Let’s talk about your kids returning to school, stress and your sex drive, what to eat at night and to boost your immunity, and traveling stretches.
BACK TO SCHOOL (hooray or boohoo, depending upon your perspective)
May I remind you of a few important points regarding the health of your child?
1) Now that they will be back to studying and sitting more than usual, please make sure they sit with their head held over their shoulders. They’re probably already slouching from texting on their phones, and now they’ll be hunched over their desks and laptops, adding additional stress to their necks. The best remedy is to stand up and do a back stretch with arms over your head for 30 seconds, roll your shoulders for 10 revolutions, and do a lunge stretch for 30 seconds each side.
2) Make sure their back packs are no heavier than 15% of their body weight, and even that much is pushing it. This just means that your 120 lb. child should only have 12 lbs. of stuff in their pack.
3) Make sure they get enough sleep. This is true for all of us, but children are still growing and this is an important period in their development that will affect them for a lifetime.
4) Regular chiropractic check-ups for scoliosis, poor posture, and for pre-athletic physicals. Prevention is the key to good health and we chiropractors can help you help your kids embrace healthy lifestyles.
HOW STRESS AFFECTS YOUR SEX DRIVE
So many people go on vacation, have a great time, but come back with some sort of ailment due to the traveling, so I have made some suggestions over the years to help reduce the risk of dis-ease while traveling. These past 10 days I’ve had the chance to practice what I preach. My wife and I are finishing a 12 day road trip that brought us to Jackson Hole, WY for a family reunion this past weekend. We have already logged more than 2,000 miles and still have to get home. Every time we stopped for gas or to visit an attraction I did a little stretching, and I still stretched every night before bed.
The two key stretches I did regularly throughout the day was backbends; reaching my arms above my head and leaning slightly backwards, holding the stretch for 30 seconds. The second stretch I did often was The Lunge, stretching my psoas and other hip flexor muscles due to all the sitting I was doing. This stretch is standing with one leg in front and the other leg stretched out behind you, stretching the front of the leg in back. Hold for at least 20 to 30 seconds, then switch to the other leg.
These two stretches, along with occasional shoulder rolls and neck glides certainly help in reducing the stiffness and tightness associated with travel.
NUTRITION – Should you eat anything before bedtime?
Dietitians often are asked the question whether it’s good to eat something right before bedtime, and while the answer is usually no, it does depend on what you ate during the day and how nutritious it was. Some dietitians do find it healthful to eat something before bedtime, and here are their healthy suggestions:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Herbal tea
- A glass of milk
- Frozen grapes
- Cereal and milk
- Greek yogurt and nuts
What to Eat to Boost Immunity
Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM on August 21st, 2018
What we eat—or don’t eat—can affect our immune system. In my video Using the Produce Aisle to Boost Immune Function I profile a study conducted to determine the effect of the consumption of brightly colored vegetables on the immune system. For the first two weeks, the subjects ate basically no fruits and veggies. Then, they drank one and a half cups of tomato juice every day for two weeks, followed by two weeks of carrot juice, and then two weeks of spinach powder. Within just two weeks of a fruit- and veggie-deficient diet, immune function plummeted. However, just one and a half cups of tomato juice a day brought subjects back from the ashes. It didn’t take five servings a day—just one tall glass of tomato juice produced results. The carrot juice alone didn’t seem to help as well, however, nor did the powder equivalent of about one serving of spinach. This tells me two things: how remarkably we can affect our immune function with simple dietary decisions and, not all veggies are alike.
When this study was repeated looking at other immune markers, the tomato versus carrot appeared more evenly matched. There is one family of vegetables, however, that we definitely don’t want to miss out on. Inflammation and leaky gut can occur all because of an absence in our diet of AHR ligands—in other words, cruciferous vegetables, including cabbage, collards, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli.
Do people who eat healthier actually get sick less? Those who eat more fruits and vegetables appear to have a lower risk of getting an upper respiratory tract infection like the common cold, whether they’re otherwise vegetarian or not. Even just one added apple a day may help keep the doctor away. The common cold is usually so innocuous, though, so why not test against something stronger?
Researchers have also looked at more serious respiratory infections like influenza. Studying the relationship between various risk factors and influenza-related hospitalizations in the United States, they found that a 5 percent increase in the prevalence of obesity was associated with a 6 percent increase in hospitalization rate. Physical inactivity had worse outcomes, resulting in a 7 percent increase in hospitalizations. Low fruit and vegetable consumption, however, had the most impact, increasing flu-related hospitalization rates by 8 percent.
The common cold isn’t always innocuous, though. For instance, a cold during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with a number of birth defects, including anencephaly, one of the worst, which causes a fatal malformation of the brain. More recent data suggest that the cold-related fever is the real culprit, as anti-fever drugs appear able to prevent the possible birth defects caused by the common cold.
It’s best, of course, not to get sick in the first place. One thousand women and their diets were followed before and during pregnancy. It was found that “[w]omen who consume more fruits and vegetables have a moderate reduction in risk of [upper respiratory tract infection] during pregnancy, and this benefit appears to be derived from both fruits and vegetables instead of either alone.” Whole fruits and vegetables provide a natural balance of all sorts of things that may improve our immune function in a “complementary, combined or synergistic manner that could account for the protective effect observed from high consumption of both fruits and vegetables”—or maybe that’s the only way they got enough in their diet. The women who appeared protected in this study were eating nearly nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day, compared with only five servings of fruits or four of veggies. This suggests that the arbitrary five- or six-a-day minimum may be insufficient for effective immune function.
For example, in one famous study, elderly individuals were randomized into groups that ate either five servings of fruit and veggies a day or two servings a day. The five-a-day group showed an 80 percent improved antibody response to their pneumonia vaccination compared to the two-a-day group. Even though only about 30 percent (12 out of 40 people) of the five-a-day group reached their target levels of servings, they still did six times better than the two-a-day group. But maybe eight, nine, or ten servings a day would have worked even better.
THOUGHTS FOR THE MONTH
“I would encourage people to look around them in their community and find an organization that is doing something that they believe in, even if that organization has only five people, or ten people, or twenty people, or a hundred people. And to look at history and understand that when change takes place it takes place as a result of large, large numbers of people doing little things unbeknownst to one another. And that history is very important for people to not get discouraged. … History is instructive. And what it suggests to people is that even if they do little things, if they walk on the picket line, if they join a vigil, if they write a letter to their local newspaper. Anything they do, however small, becomes part of a much, much larger sort of flow of energy. And when enough people do enough things, however small they are, then change takes place.”
Howard Zinn, historian, playwright, and social activist (24 Aug 1922-2010)
“It matters not how strait the gate, / How charged with punishments the scroll, / I am the master of my fate: / I am the captain of my soul.” -William Ernest Henley, poet, critic, and editor (23 Aug 1849-1903)
Success is what comes after you stop making excuses. – Luis Galarza
It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. – Scott Belsky