You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.
I was thinking the other day if there were any supplements worth looking at and trying out during this winter season. The following excerpt was taken from Kamal over at http://www.examine.com which I thought was an interesting read and worth sharing, let me know if you have tried any of these.
Colds suck, and the flu is worse. So the million-dollar question is: are there supplements that actually work to ward off an infection or lessen its symptoms?
Echinacea has the potential to interact with medications, particularly immunosuppressive drugs. Consult with your doctor before you consider trying this supplement.
Echinacea might reduce the risk and duration of upper respiratory infections, but the studies don’t all agree.
Elderberry is known for its antioxidant properties, and in one randomized trial, an elderberry extract reduced the duration and severity of colds more than did placebo. A few human trials have also shown elderberry to reduce the symptoms of the flu, but here the evidence is weakened by small sample sizes and, in some cases, low methodological quality.
Due to the small number of studies, both the efficacy and safety of elderberry are still in doubt.Should you choose to prepare elderberry juice yourself, rather than to purchase a supplement, remember that the berries must be properly cooked, since they can otherwise cause nausea or, worse, cyanide toxicity. Only ever use the berries — the rest of the plant is poisonous and should not be consumed in any form.
Elderberry is a promising but understudied supplement: it may reduce the symptoms of the cold and flu, but the evidence is still preliminary. Beware: the plant is poisonous, and even the berries can be dangerous if not prepared properly.
We know that the human body needs more glutamine when it gets sick, and we suspect that decreased concentrations of glutamine brought about by long exercise periods can suppress immunological functions. What we don’t know is if glutamine supplementation can help fight off either the flu or the common cold.
Glutamine can support immune functions in periods of critical illness, but its effects on the common cold are not well understood. Preliminary evidence suggests that supplementation is more likely to benefit people who participate in prolonged cardiovascular exercise, such as ultra-marathons.
Pelargonium sidoides contains prodelphinidins — tannins that can help prevent bacteria from attaching to the lining of the throat and lungs. Pelargonium sidoides doesn’t seem to ward off colds, but it may be able to reduce their duration and severity.
Pelargonium sidoides seems to reduce the duration and severity of colds, but the evidence is still preliminary.
Certain probiotics might help prevent upper respiratory infections in athletes, children, and the elderly, but much of the evidence is of low or very low quality. Higher-quality trials are needed to determine if taking probiotics can really help fight infections — and if yes, which strains should be taken.
Probiotics might help prevent infections of the upper respiratory tract, but the evidence is still too weak to recommend their use.
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Vitamin C is marketed as the go-to supplement for preventing and treating colds.
Mechanistically, it makes sense: vitamin C helps immune cells form and function properly, and also supports our physical barriers against pathogens. Moreover, at least 148 studies have found that vitamin C administration helps prevent infections caused by microorganisms.
Yet, the question remains: does supplementation in humans help ward off colds? A recent meta-analysis tried to answer this question, and here are the takeaways:
Vitamin C can reduce the duration of colds (and even help ward them off, if you’re an athlete), but only if you’ve been supplementing regularly. If you start when you’re sick, it’s too late.
Vitamin D receptors are found throughout the body, and vitamin D is involved in many cellular processes, so it should come as no surprise that a deficiency can impair immunity.
Epidemiological studies show an association between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of viral infections of the upper respiratory tract (URT). According to a 2017 systematic review of randomized trials and meta-analyses, taking vitamin D could help prevent asthma symptoms as well as URT infections. In a randomized trial whose results were published the same year, the incidence and duration of URT viral infections were the same for children taking 400 IU/day and for children taking 2000 IU/day.
Vitamin D serves many functions in the body, and a deficiency seems to impair immunity. Large systematic reviews have found that supplementation can help prevent upper respiratory infections.
Zinc plays many roles in the body — including several in the immune system alone. If you easily catch colds, make sure your diet provides you with enough zinc. Athletes and other people who sweat a lot are at greater risk of zinc insufficiency, but taking too much zinc is aso a risk, so be careful.
Zinc lozenges can reduce the duration of the common cold when taken within 24 hours of symptom onset. They can limit virus replication at the nasal epithelium and may reduce respiratory tract inflammation. Lozenges with zinc acetate may be more effective than lozenges with zinc gluconate (a more common form), but the trials are few, and a recent meta-analysis doesn’t show a clear difference.
Zinc lozenges can cause nausea and dysgeusia (a change in taste perception), but those symptoms stop when supplementation stops. In addition to nausea and dysgeusia, zinc nasal sprays can cause anosmia, and this loss of smell perception may persist after supplementation has stopped. For that reason, and because the sprays have not been shown to be more effective than the lozenges, the sprays are not recommended.
Taking zinc lozenges throughout the day, starting from the very first symptoms of a cold, may reduce the duration of the illness, but supplementation should not exceed 100 mg of zinc per day for a week. Since zinc nasal sprays might cause a lingering loss in smell perception, they’re better avoided.
