THE 2018 DIRTY DOZEN AND CLEAN FIFTEEN - JULY 2018 - VOLUME 10, ISSUE 4

 

Volume 10, Issue 4

July 2018

The 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

This is a wonderful time of year for enjoying fresh vegetables and fruits! Many people are not aware that pesticide residues are common on conventionally grown produce, even after it is carefully washed or peeled. I really don't want to spoil your enjoyment, but I thought it would be helpful to let you know about the fruits and vegetables on this year's 'Dirty Dozen' list which is produced by the U.S. Environmental Working Group. On a more positive note, the 'Clean Fifteen' list shows produce with the least exposure to pesticides.

I'm not suggesting that you necessarily stop eating produce on the Dirty Dozen list, but you definitely want to consider buying organic versions of these fruits and vegetables or buying them from farms whose practices regarding pesticide use you are familiar with. You might also wish to eat more of the Clean Fifteen.

While I realize the situation in Canada may not be identical to the U.S., usually we're quite similar, so I think we can use this information to guide us in our choices. Read on below...

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better as it is a step towards longevity.

Ramila Padiachy

Doctor of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramila
 

The 2018 Dirty Dozen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit and nonpartisan group, has been ranking fresh produce based on their levels of pesticide contamination (number of pesticides and amount of each pesticide) since 2004. They produce the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, which is intended to be a resource for consumers who are unable to buy organic produce. The EWG does its own independent analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's pesticide testing.

The 2018 Dirty Dozen (in descending order of levels of pesticides):

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Grapes
  6. Peaches
  7. Cherries
  8. Pears
  9. Tomatoes
  10. Celery
  11. Potatoes
  12. Sweet bell peppers
  13. Hot peppers

Made that a baker's dozen - this year's list includes a 13th item, hot peppers. The EWG found that hot peppers tend to be contaminated with dangerous insecticides, so they suggest buying organic hot peppers, or at least cook conventionally grown hot peppers to help reduce insecticide levels.

The EWG says that rinsing produce under running tap water is a good way to reduce pesticide levels before consumption; however, research at the University of Massachusetts shows that soaking produce in a baking soda and water solution may do an even better job.

Key findings of the 2018 Dirty Dozen report:

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) tests found 230 different pesticides and pesticide breakdown products on thousands of produce samples analyzed.
  • The EWG analyzed USDA pesticide residue data and found that almost 70% of non-organic produce sampled tested positive for pesticide contamination.
  • More than 98% of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
  • Spinach samples had, on average, 1.8 times as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.

How risky is eating produce with higher levels of pesticides?

There is no easy answer to this question. There have been studies linking poorer pregnancy outcomes, as well as infertility in both men and women to pesticide exposure. There is also evidence that children with higher exposure to specific types of pesticides are at higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).  

It's important to note that 'organic' does not mean that no pesticides were used, but that the pesticides used were derived from natural substances, not synthetic ones. While natural substances sound healthier, it depends on how much of a substance you're ingesting. As the saying goes, "The poison isn't in the substance, but in the dose."

Several experts claim that the real risk is in not eating enough produce, rather than pesticide exposure. The Environmental Working Group agrees, saying, "The health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks of pesticide exposure. Eating conventionally grown produce is far better than skipping fruits and vegetables."

declutter

The 2018 Clean Fifteen

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweet corn*
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Papayas*
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangoes
  10. Eggplant
  11. Honeydew melon
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Broccoli

The Clean Fifteen list includes produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides.

  • Less than 1% of avocado and sweet corn samples tested positive for any detectable pesticides; they were the cleanest of all produce tested.
  • More than 80% of pineapples, papayas asparagus, onions and cabbages had no pesticide residues.
  • None of the produce on the Clean Fifteen list tested positive for more than four pesticides.

*Note: Papayas and sweet corn in the U.S. (and sweet corn grown in Canada) is GMO unless organic, so it's best to choose organic for those.

A diet rich in produce is most important

I agree that it's most important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for optimum health and that exposure to pesticides, for most people, is a secondary concern. If you have access to organic produce, so much the better, but many nutritionists and other experts agree that eating enough produce is extremely important.

