaceutical industry in order to benefit from some extra health precautions. I haven’t gotten a cold or flu since 2004, despite working in close proximity with many people who’ve been very ill and coughed or sneezed all over me. Here are my top-twelve quick fixes whenever I feel a bit under the weather. As usual, I’m just sharing my own experiences and observations; nothing here constitutes medical advice:
1 ) Oil of Oregano. This stuff rocks! I bring some with me every time I travel by plane, because it’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-parasitic. A few drops in water (putting it on the tongue as instructed burns like crazy) helps me feel immune to any sneezing or coughing going straight into recirculated air.
*Note that in some women, Oil of Oregano seems to cause breast tenderness. If you already suffer from monthly breast pain, you might want to choose #3, Colloidal Silver, instead, or just use O of O in the event of direct exposure.
2 ) Yogi Tea Echinacea Immune Support. Full of a synergistic blend of herbs and spices. If my glands feel swollen, I drink a cup of this, and I usually feel fine by the time I’ve finished the mug. I also love pau d’arco tea for its fortifying and anti-fungal, anti-viral qualities.
3 ) Colloidal Silver Throat Spray. Not for continuous everyday use, I do find this valuable when that first throat tickle comes on. Like Oil of Oregano, Colloidal Silver also offers anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity.
4 ) Probiotics (non-dairy based). I often use Garden of Life’s Primal Defense. Keeping gut ecology healthy helps the body stay healthier all around.
5 ) Green Juice. Lots and lots of celery, parsley, spinach, kale and collards mixed with small amounts of fruit or veggies in juice form. Alkalizing the body automatically prevents most pathogens from thriving. Some people believe regular juice fasting keeps them more resistant to disease and common colds. In the wild, many animals will not eat when they feel sick. Giving the digestive system a break allows more energy to be directed towards healing.
6 ) Vitamin C. Common knowledge, but also effective! Whether you get it from camu camu powder, Trader Joe’s freeze-dried strawberries, capsules or freshly squeezed orange juice, a little extra vitamin C gives the immune system a boost.
7 ) Medicinal Mushrooms. I don’t use these all the time, but in a pinch, I like New Chapter Organics’ tincture called Host Defense, featuring a synergistic combination of mushrooms designed to amp up immune activity. Some top players include: Reishi, Maitaki and Cordyceps.
8 ) Miso Soup. Miso doesn’t always mean soy. You can find chick pea miso in some health food stores. A warm cup of miso does wonders for sore throats.
*NOTE: If you have Candida problems, skip the miso until you get that under control. Sometimes the koji culture in miso can aggravate Candida.
9 ) Omega-3 Oils. Supposedly, peasants who ate a lot of hemp and flax did not succomb as heavily to the plague. More recent research validates the importance of cold-pressed Omega-3 oils or whole foods containing these oils. They support both immune and hormonal function. If you do not regularly consume hemp and coconut oils together, a high quality vegetarian DHA oil can also help.
10 ) Essential Oils. Other Black Plague lore: supposedly perfumers, who spent their days and nights surrounded by essential oils, did not get sick. These oils not only smell good; they have medicinal effects. My favorites include lavender, jasmine, frankincense, and lemongrass, for their mood-lifting and anti-bacterial effects. Jasmine, in particular, creates a nice scent while also easing coughs. Eucalyptus – of Vick’s Vapo-rub fame – also works well. Most essential oils offer some kind of healing benefit. For more information, you might enjoy this site.
11 ) Garlic, Onion and Ginger. Normally, I do not like too much garlic and onion, but if I feel a cold coming on, this combo stops it in its tracks. Juiced or added into Chinese or Indian dishes, the triple whammy of garlic, onion and ginger has never let me down.
12 ) Rest. Good, old-fashioned R & R, does wonders for the body, mind, soul and spirit. Since illness affects all these levels, it makes sense to cultivate good health in each area.
I drive myself hard, squeezing novel-writing in between busy, intense hours of coaching and intuitive sessions and a marriage. When I start feeling a little sluggish or ill, I know it’s time to take a break. I may not want the break, but the warning signs of illness come as “permission” to slow down and recharge.
Finding your own, proactive version of R & R lets your body and soul know they don’t need to manifest a full-blown illness in order to receive a full-blown break. Go ahead: take a walk; take a nap; watch a movie; read a book; get some Reiki; or … do nothing at all! You deserve a break today.
Laura Bruno is a Life Coach, Medical Intuitive and Reiki Master Teacher from Sonoma County. In addition to private coaching and intuitive sessions, she teaches Intuition workshops and Reiki Certification classes around the country and in the Bay Area. For more information on classes, raw food coaching, transitional coaching, and letting your gifts shine through your career, please see: http://www.internationalrenaissancecoaching.com or call 775-750-9140.