When you're faced with a tough flu its easy to become overwhelmed and fearful, especially if there is a sick child involved. The reason behind the fear is that people are afraid of the unknown. For this reason its important to educate ourselves about how the immune system works, what vitamins and minerals are necessary to keep it strong, and when and how to get these nutrients. People have come to rely on doctors so much because there is a lack of health education and a general unwillingness to make the necessary food choices to keep the immune system strong. But all this can change if we are willing.
Over the years I've discovered a secret weapon that I use to combat the flu. And it will surprise you: fresh carrot juice. In combination with a few other fruits and vegetables, carrot juice is a nutrient powerhouse. In this article I will describe what I do when I get sick. This method has kept me out of the doctors office for the last 8 years.
WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT CARROT JUICE?
What's in carrot juice that makes it so potent against the flu? Carrots contain beta-carotene. Beta Carotene increases the number of white blood cells, helper T cells, and enhances the activity of natural killer cells. It is the main safe dietary source of Vitamin A. It acts as a potent antioxidant.
In case of the flu I juice fresh carrot juice twice a day. I buy only organic carrots and peel the skins to ensure that all pesticides have been removed. (Many organic farmers use organic pesticides which should be removed prior to juicing).
WHY IS JUICING SO POTENT?
When we drink, liquid enters our blood stream quickly without having to go through the long filtering process that occurs in the stomach after we eat solids. For this reason juicing is so effective- because liquids are absorbed quickly and their nutrients get absorbed easily. On the flip side, we have to be very careful about what we drink exactly because its not going through a filtering process. Therefore, we must careful to buy only the best quality produce.
An observational study published in Oct. 27, 2020, by BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health offers interesting insight into the power of vitamins for cold and flu prevention. Researchers evaluated the diet information of more than 6,000 British adults over eight years. People who reported the highest intakes of vitamins A, E, and D had the fewest complaints of respiratory illness, such as colds, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1).
BETA CAROTENE AND LUNG PROTECTION
Beta carotene found in carrots and other vegetables is so potent that it protects against cancer and can help cure lung cancer specifically. Antioxidants LIKE BETA-CAROTENE protect the lungs against serious damage by scavenging dangerous oxidants. Researchers from the University of Medicine Bichat in Paris showed that people with high Beta Carotene intake had stronger lungs. "These results strongly suggest that β-carotene protects lung function in the general population and that β-carotene and also vitamin E have a protective effect in heavy smokers," wrote lead author Armelle Guenegou in the journal Thorax (2).
More than 30 case-control and cohort studies were conducted over many years in various populations and indicated that people who eat more vegetables and fruit, foods rich in carotenoids (beta-carotene in particular) have a lower risk of lung cancer than those who eat fewer such foods (4).
However, supplementing with beta carotene may not provide those benefits. The best way to obtain beta carotene (vitamin A) is actually through food, specifically carrot juicing.
VITAMIN E AND LUNG PROTECTION
Vitamin E, a lipid soluble antioxidant, breaks the lipid oxidation reaction and protects the lungs against oxidative damage induced by superoxide radicals. Studies have shown that vitamin E can increase breathing capability, and reduce the risk of lung disease. Experts believe vitamins A, C, and E, called ACE antioxidants, combat oxidative stress in the lungs that can lead to COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the 4th leading cause of death in the U.S.A. In a 2003 study, Yvone Kelly from the University of London found that men and women with diets high in vitamins E and C had greater lung capacity and produced less phlegm (2).
The best source of natural vitamin E is actually fresh (not old) wheat germ. The most potent wheat germ in the world can be found in the kamut bread at Josephs Organic Bakery. In fact, many diseases are linked to Vitamin E deficiency. Improper milling and the genetic modification of modern wheat has destroyed the worlds premier source of Vitamin E: bread. Speech delay in children, Fertility problems, and many more diseases of the modern world can be linked to Vitamin E deficiency. At Joseph's Organic Bakery they bake bread as it was baked in ancient times: they use non-hybridized kamut grain, the flour is stone ground, and their unique sourdough fermentation ensures that the bread has the highest possible levels of nutrients and probiotics.