 

References

  1. 2018 dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists rank produce items by pesticide level. Food Safety Magazine, April 10, 2018, foodsafetymagazine.com/news/2018-dirty-dozen-and-clean-fifteen-lists-rank-produce-items-by-pesticide-level/ Accessed May 31, 2018.
  2. Lunder S. EWG's shopper's guide to pesticides in produce™. April 10, 2018,  ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php Accessed May 31, 2018. 
  3. Axe J. Dirty dozen list: are you eating the most pesticide-laden produce? draxe.com/dirty-dozen/ Accessed May 31, 2018.
  4. Cassetty S. What a nutritionist wants you to know about pesticides and produce. April 14, 2018, nbcnews.com/better/health/produce-side-pesticides-what-nutritionist-wants-you-know-about-ewg-ncna864156 Accessed July 3, 2018.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Supplements

There are Nature's Sunshine supplements relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • CurcuminBP
  • Dandelion
  • Milk Thistle
  • LIV-A
  • LIV-C
  • BP
  • K
  • Potas
  • Parsley
  • Ginger
Milk Thistle

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

Our family is so grateful for curing us from many environmental and food sensitivities we were living with since birth. It is our new-found freedom not to have food restrictions, especially at social gatherings. We also appreciate Ramilas determination to finding relief to my son's ongoing eczema breakouts. It made a huge difference to this 15 year old boy's self-esteem.

-Lise & Family Ottawa

The Belly of the Beast

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thebellyofthebeast.ca

1437 Woodroffe Avenue

Ottawa ON (map)

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WHAT IS POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME? - MARCH 2017 - VOLUME 8, ISSUE 12

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

The topic this month is polycystic ovary syndrome or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It is the most common cause of infertility and affects many premenopausal women. However, it can be successfully managed with lifestyle changes and certain supplements.

 
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.

clinic

Volume 8, Issue 12

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

 

Like us on Facebook

What is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)?

PCOS is a common endocrine system disorder, involving a hormonal imbalance, among women of childbearing age. In the U.S. it is estimated 5-10% of women in this age group are affected. However, it is also estimated that less than half are properly diagnosed. Canada is probably not much different in this respect. The exact cause of PCOS is unknown, although it tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component.

 

mother and daughterNormally the ovaries produce a small amount of male sex hormones - androgens - but with PCOS, they produce too many androgens in relation to female hormones, causing an imbalance.

 

Symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods. This is the most common indication. Menstrual cycles may be longer than 35 days, with fewer than 8 cycles per year; or they may be more frequent than usual, e.g. 21 days or less; there may be either heavy or scant bleeding. Some women stop having periods.
  • Trouble conceiving or infertility
  • Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
  • Insulin resistance, which may be more a cause of PCOS than an effect, since elevated insulin levels act to raise androgen levels. Hyperinsulinemia (elevated insulin levels) is seen in 50 to 70% of cases of PCOS. While it is more common in women who are obese, it can also occur in women who are a normal weight.
  • Acne on the face, chest and upper back
  • Hirsutism (excessive hair growth, including places women don't usually grow hair, e.g. face, abdomen, back).
  • Male pattern baldness, thinning hair
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in mood
  • Low sex drive

Not all symptoms are necessarily present, and the severity may vary over time and from one woman to another. Most women with PCOS develop symptoms from adolescence to their 30s.

 

The term 'polycystic' means that a woman's ovaries have multiple small cysts. However, some women who have multiple small ovarian cysts have no symptoms of PCOS, and some women who are diagnosed with PCOS don't show any evidence of ovarian cysts on ultrasound.

 

Complications: Treating PCOS promptly can prevent a number of serious health risks (especially important if obesity is a factor). These include:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities, such as elevated triglycerides or low high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the 'good' cholesterol
  • Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of signs and symptoms that indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus)

 

Natural solutions for PCOS symptoms

A healthy diet and regular exercise are very important ways to control PCOS symptoms. Both are obviously also related to the issue of obesity which occurs in many women with PCOS.

 

1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet.

