Healthy Tips for Flu Season - January 2019

By Dr. Radka Ruzicka, Alberta

A Glass of Lemon and garlic juice, and lemon slices

We all know that with the change in seasons comes cooler weather and the possibility of cold or ‘flu. The following are some tips to help get you through the ‘flu season! Keep your immune system boosted by taking good doses of vitamin C (a minimum of 500mg daily for kids; up to 3000mg for adults). Other supplements that are beneficial include zinc (30-50mg daily – also available in lozenges), and beta-carotene (25,000IU-50,000IU daily).

Garlic, garlic, garlic!

It’s a natural antibiotic and can be used as a preventative to colds and ‘flu, and to give the immune system a good boost. It can also be taken if you do get a cold – you’ll just need to take a LOT more! As a preventative: Take one clove of raw garlic (or 2 capsule) daily; and add garlic into your cooking. If you add it to food just before the cooking is complete, you’ll have retained more of its natural antibiotic goodness.

During illness:

If your body is hollering at you, get it back on track by increasing your intake of garlic. The best way to take large amounts of raw garlic is by making garlic toast – simply toast up 2 slices of good bread, spread with butter, and the spread on 2-3 cloves of garlic PER slice of bread. Yes, that much!

If Clove of garlicthe “burn” of garlic bothers you, top your toast with slices of tomato or avocado (not cheese, as it’s mucous forming and will just add to stuff nose symptoms).

Once you’ve eaten the toast, make some fresh ginger tea (about an inch of cut up fresh ginger root, into a mug of boiled water; add lemon and honey to taste), then soak in a hot bath for about 15 minutes.

After that, put on some warm PJ’s and go to bed. You will likely sweat during the night – a good thing – and should wake up feeling pretty good in the morning. Taking immune-supportive herbs (yes, even as a preventative) will help get you through cold and ‘flu season.

Good immune support herbs include: Echinacea, Reishi mushroom, Astragalus, Myrrh, and Goldenseal. Most of these herbs are available from health stores And finally, remember to get plenty of fresh air, activity, sleep, and rest!




Dr. Radka's Bio: Radka Ruzicka, is a registered Doctor of Homeopathy, a board certified Doctor Natural Medicine (trained in Naturopathic medicine), and a Nutritional Consulting Practitioner, with a busy health center that is located 35 minutes west of Edmonton, Alberta (Canada). - Dr. Radka Ruzicka Website


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Recipe
Tuscan Leek, Potatoe & Bean Soup
Category: Soup
Description: Welcome those crisp winter days with a pot of hearty Tuscan bean soup. Leeks are a unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, the allium vegetables belong in your diet on a regular basis. Like their allium cousins, onions and garlic, let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to enhance their health-promoting qualities.
A good source of dietary fiber, leeks also contain goodly amounts of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. Easier to digest than standard onions, leeks have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic, and anti-arthritic properties.
Leeks contain many noteworthy flavonoid anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins that have proven health benefits.
Leeks are low in calories. 100 g fresh stalks contain 61 calories. Further, their elongated stalks provide good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. Further, it also found to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activities.
Allicin also decreases blood vessel stiffness by release of nitric oxide (NO); thereby bring reduction in the total blood pressure. It also blocks platelet clot formation and has fibrinolytic action in the blood vessels, which helps decrease overall risk of coronary artery disease (CAD), peripheral vascular diseases (PVD), and stroke.
Leeks are great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin in healthy proportions. 100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. Their adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
In addition, leeks are one of the good source of vitamin A (1667 IU or 55% of RDA per 100 g) and other flavonoid phenolic anti-oxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein. They also have some other essential vitamins such as vitamin C, K, and vitamin E. Vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Further, its stalks have small amounts of minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
Often overlooked in leeks is their important concentration of the B vitamin folate. Folate is present in leeks in one of its bioactive forms (5-methyltetrahydrofolate, or 5MTHF) and it is present throughout the plant (including the full leaf portion, not only the lower leaf and bulb).
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Tips for Preparing Leeks - Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise. Fan out the leeks and rinse well under running water, leaving them intact. Cut leeks into 2-inch lengths. Holding the leek sections cut side up, cut lengthwise so that you end up with thin strips, known as the chiffonade cut, slicing until you reach the green portion. Make sure slices are cut very thin to shorten cooking time. Let leeks sit for at least 5 minutes before cooking.
With a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, leeks add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Although leeks are available throughout the year they are in season from the fall through the early part of spring when they are at their best.
Full Recipe


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