Axiom Weekly Motivational Email January 25, 2013

Wellness Tips
ACHOO! Bless you. Does this sound familiar? Maybe you, or someone in your family, has a cold or the flu. Maybe your annoying coworker keeps coughing and sneezing without covering his or her mouth. Either way, it's cold and flu season and we need to protect ourselves as much as possible. Aside from chronically washing your hands and not touching your face, there are specific nutrients and foods that help boost your immune system and may help ward off the flu.

Vitamin D - The "Sunshine" vitamin is impossible to get during winter in the northern hemisphere - not that it matters due to this never-ending inversion... This powerhouse vitamin is not easy to get through food, either. Still, that does not mean you don't need it. Study after study suggests that taking a vitamin D supplement may help boost your immune system. In one study of more than 300 children, those who took daily vitamin D supplements (1,200 IU) were 40 percent less likely to get a common flu virus than kids who took a placebo. Laboratory studies indicate that the nutrient may help immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make us sick. Choose Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol as it is more highly absorbable and take 1,000 IU/day.

Probiotics - These healthy gut bacteria help balance out the delicate digestive system, which houses 60-70% of your immune system. Isn't that cool? If your digestion is out of whack your immune system will not be working at it's peak. The result of digestive bacterial imbalance causes upset tummies and that can be caused by antibiotic use, poor food choices, a bout with illness and general bad health. Probiotics insipire your intestines to release white blood cells which identify and attack viral invaders. Take a supplement that has 5-10 million live active cultures and follow dosage instructions on the bottle.

Garlic - Not only is this kitchen staple delicious, it is also very nutritious. Along with warding off vampires, garlic is a health tonic due to its immune-boosting properties. It has been shown to battle bacterial, viral and fungal infections when consumed in its raw form. Garlic contains allicin, ajoene and thiosulfinates - three powerful compounds that help the body prevent and fight infections. The compounds are so strong that consuming raw garlic juice is nearly as effective as Neosporin is for disinfecting minor wounds. When applied to the skin, garlic beats topical creams like Tinactin and other antifungal agents in fighting athlete’s foot. Evidence has been documented suggesting that people who consume large quantities of garlic on the onset of a cold will reduce the amount of time it takes them to heal. Garlic is at its best wen chopped, left to sit for 5-10 minutes and consumed raw.

Happy Friday, everyone. Stay safe and healthy this weekend!

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