 

vegetablesFocus on nourishment as the goal. Include foods that are anti-inflammatory, such as:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • grass-fed/pasture-raised meat
  • wild fish (e.g. salmon)
  • nuts and seeds (chia, flax hemp, almonds, walnuts)
  • unrefined oils/fats (coconut oil, olive oil and avocado)

Avoid:

  • too much alcohol or caffeine
  • most sources of sugar and sweeteners, plus refined carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice, pasta not made from whole grains
  • packaged and processed foods (almost always full of artificial ingredients, preservatives, sugars, sodium
  • hydrogenated and refined vegetable oils (soybean, canola, safflower, sunflower and corn) which are highly inflammatory
  • common sensitivities, such as dairy products and gluten

 

2. Get appropriate, regular exercise.

 

Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels. Moderate exercise is best. Walking is one great way to exercise - it can be done every day (either outdoors or inside), and all you need is a good pair of walking shoes. Yoga is an excellent choice. Another option is high intensity interval training - intense exercise for short periods of time. Focus on getting enough activity to help with insulin sensitivity and burning excess fat.

 

3. Reduce stress (physical and psychological).

 

Stress can have a major impact on the endocrine system and hormone production. There are many ways to combat stress, and different choices work for different people.

  • Meditation is really effective, and it doesn't mean hours of trying to emulate a Tibetan monk! There are many prerecorded meditations and smartphone apps available to suit different tastes.
  • Yoga (see section 2)
  • Journalling
  • Taking time for yourself, pampering yourself
  • Chatting with a friend you trust
  • Spending time in nature (perhaps when the weather is a little warmer)

 

4. Get enough sleep.

 

Sleep deprivation can have the same adverse hormonal health effects as a poor diet and too little physical activity. Unfortunately, research shows that sleep disturbances are twice as common in women with PCOS as those without sleep. I recommend that you do your best to get between 7 and 9 hours of good quality sleep per night.


Some tips to improve your sleep:

  • No TV in the bedroom
  • Don't use your computer, tablet or smartphone within 2 hours of going to bed
  • Be sure your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool
  • Don't exercise late in the evening
  • Eat at least 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine in the evening

 

Experiment with these tips to see what works best for you. If you suspect you might have PCOS, please book an appointment with me. I have extensive experience in successfully treating PCOS.

 

Supplements

Super Omega 3There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements relevant to this newsletter. You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

 

  • Berberine
  • GTF Chromium
  • Flax Seed Oil
  • Psyllium Hulls Combination
  • Super Omega-3
  • Wild Yam & Chaste Tree

 

References:

  1. Axe J. No. 1 cause of infertility? Polycystic ovarian syndrome. draxe.com/polycystic-ovarian-syndrome/ Accessed March 7, 2017.
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/basics/definition/con-20028841 Accessed March 7, 2017.
  3. Polycystic ovary syndrome. womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.html Accessed March 7, 2017.
  4. Wahlgren K. 7 things you need to know about polycystic ovary syndrome. prevention.com/health/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-polycystic-ovary-syndrome Accessed March 7, 2017.
  5. Dunaif A. Insulin resistance and the polycystic ovary syndrome: Mechanism and implications for pathogenisis. Endocrine Reviews 1997;18(6):774-800.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

Ramila created a nutritional plan for me. She also taught me how to balance out my nutritional needs, and what kinds of food eat and to avoid. I started seeing major differences in my body and overall health in just 3 weeks. I had more energy, my headaches were fewer to none and my feet and joints didn’t hurt as much. I stuck to the heath plan and went from a size 15 to now a size 9. I have lost 40 lbs.

- RG

When health begins, dis-ease ends.

 

WHY VITAMIN D IS IMPORTANT TO YOUR HEALTH - NOVEMBER 2016 - VOLUME 8, ISSUE 8

 

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

 

The news about vitamin D keeps getting better and better. Since the Canadian climate does not provide enough vitamin D from sunlight during the late fall and winter months, supplementation is particularly important, and also inexpensive. I'm sure you know vitamin D is extremely important to your health, but you may not be aware of some of its benefits. We reviewed some of them in our October 2013 and October 2010 newsletters, but there are some important updates. Note that we are using 'vitamin D' to mean D3 (and not D2). Read on below...
 
These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.

Volume 8, Issue 8

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)®

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

Why Vitamin D is Important to Your Health

The Vitamin D Council summarizes the benefits of vitamin D as follows:
"Vitamin D is important for good overall health and strong and healthy bones. It's also an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and that your body can fight infection."