Reaching for a supplement or two can seem like a quick and simple way to defend yourself against the cold and flu. Be it for prevention or treatment, however, even taking the best supplements won’t help as much as …
So, as always, choose efficacious supplements to complement your healthy habits — not to make up for a lifestyle that predisposes you to getting sick.
Love dies only when growth stops.
– Pearl S. Buck
-Make your mark on life
I wanted to make something I hadn’t made in a while and came up with this, chicken, rice and pepper casserole. Its easy, quick, comforting and near enough everyone will love it (well, you can’t please everyone).
Try it out and let me know what you think, any suggestions on improvement are welcome.
PER SERVING: 418 Calories 48g Carbs 27g Protein 6g Fat
Melt the oil over a medium/ high heat in a large saucepan.
Brown the chicken pieces on all sides. You may have to do this in batches. Remove from the dish and put to one side.
Lower the heat, add the onion, celery and pepper and gently cook for 10 minutes until softened.
Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato purée and cook for 1 minute.
Return the chicken pieces to the dish along with the thyme and stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to medium / low. Cook for 30 minutes.
Add the rice and stir well. Cover, set over a low heat and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the rice is cooked and has absorbed most of the liquid.
Add the cauliflower and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and leave the dish to sit for 10 minutes to absorb any of the remaining liquid.
Season to taste.
A certain amount of opposition is a great help to a man. Kites rise against, not with, the wind.
– Lewis Mumford
You’ll never cross the ocean if you are afraid to lose sight of the shore
– make your mark on life
The 5 Stages of Change Model is a very useful framework that describes the series of stages we go through to change our lifestyle habits. The critical assumption that underpins this model is that behavioral changes do not happen in one step, but through a series of distinct, predicable stages. Just realizing the stage of change you’re in may be helpful for you to succeed.
While this model was originally developed in the 1970’s to better understand how smokers are able to give up their addiction to cigarettes, it has since been used to understand changing just about any type of behavior. For the purposes of this article, eating unhealthy foods, or not exercising are the habits we are trying to change.
People in this stage haven’t even thought about making any change to their habits and don’t recognize that they have a problem. They may be pessimistic about their ability to make change, or even deny the negative effects of their existing lifestyle habits. They pick and choose information that helps confirm their decision not to exercise, or eat better.
It’s difficult to reach, or help people in the precontemplation stage, because as they see it, there is no problem. It may take an emotional trigger, or event of some kind that can snap people out of their denial. It’s highly likely if you are taking the time to read this article, you are not in this stage.
During this stage, you are weighing the pros and cons, effort, time, finances etc. and benefits of lifestyle modification. You are contemplating whether it’s something that will be worth it. People can remain in this stage for years without preparing to take the next step forward.
I think setting very powerful, motivating goals and visualising your results can be very helpful for someone in the contemplative stage. If you can identify new ways that making a change will benefit you, the benefits will begin to outweigh the costs. We tend to seek pleasure and avoid pain, so the more pleasure you can envision the more likely you will move on.
People in the preparation stage have decided to change their negative habits. Congratulations if you’re in this category! You may have just set up an appointment with a personal trainer, nutritionist, or other fitness professional, purchased a fitness program, or started a gym membership.
The action stage is the process of changing your lifestyle, whether you are exercising more consistently, or eating healthier. Individuals in this stage are at the greatest risk of relapse, so it’s key to leverage any techniques you can to stay motivated.
This is the stage of successful, sustained lifestyle modification. If you have been exercising for years consistently and have developed positive habits into your lifestyle, then you are in the maintenance stage.
A lot of people tend to bounce between the contemplation, preparation and action stages, most people are “yoyo” dieters and exercisers. I think one way to prevent this yoyo effect from happening is to make small changes in your habits that over time create something meaningful.
In addition, yoyo dieters and exercisers should understand that maintaining physical fitness and changing fitness are two totally different paths that require different approaches. It’s not that difficult to maintain a given level of physical fitness just by remaining consistent (unless you are at a very high level). It’s very difficult, however, to prepare and take action to change your body. Our bodies are resistant to change, so trying to change them takes a MASSIVE effort that requires a substantial commitment, both mental and physical. Once you’ve changed your body, you can coast without losing that fitness level. It’s a lot better to cut back on exercise and maintain what you’ve gained then to stop completely. Quitters never win.
I hope these 5 stages of change are a helpful framework for you to reference when you are looking to make some type of change in your life.
Also remember that if you ‘fall off the wagon’ you don’t have to go back to the very beginning. For example if you stall at the action stage go back to the preparation, not as far back as contemplation. There will always be stumbling blocks, mental, physical, environmental etc.. the thing to remember is they stumbling blocks not a stop sign.
So, that concludes my article, but if you have any questions please put them in the comments box and together we can all be the best version of ourselves.
The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.
Walking through the journey of pain and loss, one day at a time, with purpose
A inward journey in this outside world.
Emotional musings- firstname.lastname@example.org