I eat 4 at minimum 4 slices a day of their Kamut on a general basis. But obviously when we're sick, we have no appetite, so I eat 1-2 slices a day with a little olive oil and salt.
Beta Carotene in combination with Vitamin E offers tremendous lung protection.
So far, we've talked about Beta carotene & Vitamin E. But we can't forget about Vitamin C. Vitamin C is critical for immune strength and support.
Its important to get Vitamin C from fruits such as grapefruit/lemons/oranges. I find that while oranges are tasty, they dont pack the nutrient punch that grapefruits have. So I juice a combination of grapefruit and orange 2-3 times a day if I get sick. If need be I supplement with Vitamin C about 1000-2000 per day.
So there you have it. My secret weapon thats kept me out of the doctors office. It might sound simple but it does the trick.
MORE TIPS TO KICK SYMPTOMS OUT OF THE PARK
I try to drink Cistus tea on a regular basis. Cistus Tea is very good for immune support. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties (5). The highest quality cistus tea is available at Josephs Organic Bakery.
I also keep on hand various homeopathic medicines such as nux vomica (stomach aches and fevers), Oscillococcinum from Boiron, Arsenicum album, and many others. Depending on the symptoms, I choose the remedy based on the symptoms. Boiron has various flu remedies like ColdCalm and ThroatCoat that are pretty good. Vitamin D has been shown to strengthen the lungs and immune system as well. So I make sure to take walks in the sun every day.
PREVENTION IS EASIER THAN THE CURE
Of course smart people prefer to prevent an illness that cure one. The best way to prevent illness is to eat Healthy! Avoid sugar which feeds bad bacteria, avoid meat chicken and fish, avoid most dairy products (promote inflammation). Eat healthy foods like stone ground bread, vegetables, fruits. And juice every day!
Recently a family member got sick and even with all my "knowledge", I was scared. So I prayed, and as always happens when I pray, I see changes. G-d is merciful, he wants us to be healthy. Sometimes illness is a perfect opportunity to reach out and ask for help. And unlike a doctor, He always answers. We just have to take the right steps to safeguard our health.
1) Study shows that Vitamin A E and D tied to fewer colds and lung disorders
An observational study published in Oct. 27, 2020, by BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health offers encouraging news. Researchers evaluated the self-reported diet information of more than 6,000 British adults over eight years. People who reported the highest intakes of vitamins A and E from both diet and supplements, and high intake of vitamin D just from supplements, had the fewest complaints of respiratory illness, such as colds, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
2) Increased intake of beta-carotene, found naturally in carrots, broccoli and tomatoes, might reduce the loss of lung function due to aging, says new research from France.
The researchers from the University of Medicine Bichat, Paris reported that even heavy smokers who had high intakes of beta carotene and vitmain E reduced their loss of lung function.
"These results strongly suggest that β-carotene protects lung function in the general population and that β-carotene and also vitamin E have a protective effect in heavy smokers." wrote lead author Armelle Guenegou in the journal Thorax.
3) "The idea that vitamin E can reduce the risk of developing COPD is "biologically plausible," says Yvonne Kelly, Ph.D., an associate professor in the department of epidemiology and public health at University College London. Experts believe vitamins A, C, and E -- the so-called ACE antioxidants -- combat oxidative stress in the lungs that can lead to COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the lung condition that is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States..
Several studies have shown that these vitamins, as well as vitamin D, may help improve lung health. In a 2003 study, Kelly and her collaborators found that men and women with diets high in vitamins C and E had greater lung capacity and produced less phlegm, respectively. Phlegm production and wheezing are also COPD symptoms.
4) More than 30 case-control and cohort studies were conducted over many years in various populations and indicated that people who eat more vegetables and fruit, foods rich in carotenoids, and carotenoids (beta-carotene in particular), as well as those with higher blood beta-carotene concentrations, have a lower risk of lung cancer than those who eat fewer such foods or have lower beta-carotene concentrations.
5) benefits of cistus tea: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19828122/