Monday, 29 April 2013
Asthma is a respiratory disorder resulting in difficulty in breathing. During an attack, the airways contract allowing less oxygen in and less carbon dioxide out of the body. The allergic reaction caused by a trigger also produces fluid or swelling of the airways
The causes of an attack can be as follows: allergic reaction to irritants such as dust, moulds, dust mites and industrial pollution; a reaction to cold temperatures; strenuous exercise; emotional factors causing depression of the immune system leading to an autoimmune attack on the lungs; an allergic reaction to certain foods.
There are lots of nasty side effects associated with drugs such as cortisone or bronchodilators prescribed by some doctors for asthma, causing a dependency on them for the patient being treated. Muscle relaxants also have negative effects on the body. It is therefore best to seek natural treatments in order to prevent or respond to an attack.
Placing a slice of onion on the tongue has been proven over time to be one of the best things a person can do in response to an asthmatic attack. This method is so potent that some minor attacks can be stopped within minutes by simply sucking on a slice of onion. Persons susceptible to attacks can build up their defences by paying particular attention to diet and food supplements.
Asthmatics generally have low blood sugar levels, and therefore should strive to normalise blood sugar by avoiding foods high in carbohydrates, sugars or foods which are highly processed. Avoid wheat products, processed canned foods, dairy products and foods with a high sugar or salt content. Have a test done for food allergies, and avoid anything found to cause a reaction.
Sulphur is helpful for people suffering from asthma. Good food sources of the mineral are fish protein, eggs, onions and garlic. Other foods good for this disorder are black and red radish, cabbage, lettuce, carrots, dried beans, sorrel, sour fruits such as pineapple and berries, and barley water.
The following herbs can also be taken as a preventative measure for the reasons stated: chervil helps combat asthma and sore throats; parsley helps rid the body of toxins and purifies the blood; blessed thistle strengthens the lungs and loosens mucous and phlegm; golden seal reduces swelling; and lobelia acts as an expectorant and relives spams.
Food supplements can be taken to avoid deficiencies of the following for the reasons stated: magnesium citrate, 500mg twice daily, acts as a muscle relaxant; vitamin B6, 250mg twice daily, acts as an antihistamine; vitamin A, 25,000 IU once daily, helps fight respiratory infections; and vitamin D, 2,000 IU once daily (or fish liver oils in lieu of), helps prevent infections especially when combined with vitamins A or C.
It is also prudent for asthmatics to drink at least four glasses of water on a daily basis. Drinking an adequate amount of water daily cleanses the whole body and encourages it to expel all waste products and toxins as their retention in the body could be harmful to health in general and the respiratory system in particular.
The average person in the street uses only about 50% of lung capacity because of improper breathing practices. Yoga type breathing is recommended for asthmatics in order to lessen the problems associated with their condition. Mild aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging or swimming, on a daily basis are also beneficial.
If you are asthmatic and a smoker, it is best to give up this unhealthy habit as it interferes with the respiratory organs; it is also best to avoid all secondary smoke arising from other people as far as this is possible.
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Saturday, 13 April 2013
The Hunzas are a race of people 30, 000 in number who live in a valley in north-east Pakistan surrounded by the Himalayas. The valley they live in is at 3000 meters (9000 feet) above sea level, and for centuries was cut off from the rest of civilization. The Hunzas are said to be the healthiest people on the planet. They rarely get ill, and they have the highest number of centenarians amongst a group of people anywhere in the world; quite a few of them live to be 130, and some of them even live to be 145 years of age.
Because of their unique geographical location, the Hunzas were isolated from the rest of the world for a long time and consequently developed life practices peculiar to them which have had a big influence on their health and longevity. They pay particular attention to diet, exercise and meditation. Here is a list of the many things they do which have a bearing on their good health:
1. They do not eat vast quantities of food; just two meals per day satisfies them. They eat primarily for the establishment and maintenance of health rather than for pleasure.
2. Hunza food is completely natural containing no additives or chemicals whatsoever.
3. A large part of their diet is contained of grains in the form of barley, millet, buckwheat and wheat.
4. Even though they are not vegetarians, they only eat meat once or twice per week. When they do eat meat, it is usually chicken.
5. They eat fruits and vegetables which are organically grown in their own gardens. For the most part, these are consumed fresh and raw, though they do cook some vegetables for a short time.
6. Milk and cheese are important sources of animal protein.
7. Yogurt is also a staple part of the Hunza diet.
8. Nuts like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds and beechnuts are also an important source of protein. Nuts when combined with vegetables sometimes constitute a whole meal.
9. They eat a special bread called “chapatti”, which is eaten along with every meal. The bread is made from wheat, millet, buckwheat or barley flour which is whole and is not refined in any way.
10.They fast one day a week in which their low intake of food is cut down to the minimum eating just a few nuts, drinking some milk and eating low-fat yogurt to sustain them.
11. The men do strenuous work in the fields getting plenty of fresh mountain air and adequate daily exercise. The women mostly tend the vegetables and fruit trees in their gardens. Nearly all Hunzas go on a walk of 15 kilometers (10 miles) once a week.
12. They find time several times a day to engage in some basic yoga relaxation techniques involving deep breathing which relaxes and removes tension from the whole body.
Whilst we cannot replicate the unique geographical location occupied by the Hunzas in our own locations, we can learn the following from what they do:
· Only eat cereals derived from whole grains, which have most of their nutrients and fibre intact.
· Try and get a sizeable portion of the protein you require daily from organic vegetables and fruits.
· Eat low-fat yogurt on a regular basis.
· Make brown whole-grain bread a standard part of the diet.
· Try and derive a certain amount of protein from nuts.
· Cut down on protein from meat to no more than twice a week.
· Get most of your animal protein from milk and cheese.
· Fast for one day a week drinking only unsweetened fruit juices and eating low –fat yogurts.
· Take regular exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming etc. for at least 40 minutes per day.
· Engage in a relaxation technique, such as yoga, several times per day.
Whilst I cannot guarantee that you will live to be 145 if you employ the above recommendations, you do stand a much better chance of beating the national average age for death in western countries if you adhere to them, while also enjoying a much better quality of life.