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Five Fruits That Will Increase Your Nutrient Intake

A variety of fruits is important to your diet if you want to benefit from as many nutrients as you can. Not only will they help you stay trim, but also fruit can help you stay much healthier, and prevent colds. While many offer similar nutrients, they each have their own unique vitamins and minerals. Here are five fruits you should incorporate into your diet.

Stay much healthier with fruits

  1. Blackberries

Blackberries might be small, but they are packed with nutrients. They are a source of vitamins C and K as well as fiber, flavanols, magnesium, antioxidants, and manganese. Antioxidants help to protect the body against cancers by fighting free radicals that damage cells. Magnesium helps to produce energy, prevent migraines, and calm nerves. Vitamin C plays many roles in the body. It keeps skin looking young and healthy. It promotes eye health and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron and heal wounds.

  1. Pineapple

Pineapple is a source of vitamins C, B1 (thiamin), and B6, and manganese, potassium, magnesium, copper, and bromelain. B6 helps to improve mood, support brain function, and help to treat anemia. Copper is a trace mineral that is especially important to the liver, kidneys, and brain. Bromelain is an anti-inflammatory, which helps to reduce swelling in the body. Swelling can lead to pain, arthritis, and even ulcers.

  1. Bananas

Bananas are helpful for improving mood. They contain tryptophan, which converts to serotonin. Serotonin helps to fights depression and anxiety and reduce mood changes. Bananas also contain vitamins A and B6, potassium, and antioxidants. Vitamin A plays a role in eye health. It helps to improve night vision and prevent macular degeneration. Potassium is important in producing energy, reducing blood pressure, preventing stroke, and provide water balance.

  1. Pears

Pears are a good source of folate, boron, magnesium, and vitamins K and C. Boron is a mineral that plays a role in estrogen production, bone health, and prevention of arthritis. Folate (also known as folic acid and B9) is important for preventing birth defects such as spina bifida. A deficiency in folate may cause grey hair and fatigue. Vitamin K plays an important role in helping wounds to heal. It also helps to transport calcium throughout the body.

  1. Blueberries

Blueberries are one of the most nutritious berries you can eat. They might be tiny, but their benefits are not. Blueberries contain more antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables. Blueberries may also play a role in lowering blood pressure, preventing heart disease, slowing the aging process, and improving brain function. They contain fibre, manganese, and vitamins C and K. Blueberries also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for protecting the eyes from macular degeneration.

Adding a variety of fruits to your diet will increase the amount of nutrients your body receives. This will improve your health and help to prevent illness and disease, and hopefully be another prevention against allergies!

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Why Raw Honey Needs to Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

Raw honey has been used as medicine since the start of written history. Organized beekeeping began 9,000 years ago and humans have long relied on the substance as a sweetener. Although people still consume honey today, few know about its myriad of health benefits. In fact, most people buy “honey” that contains zero honey! Real honey can help with everything from sore throats to allergies.

Honey Health Benefits – Throats to Allergies

honey for allergies

 

To take advantage of the health benefits of honey, it’s important to buy the proper kind. Most honey sold in stores is actually flavored corn syrup or honey that’s been diluted and pasteurized. It’s critical that you purchase raw honey (the only ingredient should be honey). Look for local farms or hobbyist beekeepers–these sources will not only have high quality products but will be cheaper than organic honey from the grocery store.

Honey is very good at reducing inflammation and soothing the throat. Next time you have a cold or the flu, try stirring a couple teaspoons of raw honey into your tea. It’s also fine to simply swallow a spoonful. In several studies, researchers found that raw honey was actually more effective at soothing a sore throat than cough syrup. Besides, honey tastes a lot better than cough medicine!

Interestingly, there are multiple studies on raw honey as an antibacterial disinfectant. Honey was traditionally used to disinfect wounds and the method still works today. It even works on antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making it a good treatment when modern medications don’t work. As antibiotic resistance becomes more common, many doctors are evaluating the use of raw honey as a possible treatment for topical infections.

There’s also some good news for allergy sufferers–raw honey can help reduce allergy symptoms. In a recent study, raw honey ingestion was compared to a flavored corn syrup placebo. The participants who had regularly consumed honey had a significant reduction of seasonal allergy symptoms. Some scientists and naturalists believe that local honey is the best for fighting off allergies. The reasoning is that honey produced nearby will have pollen from local plants. This exposes your body to small doses of the allergen, allowing you to build up a tolerance. Either way, honey seems to be just as effective as many over-the-counter allergy medications.

