Archive for Natural Remedies

7 Immune Boosting Foods You Need This Season

The first cases of flu are already making the rounds here in Dallas, Texas. So, it’s time to remind our family and friends of the natural ways to improve the immune system, your body’s first line of defense against nasty bugs and viruses.

While the hospital and ER room are a vital resource for health emergencies, the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind. We can lower our chance of ending up in the doctor’s office or emergency room with a severe cold or the flu by keeping our immune systems strong.

Here are 7 foods and herbs that deserve to take a place in your “natural” medicine cabinet.

Garlic

This is one of the most readily available immune system boosters. For centuries, garlic has been used as a natural medicine. Garlic has sulfur compounds that act as antibacterial and antiviral agents.

Garlic, when taken as a tea sweetened with honey, is an excellent treatment for respiratory infections, colds, cough, and influenza. You can sweeten “garlic tea” with real honey, which also acts a throat soother. To try this recipe, simply add one crushed glove of garlic to a cup of hot water. Squeeze in the juice of half a fresh lemon and a teaspoon of raw, unfiltered honey and your home remedy for coughs and cold is ready to drink.

If having “garlicky” breath isn’t appealing, there are also natural garlic supplements. Kyolic brand products are one of our favorites because they are “de-odorized”.

Echinacea

immune boosting tea
Echinacea is a natural flowering herb that has been used in natural medicine for centuries. Chinese herbalists often recommend this herb for its immune-boosting properties. At the first signs of a cold or flu, try drinking echinacea tea.

Many herb teas will include additional immune-system boosting herbs and spices, such as licorice, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. For best results you should continue to take echinacea tea for a few days after your recovery.

Echinacea is also available in a tincture form and in a variety of immune support supplements. Tinctures can be taken in water. Don’t be surprised if you feel a slightly unusual sensation after swallowing. This is echinacea’s trademark “tingle’.

Vitamin C

Early sailors would spend months at sea without any fresh fruit. These sailors often suffered from scurvy, a very serious nutritional deficiency caused by a lack of vitamin C. The condition left them with bleeding gums and a shortage of energy. Fortunately, most of us don’t face anything this severe, however, since our bodies are unable to produce vitamin C on their own, it’s critical we get an adequate supply through food or supplements.  Surprisingly, you don’t need to rely on citrus fruit to supply your daily serving of Vitamin C. Green and red bell peppers, broccoli and kale all contain more vitamin C per serving than an orange! By ensuring an abundant intake of vitamin C, you’re supplying your body with strong antioxidants that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses.

Yogurt and Probiotics

The bacteria located in our gut is absolutely essential for effective and healthy digestion. The good gut flora breaks down the food for assimilation into our system.

Unfortunately, even a single dose of a powerful antibiotic can kill all the bacteria in our gut, both good and bad. To ensure proper and healthy digestion, it’s important to add good probiotics to your diet.

Probiotics or live active cultures, can dramatically increase white blood cells, which are part of the immune system’s “attack team”. The white blood cells search and destroy bad bacteria and viruses.

You can get probiotics by eating a daily serving of yogurt or kefir. If you’re choosing yogurt from a grocery store, avoid those with a high amount of sugar. One of the best ways to receive a therapeutic dose of probiotics is to buy a high-quality supplement.

Green Tea

picture of immune-boosting green tea.
The benefits of green tea in protecting our bodies and boosting the immune system are well documented. Green tea contains an important contains theanine, an important amino acid helpful in fighting illness. Teas are also a good source of antioxidants, which are another critical component of our immune systems. One added benefit of L-theanine is its ability to calm frazzled nerves.

Protein

Protein contains zinc, which the body uses to fight off infections. Zinc is also necessary for that critical immune system agent — white blood cells.

Pharmacies and drug stores will often have an entire row reserved solely for this important mineral supplement. Even a mild zinc deficiency reduces our immune protection.

