I have been a dietitian for over 20 years so I have seen many food fads come and go. I have been proud that I rarely got excited about these fads, whether it be a new diet or a craze for a particular nutrient, like vitamin C or calcium. After all, with over 50 vitamins and minerals essential for the body, and many thousands of plant chemicals whose value is still being investigated, why would any single nutrient be more special than another?
This changed for me with the buzz about vitamin D. Studies in the 2000s showed fascinating links between vitamin D and ill health. Low levels of vitamin D (as measured in the blood) were found in people with heart disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, inflammation, blood glucose disorders, weight gain, infectious diseases, mood disorders and declining mental and physical function. These findings led researchers to talk about the extra-skeletal benefits of vitamin D, that is, the benefits beyond its well-accepted role in bone health.
In a previous post Vitamins – Part 1, we explored the roles of some common vitamins – vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12; folate, and vitamin C – and find out how they impact the body. Those were water-soluble vitamins, which cycle through the body quickly along with the in-and-out of water. However, another group of vitamins, the “fat-soluble” vitamins, travels differently. As the name suggests, it rides along with fat, which we all know easily accumulates and lingers in the body. These fat-loving vitamins include:
For many of us, autumn is the time of back-to-school, fall fashion and beautiful changing landscapes. However, a significant number of us suffer from seasonal allergies, peaking in October.
Symptoms of seasonal allergies (hay fever) include:
So, what can one do to help reduce the symptoms (and reduce the suffering!)?
Despite the advances in modern medicine, when it comes to preventing colds and flu, Nature often trumps science. Wild plants and fungi are full of natural elements that boost the immune system, helping prevent not only seasonal illnesses, but others that are thwarted by a powerful immune response.
Let’s take a look at some of Nature’s most effective immune boosters and how they work to protect you.
Calgary pharmacy operations manager Chris Chiew provides back-to-school health tips on Global TV News Calgary.