Nov 25, 2008

How to prevent the colds (and sugar's role in lowering the immunity)

We are having a cold so I am studying online what can be done to prevent the colds apart from washing your hands. (I know it is a bit late for this one, but there is still plenty of the cold season left!)We don't take the flu shots either so it is important to keep our immunity good. Recently on the Living Naturally discussion list (Yahoo group) there was some talk about sugar lowering the immunity. Everyone knows that sugar is not good for you anyway, it ruins your teeth among other things, but what about this cold thing? I talked about it to friends who seemed suspicious so I decided to find out so I have something to back up my claims in the future.

I did a brief Google research and found this from an article "How To Stay Healthy This Winter - Natural Tips to Prevent Colds & Flu" by Kristin Colangelo:
"During the holidays, many of us eat way too much sugar. Studies show that sugar depresses the immune system, so it is no wonder that most of us are sick by the end of the year! Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or other holidays), this time of year is full of sweets for many of us. Limit sugar consumption during this time of year and it will be easy to notice a positive difference in your health."

I checked the link to the studies Colangelo refer to above, you find the references here.

The page with the references is interesting in itself too, it is about the dangers of sugar. It presents 76 ways sugar can ruin your health, for instance:

Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease.

Sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

Sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.

Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, biliary tract, lung, gallbladder and stomach.

Sugar can cause premature aging.

Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)

Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.

Sugar causes food allergies.

Sugar can cause toxemia during pregnancy.

Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.

Sugar can reduce the learning capacity, adversely affect school children's grades and cause learning disorders.

Sugar can cause depression.

Sugar dehydrates newborns.

Source: Nancy Appleton, Ph.D, Author of the book Lick The Sugar Habit

So what about other tips for staying healthy? Colangelo mentions adequate rest and vitamins. We don't take that much vitamins but try to get them from nutrition. I guess we will have to pay extra attention to eat oranges with vitamin C and eat healthy otherwise too. I just bought a bagful of beautiful satsumas from Ruston Farmers market's Fall festival so I am set for a few days.

I just had my blood checked lately for the vitamin levels and my iron was low so I am now exceptionally supplementing with iron. I use Floradix liquid iron that I found good in the past too. Iron and B12 are something I have had to pay extra attention to get from my low-dairy vegetarian diet. This reminds me that I HAVE TO make a posting about the lead in the vitamins FDA found.

I also read that according to one study going to sauna frequently can prevent you from getting sick! Maybe that is why we started getting colds more often when we moved to US from Finland, the land of saunas :)

What are YOUR tips for not catching the colds and flus?

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