High quality protein mixes added to milk or milk substitutes can add a substantial boost to your diet. Better yet, add the protein blend to a smoothie made with fruits and vegetables. For vegetarians, look for protein powders derived from peas.

Healthy Oils

Our bodies require healthy fats to function optimally. Without getting into too many technical details, health-conscious consumers should focus on heart healthy oils, such as olive oil and coconut oil. These two oils provide excellent sources of omega 3 fats. Avoid the “cooked” oils such as canola, safflower, vegetable, etc. These oils interfere with cell metabolism of sugar compounds, which can increase your odds of contracting diabetes. Many of these oils have also been produced from genetically modified foods.

Also check out the fatty fish sources of omega-3’s, such as sardines and herring. To boost your heart health, consider supplementing your diet with a professional grade fish oil.

Summing up

As you experiment with adding these natural immune-boosting foods to your diet, remember to avoid foods that may slow down your efforts. Drinking too much alcohol, as well as a diet high-sugar diet can be very detrimental to your overall health.

Keep your immune system healthy and happy, and your body will sail through the year without a sneeze or a sniffle!

Garland chiropractor, Dr. Mixon and the staff of Texas Spine & Wellness take a holistic approach to health. In addition to the treatment of neck and back, and joint pain issues, we also offer bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and nutritional programs.  We stock a wide range of professional grade supplements at the clinic. If you would like more information about our chiropractic care or if we can help you with your nutritional needs, please give us a call at 972-840-2520.

Our Garland chiropractic office is centrally located and is easily accessible by Dallas, Richardson, Mesquite, Rowlett and Rockwall residents.

How Collagen Hydrolysate Can Improve Your Joint Pain

It was about a month ago that Dr. Mixon talked me into buying a jar of collagen hydrolysate, a form of gelatin. And I do mean, talked me into it. He told me it should help my joint pain.

Truthfully, I’m not much on taking supplements. I tend to buy something then put it into a cabinet and forget about it. But I promised him I would try it, so as instructed, I poured a tablespoon of the powder into my coffee every morning and the same amount into a cup of herbal tea at night. I’d been doing this for about three weeks when I noticed that my hips weren’t as achy.

Collagen Hydrolysate

Now that’s a big deal. It’s the main reason I’d been scheduling bi-monthly appointments with my chiropractor.

So on my next visit I told the office manager I was sold and asked her to pack up another canister! While I was in the office I shared my experience with a few other patients. (Picture me, one hand in the air, a can of this amazing product thrust skyward, yelling “Eureka”. )

Well, maybe I wasn’t quite that dramatic, but after reading up on the product, I really do feel like I’ve found the fountain of youth. Here’s why:

5 Ways Collagen Hydrolysate Can Transform Your Health

  • Collagen strengthens the body’s connective tissues, reducing joint pain and rebuilding weakened cartilage caused by overuse and stress.
  • Collagen improves skin health by stimulating cell growth to reduce the sagging and wrinkling that comes through normal aging and UV exposure.
  • Increased energy and sense of well-being, along with amplified alertness, improved concentration, balanced mood, and even a better night’s sleep.
  • Long-term use of hydrolyzed collagen can make hair shiny and strong and improve your nail growth
  • Gelatin in the form of collagen hydrolysate can help heal a“leaky gut”.

Five great reasons to begin taking collagen hydrolysate as soon as possible, right? “But wait, there’s more!” as they say.

Collagen Hydrolysate is a form of gelatin that is designed to dissolve without gelling. Meaning, it’s simple to take, easily digested and is absorbed by the body in about 30 minutes. You get about 10 grams of protein from two tablespoons, making it a great source of added nutrition.

Amino acids — the key to collagen hydrolysate’s healing power

Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate is unique in its amino acid structure. It contains generous amounts of the amino acids glycine, lysine and proline. These amino acids are also found in other protein food supplements, but in lower quantities. Amino acids are smaller than proteins, and are essential to the body’s cells.

