Integrative Health Blog

Pediatric Tip: 4 Ways to Stay Healthy When the Seasons Change

Posted by on Mon, Apr 14, 2014

Do you find yourself getting sick when the weather changes?

We can't wait for spring and warmer weather, can we?  But as it warms up, then the allergies start and the stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and sinus headaches begin. At this time of year the tree pollen, grasses and weeds are out in full force. Does your child get one ear infection or one stuffy nose after another?  You need a good defense strategy. 

Here are 4 tips to build up your immunity for allergy season:

1. Defend your nose Your nose is where most upper respiratory illnesses start.  From your nose, viruses and bacteria travel to the sinuses, ears, throat or lungs.  The best defense I've found is Xylitol nasal spray used daily which protect the nose against all the bugs trying to gain access.

2.  Avoid sugar Sugar suppresses the immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to the myriad of illnesses you're exposed to.  Instead of sodas and doughnuts, drink plenty of water, and snack on fruits and vegetables.

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Tags: immune system, allergies, pediatrics

Vitamin D: The Multi-tasking Hero

Posted by on Tue, Mar 25, 2014

Autumn Frandsen ND

Vitamin D, Essential to the Immune System

Although many people are aware that vitamin D is important, they may not know HOW important and why. The term “vitamin” is actually a misnomer as Vitamin D is really a non-essential prohormone. It is non-essential because it can be synthesized in the body from sunlight and a prohormone because it is converted to the hormone calcitriol in the kidneys. A vitamin is usually used to help potentiate a reaction in the body while a hormone actually sends a message to increase or decrease levels of certain substances in the body. In the case of vitamin D and calcitriol, adequate levels of calcium and phosphorus are maintained through Parathyroid hormone signaling for an increase in the active form of Vitamin D, calcitriol, to be made. Calcitriol then stimulates calbindin to increase calcium absorption in the intestines. There is even more complexity where that came from. There are vitamin D receptors in the intestines, bone, kidney, brain, heart, skin, gonads, prostate, and breasts. It’s no wonder that vitamin D is therapeutic in so many conditions and is so vital to maintaining health. It is considered the prohormone of the immune system.

How Much Vitamin D Do I Need?

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Tags: vitamins and minerals, immune system

Eating the Good Bugs for a Healthy Gut

Posted by on Tue, Jan 21, 2014

Mark McClure DDS

Digestive health is one of the most critical pieces to obtaining and maintaining good overall health. The health of any person is directly related to the health of the bowel, as about 70% of our immunity resides in the “gut”.  Therefore, it is important to eat foods that promote a "healthy gut" and supplement with concentrated foods and sometimes herbs that clean and maintain the digestive tract and bowel.

Probiotics, Bugs with Benefits 

Probiotics are products containing living beneficial bacteria, i.e. "good bugs", which ‘colonize’ the entire lining of our intestine. The potential benefits that the bacteria living in our intestine have on our well being are only just beginning to be understood by scientists and includes the following:

  • They enable the entire digestion and absorption functions of the intestine to operate efficiently
  • They protect us from challenge and infections by potential pathogens
  • They continuously prime and condition our immune system to function properly, from the day we are born throughout our entire life.
  • They can help protect us from allergy and intolerance and can reduce the symptoms in existing sufferers.

Probiotics are found in yogurt, kefirs, fermented foods and in supplements.  Probiotics can be added to your diet and most people will benefit from probiotic supplements.

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Tags: bowel health, immune system, digestive health, probiotics

Trains, Planes, Subways and Germs: Immunity Travel Tips

Posted by on Wed, Nov 27, 2013

Lisa Wilson CHC

Let's face it: sniffling, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, body chills and a sore throat are just not an option while traveling.  It ruins the whole experience. What might have been one of the best memories of your life can turn out to be a major disaster.  Make your travel plans foolproof and ensure that you don’t get sick and ruin the trip.  It is not about the germs, though.  It is about the host: you.  So zip up, button up and boost your health with super immunity!
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Tags: holistic nutrition, immune system, integrative health

Antioxidants, Our Built-in Firefighters

Posted by on Tue, Jun 11, 2013

Why do we need antioxidants?

One of the 4 pillars of nutritional supplementation, antioxidants prevent our bodies from “burning up” (anti- against, oxidation – burning); oxidation from free radicals also causes aging, loss of cellular energy and function, premature cell death, degeneration, cancer, and more. Consider these biological truths about anti-oxidants:

  • Antioxidants come from our food (and supplements) but more importantly our body’s antioxidant enzyme systems (all requiring nutritional building blocks).
  • Cellular systems of detox and antioxidants always work together, are under genetic control and are inhibited whenever chronic inflammation is dominant. So if you have a chronic inflammatory health condition you also have an oxidation and toxic problem! Note that all chronic health conditions involve chronic inflammation.
  • Our toxic world has greatly increased our need for all types of antioxidants to heal or remain healthy.