 

sunshineUnlike other vitamins, vitamin D does not depend on the foods you eat, but on your exposure to the sunshine (or vitamin D supplements). Exposure to the sun enables the body to make its vitamin D. The body then turns vitamin D into a hormone, known as 'activated vitamin D' or calcitriol. Vitamin D has an important role in managing calcium in your blood; it enables calcium to be properly absorbed. It also helps cells all over the body to communicate properly.

 

To briefly review the benefits of vitamin D that we've already discussed in the October 2013 newsletter, vitamin D

  • lowers the risk of several types of cancer
  • improves lung function
  • helps build strong bones and teeth
  • contributes to good cardiovascular health
  • helps our immune system
  • combats aging
  • protects against multiple sclerosis
  • helps reduce insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes
  • reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease
  • helps prevent disability and limitations in activities of daily living

This is already a very impressive list, but new research is adding to this all the time. The following is just a partial account of some of the most recent knowledge of the benefits of vitamin D.

 

While the evidence is preliminary, there is increasing research examining a link between vitamin D and Alzheimer's Disease.

  • There are receptors for vitamin D in many parts of the brain. This means vitamin D is acting in some way on the brain and influencing how a person thinks, learns and acts. It has been found that, in people with Alzheimer's disease, there are fewer receptors in the hippocampus which is involved in forming memories, or in other words, a greater number of vitamin D receptors indicates better memory.
  • Of course, prevention of Alzheimer's disease is extremely important. So far, researchers can't say for sure that getting enough vitamin D will prevent Alzheimer's disease, but since low levels of vitamin D are associated with poorer cognitive performance, this seems to hold promise.

Vitamin D may help reduce pain.

  • A meta-analysis of 19 randomized clinical trials and 3,436 participants is the first to quantify the effect of vitamin D supplementation on pain. Sixteen of the 19 RCTs included in the analysis were hospital-based; the remaining 3 were community-based.
  • A significantly greater mean decrease in pain score was observed with vitamin D supplementation compared with placebo in people with chronic pain.
  • This suggests that vitamin D could have a role in the management of chronic pain. Further study is needed to confirm these findings.

Vitamin D may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, which is one of the most common forms of cancer. Research tells us that:

  • People with low levels of vitamin D in their body are more likely to develop colorectal cancer.
  • Regions, where people are exposed to the lowest amount of sunlight, have higher rates of colorectal cancer than people in sunny places.
  • Studies have found a dose-response relationship, where for each increase in vitamin D level in the body, there is a decrease in colorectal cancer risk.
  • High levels of vitamin D in the body may improve survival from colorectal cancer.
  • Most studies of vitamin D and colorectal cancer have been observational, which means that researchers can't be sure whether vitamin D causes the observed reduction in risk, or whether it's due to some other factor.
  • Again, more study is needed to clarify the strength of this association.

Influenza and Vitamin D:

  • People who get influenza are more likely to have low levels of vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D can help reduce inflammation caused by the influenza virus and increase the number of antimicrobial proteins that fight against viruses.
  • Influenza infections increase during the winter, which is when vitamin D levels are known to decrease in the population.
  • Some studies have shown that taking vitamin D supplements can reduce the chances of getting influenza; however, others have not shown this.
  • Having high levels of vitamin D may help decrease recovery time from an influenza infection.

 

What level of vitamin D supplementation is appropriate?

There is no single answer to this question. It depends on how much sun you get, your skin colour (darker skin absorbs less), your age (adults need more than children or infants), your weight (the more you weigh, the more vitamin D your body can handle), and whether it's winter, summer or somewhere in between. Supplementation is necessary during the winter months in Canada! Check this reference for more detail.

 

While different organizations define various levels of vitamin D supplementation as appropriate, it seems more than 10,000 IU (International Units) of vitamin D per day is excessive.

 

How much sun do I need?


It takes very little summer sun exposure, particularly if you're fair skinned, to get enough vitamin D from the sun - about half the time it takes for your skin to turn pink and begin to burn. This could be only 15 minutes for a very fair skinned person, or a couple of hours or more for a dark skinned person. This guideline will lead to the body producing from 10,000 to 25,000 IU. Note: higher amounts are not a problem when vitamin D is generated by the sun, as opposed to obtained from supplements.

