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Posts Tagged ‘swine flu’



How virus cooties invade the body (H1N1)

Last spring I did a post on how to boost your immune system to fight the swine flu. That was before U.S. public health officials stepped in to market the flu under less pork-slandering terminology. Worried that the name swine flu would harm pork sales, trade industry officials and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack switched to the more clinical and euphemistically appropriate term – H1N1.

H1N1 sounds so ambiguous, so detached. I suppose that was the whole idea – the branding plan behind the name switch. Swine flu just plain sounds icky. Hmmm, but on the other hand, the name avian flu doesn’t make you want to quit eating chicken, does it? I wonder if the administration and the pork guys considered calling this strain the artiodactyl flu. I kind of like that. Pigs are in the artiodactyl family, in case you didn’t know.

And no, you can’t get the swine flu from eating pork.

A science friend of mine sent me this video, knowing full well how much I love geeky stuff like virus instruction coding. Please watch this short video. It’s informative, amazing, humorous and easy to understand. Then read my tips for boosting your immune system so you keep the funky swine/H1N1/artiodactyl cells in check (along with all the other cooties we encounter on a daily basis).

Eewww, it’s a dirty world out there. Help your body protect you from it.

Immune boosters

• High-quality, uninterrupted sleep (I know, I know – this is a tough one)
• Exercise, including yoga
• Eat lots of antioxidant-rich foods (vitamin C: citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, green leafy veggies, berries, tomatoes; vitamin A: sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, carrots, kale, collard greens, apricots, cantalope, peaches; vitamin E: nuts, seeds, GF whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, green leafy veggies; selenium: pastured eggs, chicken, garlic, 100% grass fed beef or bison, GF whole grains, fish)
• Fresh, whole foods – any brightly colored veggies and fruits as they are full of immune boosting phytochemicals (good plant chemicals)
• Green tea, ginger root tea
• Mushrooms, garlic, pineapple, coconut (other good stuff)

Immune zappers

• Poor quality sleep (restful sleep is SO important for a strong immune system)
• Couch potato lifestyle
• Consuming junk food, fast food, processed food, sugar, caffeine, trans-fats
• Soda pop and sugary drinks (no, no, no)
• Too much alcohol

I’m going to skip the vaccine, wash my hands frequently, eat healthy foods, practice yoga, sleep 8 hours a night, think good thoughts (most of the time, anyway) and knock on wood.

Go forth, boost your immune system and avoid the artiodactyl flu.
Melissa

swine flu & immune booster soup

warning swine flu sign

Swine flu has been all over the news lately with some reports sounding rather dire. While I’m mildly concerned, I’m not ready to follow Vice President Biden’s advice and stand out in a field by myself until the threat blows over. Aside from washing my hands more often, all I’m doing is avoiding sugar and sticking with my diet of fresh, wholesome foods. My intent is to keep my immune system tuned up and ready to launch an attack if I come into contact with any swine flu cooties.

The WHO (World Health Organization) recently announced a serge in confirmed cases worldwide and Canadian health officials released information suggesting the first reverse transmission of the virus, from farm worker to pigs, so it’s nothing to sneeze at.

Here’s a list of resources and links to specific information, all related to swine flu (H1F1 is the virus subtype).

General information on H1N1 Flu
What’s going on in your state
Frequently asked questions
Cool interactive map tracking cases worldwide

Immune boosters

• Good quality sleep (this is so important for healthy immune function)
• Moderate exercise
• Antioxidant-rich foods (vitamin C: citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, green leafy veggies, berries, tomatoes; vitamin A: sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, carrots, kale, collard greens, apricots, cantalope, peaches; vitamin E: nuts, seeds, gf whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, green leafy veggies; selenium: eggs, chicken, garlic, 100% grass fed beef, gf whole grains, fish)
• Fresh, whole foods — any brightly colored veggies and fruits as they are full of immune boosting phytochemicals (healthy plant chemicals)
• Green tea, ginger root tea
• Mushrooms, garlic, pineapple, coconut (other assorted good stuff)

Immune zappers

• Poor quality sleep
• Couch potato lifestyle
• Consuming junk food and sugar (these suppress the immune system)
• More than 1 cup of coffee a day
• Soda pop and sugary drinks (HFCS)
• Too much alcohol

Immune booster soup
what you need (this is a launching pad recipe, adjust to your liking)

• 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
• 1 onion, chopped
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• fresh ginger root (use to taste)
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
• 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, washed and chopped
• 2 tablespoons dried or 1/4 cup fresh burdock root, washed and chopped
• 1 cup cooked and diced chicken
• 1 cup cooked brown rice
• 6 cups chicken broth
• pinch of cayenne pepper
• assorted herbs (dill, oregano, basil, parsley, tarragon)
• sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

what you do
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes and add ginger, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and burdock root. Continue sautéing — add a splash of broth if the pan becomes dry (a touch of broth is a great way to sauté veggies). Add all the chicken broth, diced chicken, brown rice and remaining ingredients. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes.

Adjust as you see fit! Replace brown rice with a chopped sweet potato, skip the ginger, add a finely diced jalapeno pepper — play with your food!

Wash your hands, avoid cooties and stay healthy!
Melissa

Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for informational and educational use only and should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Consult with your physician regarding any health or medical concerns you may have.
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(co-written with Pete Bronski)



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