Antioxidants are key to:

  • Anti-aging
  • Overcoming illnesses
  • Regaining health from any chronic or acute health issue
  • Restoring health of the neuro-immune system compromised through heavy metal and chemical toxicity, overgrowth of bowel toxins and chronic infections
  • All detoxification strategies should include anti-oxidants

How antioxidants are best delivered to the body:

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Tags: antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, immune system, supplements, world wellness store

Cultured Vegetables: an Old Fashioned Secret for a Healthy Gut

Posted by on Mon, Mar 11, 2013

Cultured and fermented foods have been around for a long time, initially as a means of preserving food, but it turns out there is a wonderful healing benefit to this process. Foods were put in a jar and stored in a cellar for a period of time where they fermented, or cultured. The good microbes grow and flourish in this fermented environment, eliminating the bad microbes. When you consume cultured foods your digestive system reaps the benefits of this beautiful, healthy ecosystem.

Benefits of Fermented Vegetables   

Rich in Probiotics

Cultured vegetables help re-establish a healthy inner digestive ecosystem. Food sources of probiotics give you billions more of viable microbes than most supplements and also are more likely to survive stomach acids and re-inoculate your gut more effectively as they bring their own ecosystem with them.

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Tags: immune system, detoxification, cultured vegetables, gut

Learn the Secrets of Those Who Don't Get Sick

Posted by on Wed, Jan 16, 2013

A strong immune system is more resistant to germs.

Here are some tips for boosting immunity and proper hygiene to ward off flu and colds:

1. Frequent HAND WASHING  with hot, soapy water. It is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of virus.

2. Cough or sneeze into a tissue and immediately throw the tissue away, or use the the "crook" of your arm to cover your mouth.

3. Cut down on sugar. It suppresses the immune system.

4. Aim for an alkaline condition in the gut. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits, sprouts, nuts and seeds, quinoa. Sugar, starches, coffee, sodas and meat contribute to an acidic environment and bacteria and viruses can grow quickly.

5. Drink plenty of fluids. Warm teas and pure water help flush out your system. Start your day with a glass of water with the juice of a lemon or a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to help alkalize your system.

6. Include fresh garlic into your diet on a daily basis.
It is antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitical and anti-fungal.

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Tags: flu, vitamins and minerals, immune system, integrative health, virus

What Does the Lymphatic System Do?

Posted by on Tue, Nov 06, 2012

Robert Johnson D.M.D.

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Tags: immune system, detoxification, lymphatic drainage, massage

Holistic Primary Care Approach to Digestive Health

Posted by on Wed, Dec 14, 2011

Did you know that 70 -80 % of your immune system is in or around the digestive tract?

It’s true. Now consider what would happen to your health if the digestive tract were compromised.

Malnutrition and lowered immunity would become a real health concern.

There are several things that can compromise the bowel including:

  • Parasites ( bacteria,  fungi, viruses, multiple cell organisms such  as pinworms)
  • Food allergies-inappropriate immune response to foods causing inflammation
  • Diverticula - herniations or pouches in the walls of the intestines that can trap foods and bacteria causing inflammation / infection of the bowel wall.
  • Antibiotics- while they can clear infections, they also kill good bacteria necessary for the health of the gut
  • Constipation- slow transit due to poor peristaltic motion can cause  the  bowel to become toxic due to bacterial overgrowth as well as tears in the walls of the intestines that easily become infected.
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Tags: holistic primary care, bowel health, immune system, integrative health, holistic approach, primary care, digestive health, holistic doctor

Flu and Virus Prevention: How to Stay Healthy When Others Get Sick

Posted by on Wed, Nov 10, 2010

Flu season is upon us again.

Many believe that this season has become more worrisome because of the H1N1 swine flu that we have heard so much about. In June 2009 the World Health Organization declared a pandemic. However, a pandemic does not mean that the virus is more deadly. It simply means that it has spread further throughout the world. The response to this pandemic resulted in the rapid development of the swine flu vaccine.

We at NIHA share these concerns and want to provide our community with effective prevention measures to stay healthy, including potent strategies of regaining your health rapidly should you fall sick.

Educate yourself and implement these effective and powerful health tactics into your life. Check out the recommended product list below and make sure you are ready for flu and cold season.

The Art of Staying Healthy When Others Get Sick

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Tags: flu, immune system, integrative health, holistic approach, integrative medicine, virus