 

I hope vitamin D helps you have a healthy winter season!

 

Supplements

vitamin D3There are some Nature's Sunshine supplements that are relevant to this newsletter.

 

You can find information about these products and purchase them in our online store:

  • Super Vitamins & Minerals
  • Vitamin D3
  • Liquid Vitamin D (available from our office only)

For additional information, please email info@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Visit our website where you can see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products, and our clinic, and order products.

 

References:

  1. What is vitamin D? The Vitamin D Council. vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/what-is-vitamin-d/ Accessed October 24, 2016.
  2. Alzheimer's Disease. The Vitamin D Council. vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/alzheimers-disease/ Updated November 30, 2015.
  3. Balion C, Griffith LE, Strifler L, et al. Vitamin D, cognition, and dementia. Neurology 2012;79:1397-1405.
  4. Can vitamin D-crease pain? examine.com/nutrition/can-vitamin-d-crease-pain Accessed November 10, 2016.
  5. Wu Z, Malihi Z, Stewart AW et al. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Pain Physician 2016;19:425-427.
  6. Colorectal cancer. The Vitamin D Council. vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/colorectal-cancer/ Last updated January 2014.
  7. Influenza. The Vitamin D Council. vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/influenza/ Updated December 2015.
  8. How do I get the vitamin D my body needs? The Vitamin D Council. vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/ Accessed November 14, 2016.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

"Will I ever be able to dance at my niece’s wedding?" I asked myself. My feet are cramping and I cannot stand to wear shoes. I happened to have an appointment with Ramila and Megs on the day before the wedding. It seems I had been sensitive to magnesium all along. One desensitization treatment and voila! I was able to dance the evening away!

- Johanne, Ottawa

When health begins, dis-ease ends.

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM - NOVEMBER 2015 - VOLUME 7 ISSUE 8

 

Ramilas Health Tips

Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

It's that time of year again when flu season is starting, and we need to know how to protect ourselves from any illness this winter. We need to counteract the common tendency to neglect ourselves, get too tired and more susceptible to any illness that's going around. Happily, there's a lot we can do to take good care of ourselves - and stay healthy. Find out more below...

 

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.

new location

Volume 7, Issue 8

Ramila Padiachy

Doctorate of Natural Medicine (DNM)® R.Ac.

 

Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic

1437 Woodroffe Avenue
Ottawa ON (map)

613.829.0427
info@ramilas.com

Like us on Facebook

 

Staying Healthy - The Basics

I'm sure you already know the basics of staying healthy:

  • Think positively.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates.
  • Get adequate, good quality sleep.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Manage your stress levels. (See our June 2014 newsletter.)
  • Strong relationships and a good social network are good for you.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Don’t smoke.

 

Boost Your Immune System

In fact, all of those basics have a positive effect on your immune system and its ability to function if - or when - you're exposed to flu or cold germs, or bacteria. So, they are all really good strategies for preventing illness. Here are some reasons that these strategies are effective boosters of your immune system:

