Vitamin D plays many essential roles throughout the body—enhancing calcium absorption, contributing to healthy bone mass, supporting immune function, quelling inflammation, and helping to fight cancer. Clinical studies support vitamin D’s role in preventing and treating colon and prostate cancers, and emerging studies suggest vitamin D may help avert cancers of the breast, ovaries, head, and neck, among others. Low dietary intake and limited sun exposure have led to an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Health experts now advise adults to regularly check their blood levels of vitamin D and to address deficiencies with supplemental vitamin D.

Vitamin D quells inflammation that may exacerbate chronic heart failure, and in combination with other nutrients, benefits people with chronic heart failure. Vitamin D also shows promise in preventing both type I and type II diabetes, and offers important support for immune health. Vitamin D may help prevent wound infections and flu, support the body’s defense against tuberculosis, and boost immune function in patients with kidney failure. 

Vitamin D likewise may help to alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression experienced during the winter months due to decreased sunlight.

Looking for Natural Alternatives for a Cold or Flu?

The immune system is a very complicated mechanism within our bodies.  When off, it creates havoc for us! Traditional medicine offers us medications when ill which do not allow our own immune system to fight the offending pathogen. Have you ever thought of using natural products that aid your body in increasing its own natural immunities?

There are many ways  to prevent colds and flus naturally!  You can have a natural flu shot, take a prevention flu product weekly, take vitamins/anti-oxidants, use a neti pot weekly, and there are many more natural remedies. Interested? Email Dr. Rodwin to find out how!

Foods that aid in helping the immune system

1. Nuts provide protein and are a rich source of mono-unsaturated heart-healthy fats that may actually decrease bad cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk by up to 25 percent. Nuts also provide vitamin E, folate, potassium and essential nutrients such as copper and magnesium for helping the immune system.

2. Get pumped up for pumpkins. Pumpkins are abundant in beta-carotene, an important antioxidant. One cup of cooked pumpkin has only 40 calories and provides 4 grams of fiber.

3. Apples have it all — great taste, good looks and health claims that can’t be denied. Apples are a low-calorie choice with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, and phytochemicals that reduce your risk for many chronic diseases.

4. Enjoy the red and green. Brightly colored foods such as red beets, apples, cherries, pomegranates, and cranberries provide an abundance of vitamins A and C, which are important for a strong immune system, along with other phytochemicals important for disease prevention. Green produce such as spinach, broccoli, avocados and pears also contain these important nutrients. Avocados in particular help increase the absorption of nutrients from other foods when eaten at the same time. 

5. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. 
Foods rich in vitamin C: Red and Green Hot Chili Peppers, Guavas, Bell Peppers, Fresh Herbs (Thyme and Parsley), Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Mustard Greens, Garden Cress), Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Kiwi Fruits, Papayas, Oranges/Clementines, and Strawberries.

Acupuncture for the Immune System

It’s flu and cold season. Also known as the season for drugging yourself silly and making yourself go to work even when you’d rather curl up in bed and do nothing for 48 hours. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re looking for a method to fill in the weak gaps in your immune system and promote relaxation and pain relief, you’re looking for acupuncture. How does acupuncture boost your immune system and prevent colds?

From the standpoint of the ancient practice of medicine, the reason why acupuncture works is because of the manipulation of energies in the body. Everyone has varying weaknesses in their energy; places where the Chi naturally has problems. Acupuncture can address these weaknesses in the same way a vaccine addresses weaknesses; by boosting energy and giving the body what it needs to strengthen itself. At the root of it all, we see the movement of energy. When the body’s Chi is moving sluggishly and brokenly, the body falls prey to viruses more readily; when the body’s Chi is in balance, the body stays healthy and can fight off viruses.

Not enough? Studies have shown that acupuncture helps the brain increase the body’s level of T-cells; cells which destroy bacteria and harmful viruses in the body. It is thought that acupuncture does this by provoking the body’s immune response through the use of the needles: the body thinks the needles are a threat and marshal their white cell and T-cell count to fight them off. However, the effect of this lasts days after the acupuncture session and so works on viruses and bacteria as well.

So, sick and tired of being… well, sick and tired? Acupuncture may be a great way to fill in the missing gaps in your immune system and keep you healthy this flu season!

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