Unfortunately, as we get older, our bodies no longer produce the proteins we need in the same quantities as when we were younger. Time, lifestyle, injury, etc., all play a part in our increased need for protein and certain amino acids.

Collectively, all three amino acids aid in cell reproduction, which, in turn, reduces joint pain and promotes all the other benefits outlined in the earlier bullets.

Let’s take a look at each amino acid individually to better understand their contribution to the product as a whole.

Glycine

Glycine has been used to treat schizophrenia (along with other conventional medications) as it is involved in the transmission of chemical signals in the brain.

For the average person, the calming effect of glycine will improve alertness and concentration, balance mood, elevate energy, increase your sense of well-being and help you get a better night’s sleep!

Glycine also assets the liver in handling foreign, toxic substances, like chemicals, alcohol or tobacco.

Some researchers believe glycine may also play a role in cancer prevention, because it seems to interfere with the blood supply that certain tumors require in order to thrive.

Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid, because it cannot be produced by the human body. It must be consumed through either foods, such as eggs, meats (specifically red meats), soy, beans and peas, cheese (particularly Parmesan), and certain fish (like cod and sardines), or by supplements.

Lysine helps to increase intestinal absorption of calcium. It also helps to eliminate the excretion of calcium through the kidneys, suggesting it may be helpful to people suffering from osteoporosis.

Lysine is also being investigated for its effects on increasing muscle mass, lowering glucose levels, and improving anxiety. Some reports indicate lysine might even reduce the discomfort and pain associated with angina.

Proline

Proline is a necessary amino acid for the production of cartilage. It helps keep muscles and joints flexible. It’s also essential to the development and maintenance of healthy skin and connective tissue. Most noticeably it wards off skin wrinkling.

Proline and lysine together are two of the amino acids that help to form collagen and hyaluronic acid, which contribute to cartilage production and helps to cushion the body’s joints. There’s evidence that proline may provide benefit in the treatment of osteoporosis, persistent soft tissue strains, and chronic back pain.

Proline is also necessary to maintain muscle tissue, which is especially true for endurance runners and joggers or anyone who follows prolonged exercise programs.

People recovering from traumatic injuries, such as severe burns, or who have pain caused by cartilage loss may want to supplement with this amino acid.

To sum up

Great Lake Collagen Hydrolysate is light years away from the packages of gelatin you find in your local grocery or drug store. This gelatin is pharmaceutical grade, comes from pasture-raised beef, is odorless and dissolves easily.

Just by adding a rounded tablespoon twice a day to a cup of coffee or tea, or a glass of juice, you’ll be well on your way to rebuilding weakened cartilage, improving sagging and wrinkling skin, bolstering hair growth and texture, and increasing your energy. If you’re like me, you’ll also feel less joint pain.

Dr. Mixon tells me it’s the office’s top selling product — so if you want to try a canister for yourself, just stop by Texas Spine & Wellness or visit their vitamin website.

Today I’ve added my collagen hydrolysate to my morning glass of orange juice. Right now I’m raising my glass in a toast that I hope you’ll share with me, “Here’s to years of good health and happiness for all our family and friends.”

How To Get Rid of a Sinus Infection Naturally

If springtime leaves you with a stuffy nose, cough or sinus drainage you’re not alone. Each spring, millions of people are forced to deal with a variety of uncomfortable allergies. As North Texans we also have to cope with the wild swings in weather that April, May and June bring our way.

Image of woman blowing dandelion
For a lot of people this can add up to painful sinus pressure and sinus infections.

Anatomy of a sinus infection

The sinuses consist of eight hollow spaces, called para-nasal sinuses. These air spaces are located behind the eyebrows, in each cheekbone, behind the nose, and in between the eyes. The location of these air spaces explains why we experience headaches, sensations of pressure and and even hearing and vision problems if our sinuses become severely blocked.

During a sinus infection the nasal membranes become inflamed. This makes it difficult for bacteria-containing fluid to be expelled. This stagnation can can cause a sinus infection.