  1. Think positively. Happier people are less likely to develop colds when exposed to cold viruses, according to research at Carnegie Mellon University. People with high positive emotion scores produce enough cytokine (a protein) to help recruit other immune cells to fight off infections.
  2. Exercise regularly. A study compared women who worked out 5 days a week for 45 minutes with women who attended a 45-minute session of stretching exercises once a week. The group that exercised less vigorously only once a week had nearly four times as many colds as the group that worked out more often over a one year period. It is believed there is a temporary increase in immune-fighting cells with each episode of exercise.
  3. Wash your hands. Hand washing is an extremely effective public health measure. Consider that you only need to make contact with a cold or flu virus and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth to get infected. A 2008 review in the British Medical Journal stated that hand washing is far more effective at reducing risk than antiviral drugs. Be sure to wash for 20 seconds using soap and warm water.
  4. Manage your stress levels. Animal studies have shown:
    • Stressful situations delayed the production of antibodies in mice infected with influenza virus, and suppressed the activity of T cells in animals inoculated with herpes simplex virus.
    • Social stress can be more damaging than physical stress. Mice exposed to social stress were twice as likely to die as mice that were stressed physically.
    • Isolation can suppress immune function. Infant monkeys separated from their mothers, especially if they were alone in a cage rather than in a group, generated fewer lymphocytes in response to antigens and fewer antibodies in response to viruses.
    • In humans, it has been found that psychological stress affects the immune system by disrupting communication between the nervous system, the endocrine system and the immune system. This can result in higher levels of cortisol and, consequently, fewer antibodies in response to exposure to a virus.
  5. Probiotics. A relationship has been observed between "good" bacteria in the digestive tract and good immune system function.
  6. Eat a healthy diet. Certain foods are particularly good immune system boosters, including:
    • limesCitrus fruits are high in vitamin C which you need to consume every day because your body can't produce or store it. That's much better than just taking vitamin C to get rid of a cold - prevention is the best bet. Vitamin C is believed to increase the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections.
    • Red bell peppers contain even more vitamin C than citrus fruits, and are also a rich source of beta carotene.
    • Broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C and E, as well as numerous antioxidants. The less you cook it, the more nutritious it is.
    • Garlic is recognized for its value in fighting infections. Garlic also helps lower cholesterol and may prevent hardening of the arteries. Heavy concentrations of sulfur-containing compounds in garlic, such as allicin, are the secret to its immune-boosting properties.
    • Ginger is good as a preventive measure, not just once you have a cold. Gingerol gives ginger its heat, and is a relative of capsaicin. Ginger may help decrease chronic pain and lower cholesterol.
    • Spinach is not only rich in vitamin C, but also contains numerous antioxidants and beta carotene. As with broccoli, it's best cooked as little as possible to retain its nutrients.
    • Yogurt is best if it has "live and active cultures" specified on the label. These cultures may stimulate your immune system to fight diseases. Look for yogurt fortified with vitamin D.
    • Almonds are packed with vitamin E which is key to a healthy immune system. It is fat-soluble, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. A half-cup serving of almonds provides nearly 100% of the recommended daily amount.
    • Turmeric is a key ingredient in curries, and is well known as an anti-inflammatory in treating both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin, which gives turmeric its distinctive colour, reduces inflammation and fever.
    • Green tea, like black tea, is packed with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. In addition, green tea has another powerful antioxidant known as EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is largely destroyed in the production of black tea. Green tea is also a good source of the amino acid L-theanine which may aid in the production of germ-fighting compounds in your T-cells.
    • While it isn't a food, vitamin D reduces the risk of respiratory infection. In addition, vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia, several types of cancer, cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure) and auto-immune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and irritable bowel syndrome. Very importantly at this time of year, there is recent evidence that vitamin D helps combat SAD (seasonal affective disorder).

 

Supplements to Boost Your Immune System

Cat's Claw CombinationSeveral Nature's Sunshine supplements, listed below, are effective immune system boosters. Visit  our online store to purchase any of the following products.

  • Super Trio contains Super Supplemental (Iron-free) containing vitamins, minerals and herbs; Super Omega-3 (contains 760 mg EPA and 380 mg DHA); and Super NT-OX (includes green tea, curcumin and other antioxidants/anti-inflammatories)
  • Cat's Claw Combination
  • Echinacea & Golden Seal
  • HRP-C
  • Collostrum
  • Nature's Silver Guard
  • Bifidophilus Flora Force (probiotic)
  • Acidophilus Bifidobacterium (probiotic)
  • Probiotic 11
  • Ginger
  • High Potency Garlic
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Vitamin D3

 

You can find information about these products in our online store. For additional information, please email ramila@ramilas.com or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also, on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, information about services, products and our clinic, and order products.