In our practice, we use natural remedies and supplements to gently relieve the inflammation, unblock nasal passages and flush the bad germs and toxins from your system.

How to get rid of a sinus infection naturally

Since our immune system is really our first line of defense against any health problems we should address any health problem by bolstering our immunity. One of the best ways to do this is by supplying our bodies with probiotics.

Probiotics – the good bacterias our bodies need

Our guts , sinuses , and lungs all require ‘good’ bacteria. Good bacteria keeps harmful bacteria in check. A probiotic contains strains of the these beneficial bacterias and restores them to our intestinal tracts.

Many health experts and scientists believe that the over-use of antibiotics is at least partially responsible for our increased susceptibility to colds and sinus infections. This is because antibiotics kill off all bacteria, even the good ones. Taking a probiotic becomes extremely important after using an antibiotic.

Not surprisingly, many people experience health improvements just by taking a probiotic each day.

Probiotics in our daily diet

You can also get probiotics through food.

The classic source of probiotics is yogurt. But not all yogurt is created equally. Try to look at the ingredients list of your favorite yogurt. Most commercial yogurts only supply a. acidophilus as the main probiotic. However there are dozens of other helpful strains. Try to find yogurt with the most probiotic strains (and the least amount of added sugar).

Kefir is somewhat similar to yogurt, and is made from goat’s milk and fermented kefir grains. It is very high in probiotics and antioxidants, and is an excellent addition to your arsenal of natural weapons to get rid of a sinus infection naturally.

Goat’s milk is also an excellent source of probiotics.

Surprisingly, dark chocolate is also high in probiotics. But choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (in the 85% range) so that you’ll receive most antioxidants possible.

Other food sources of probiotics are miso soup, sauerkraut, tempeh, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha tea.

Natural remedies provide fast relief

One way to ket get immediate relief for sinus pain and pressure is by using saline. You can create a saline solution at home using purified or distilled water and sea salt and use it with a Neti pot. However, don’t use tap water with a Neti Pot as there have been rare reports of serious brain infection linked to tap water use.

Alternately, at our Garland chiropractic office we offer a professional grade saline product called Nasorepair. This combination of electrolytes, saline, and botanicals effectively treats inflamed, congested, and infected sinus membranes.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Sinus Infections

Apple Cider Vinegar is a time honored folk remedy for sinus pressure and congestion. If you wish to try this at home, add 1 ounce of raw Apple Cider Vinegar along with a pinch or two of baking soda to 4 to 6 ounces of water. Drink all at once or sip slowly as you prefer.

One reason this remedy works for so many people, is the potassium that apple cider vinegar contains. Potassium can thin mucus, keeping sinuses from becoming congested.

Another excellent source of natural sinus relief is homeopathy. This form of natural alternative medicine has been around for thousands of years. The core principle of homeopathy is that diluted substances will trigger the body’s natural immune responses. The word itself comes from Greek, ‘homeo’ meaning like, and ‘pathy’ meaning suffering. Thus homeopathy is literally treating “like with like”.

Sinusin Homeopathic Nasal Spray is a natural treatment for sinus congestion. This product will help moisturize dry nasal passages and membranes. It helps with nasal congestion and runny noses. Additionally, it is safe for babies and children.

Since dry nasal membranes is one factor in the onset of sinus infections you call also you a humidifier in your bedroom at night. If you do feel a sinus infection coming on, try applying warm heat using a wet warm towel around your face, Be sure to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and irrigate your sinuses with a saline solution.

The natural supplements, homeopathy and home remedies we’ve outlined above are safe and quite effective. Unlike over the counter medicines and prescription antibiotics, they are generally without side effects.

So try our natural remedies and hopefully you’ll be able to get rid of your sinus infection without a trip to the MD or a prescription for antibiotics. And in the future you’ll be less likely to have a reoccurrence.

If you or a family member would like to learn more about nutritional medicine and our natural health programs, contact us today. We treat a wide range of health concerning using Science Based Nutrition.