References:

  1. How to boost your immune system. Harvard Health Publications www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system  Accessed October 27, 2015.
  2. 6 immune system busters and boosters. WebMD Medical Reference, 2015. www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/10-immune-system-busters-boosters  Accessed October 27, 2015.
  3. Young L. 9 ways to boost your immunity. www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/prevention/9-ways-to-boost-your-immunity  Accessed October 27, 2015.
  4. Immune system boosters. www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/foods-that-boost-the-immune-system#ImmuneBoosters1  Accessed October 27, 2015.
  5. Low vitamin D levels linked to greater risk of dementia. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter. 2014;32(9):1,3.
  6. Mercola J. Vitamin D - one of the simplest solutions to wide-ranging health problems. December 22, 2013. articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/22/dr-holick-vitamin-d-benefits.aspx Accessed November 5, 2015.
  7. Mercola J. Simple, inexpensive remedies for seasonal affective disorder. February 14, 2015. articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/02/14/seasonal-affective-disorder-vitamin-d.aspx Accessed November 5, 2015.
  8. Gloth FM, Alam W, Hollis B. Vitamin D vs broad spectrum phototherapy in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder. J Nutr Health Aging 1999;3(1):5-7.

Disclaimer: The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

 

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Since July '93, I have been seeing Ramila Padiachy, a certified reflexologist. She has given me tremendous help. I was getting a lot of shoulder and neck pain. Nothing was helping, I went to see a chiro. It would help a little. But seeing Ramila and following her treatment has improved my neck and shoulder pain. She has also given me advice on nutrition and also herb supplements to help me along. I feel she is very professional and definitely informative in her line of work. I would highly recommend her to my friends.

- Gail D-H.

 

When health begins, dis-ease ends.

 

The Secret - May 2012 - Volume 4 Issue 2

Over the past couple of months, we’ve been looking at ways to make healthy choices and spring clean our bodies. This month, my focus is on the mind. There are 2 concepts that are important. The first is that absolutely everything is energy. Our bodies, our cells are energy, but so are our thoughts. Positive thoughts have positive energy; negative thoughts have negative energy. The energy of your thoughts is felt not just by you, but potentially by anyone anywhere, and certainly by those near you. You may have heard of something called the law of attraction. It basically states that like attracts like, or that which is like unto itself is drawn. That is, positive thoughts and energy attract more positive thoughts and energy, whereas negative thoughts and energy attract more negative. . . . you get the idea. One great source of information about the law of attraction is a book (also a movie) called The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. (Note: this movie is not to be confused with another movie also called The Secret, starring David Duchovny!) This book is one that is listed on our web site as recommended reading, and the following is a review of The Secret.
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Healthy Choices - March 2012 - Volume 3 Issue 11

The days are getting longer again, and spring is in the air. Since this is a time of year for making a fresh start, this newsletter covers some tips for healthy choices in a number of different areas. There is new information available all the time, and I’ll highlight some recent information.
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Cardiovascular - February 2012 - Volume 3 Issue 10

Best wishes for a Happy Valentine’s Day! I think February is an appropriate month for an update on heart health. Two years ago (see Newsletter, February 2010) I reviewed several risk factors for heart disease and also discussed how you can minimize or reduce your risk of heart disease. This month I’ll provide recent updates regarding heart disease and stroke.
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Aging - August 2010 - Volume 2 Issue 5

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that life ends, or at least begins to quickly erode, at around 75 to 80 years. Only the lucky hang on to their health into their 80’s. So as the years advance we just accept that we’ll succumb to poor health, lack of vitality and wasting away until death. How sad it is that many aging (and younger!) Canadians believe this to be true. Sad indeed, especially since more research in nutrition and longevity suggests that we humans can conceivably live to 120 years with healthful lifestyle and dietary practices. The beneficial effects of a healthy lifestyle and diet can even add years to those who are already older. Understanding the aging process and having a positive attitude towards aging will help us not only live healthier and longer, but also help us enjoy this period of life to its fullest. Those who are experiencing healthy aging will agree that it can be the best time in one’s life. Aging involves more than our body. It is a process that affects our mind and soul as well -essentially our entire person is involved in aging. Aging can be compared to the ripening of fruit: as the fruit ripens it changes in texture, flavour and appearance. We consider fruit to be at its best when ripe. Our attitude towards aging needs to change if we expect to age successfully; like the ripened fruit we need to see ourselves at our best during this time.
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Fueling Your Body - March 2010 - Volume 2 Issue 1

Is your fuel tank empty? This is a time of year when we seem to need a break – maybe you’ve already taken one, maybe you have one planned. We need to recharge our batteries at regular intervals, or we risk becoming tired, irritable, and even ill. We need to be aware of what is draining us, and take action to keep all parts of our life in balance. Very simply, we need to take good care of ourselves.
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