Honey has been scientifically proven as a treatment for sore throats, coughs, and allergy symptoms. It can also be used as a topical disinfectant. There are anecdotal stories of raw honey improving moods and helping with digestive problems. The sweetener also contains a wide range of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Are you looking for other helpful solutions to treat your allergy symptoms?   Please call our office for an appointment at one of our 5 Phoenix clinics. Our doctors are Board Certified allergy specialists who know a thing or two about the best allergy treatments for sufferers!

References

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0005772X.2001.11099498

http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/november/Molan/honey-as-topical-agent.html

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/btri/2011/917505/abs/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24188941

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814605003262

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5 Ways to Manage Your Seasonal Allergies Naturally

5 Ways to Manage Your Seasonal Allergies Naturally

The Arizona weather is getting cooler and many of us are excited to be outside again!  However, the cooler weather and reseeding of the lawns means that allergy season is starting.  And how frustrating when you’re stuck inside wheezing, sneezing, and sniffling when you should be outside living life to the fullest.

Allergies are one of the most elusive health problems out there. Most people suffer from some sort of allergy, but researchers still aren’t completely sure what causes them. Or better yet, how to cure them.

Are we relegated to suffering and hoping that science makes a breakthrough someday?

The good news is there are ways to manage your allergies and reduce your symptoms so you can start living life again.

nasal rinsing

Nasal Rinsing

Nasal rinsing, also known as nasal irrigation, is when you flush out your nasal cavity with a saline solution. By doing a nasal rinse you clear out your nose and sinuses of excess mucus and allergens that have built up over time.

There are many tools out there that help you with nasal rinsing. The most popular method is to use a neti pot. A neti pot is a small pot with a spout that’s made specifically for nasal rinsing.

Nasal rinsing is especially helpful for people suffering from chronic sinusitis though anyone can benefit from it.

air filter

Air Filters

Buying an air filter for your home is an easy way to get some allergy relief. You can just set it up once and then forget about it. Since the air in your home will be cleaner when using an air filter your body won’t be as overloaded when you go outside.

Think of your allergies like water pouring into a cup. The symptoms start showing up once the water overflows. By using an air filter you’re increasing the length of time it takes to trigger your symptoms.

Air filters can range from cheap to expensive. A high-quality air filter can be a great investment if you suffer from severe allergies and are dying to get relief.

tea tree oil

Essential Oils

Essential oils such as tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil have properties that reduce the symptoms of allergies. The oils reduce inflammation and help clear away excess mucus.

There are different ways of using essential oils, but aromatherapy is the easiest way. For aromatherapy you can either use a diffuser or massage it into your skin like you would with a lotion.

There are benefits to both methods, though using a diffuser is less work and has the pleasant side effect of making your house smell amazing.

honey from local bees

Local Honey

Honey from local bees is made with pollen the bees collect from the local area. When you eat the honey, you’re ingesting a small and manageable amount of the allergens.

Over time you’ll build up a tolerance to the allergens used in the honey. Think of it like a low powered and natural version of allergy shots. This is a fun one because it’s not only healthy, but tasty, too.

The catch here is that the honey must be local. Otherwise it won’t have as many allergens that are specific to your area. Not everybody is lucky enough to have this option available, but definitely take advantage of it if you have a bee farm nearby.

Gluten Free OatsGluten Free

Studies have shown that gluten causes inflammation and may be linked to allergies and other health issues.

The theory is that gluten is a large molecule that’s hard for your body to break down. This causes additional stress on your body and can sometimes overwhelm it.

You don’t have to go completely gluten free if it sounds too intimidating to you. Try gradually cutting down on it over time and see if you notice any positive changes. If so, continue cutting out more gluten until you’re completely gluten free.

These suggestions aren’t a complete fix by any means, but besides non-organic options such as allergy shots and allergy medicines, these are some the best natural treatments we have until science comes up with a permanent solution.

Learn more about allergy and asthma treatment by booking an appointment at one of our 5 Valley-wide Allergy Clinics.

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What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs in which inflammation causes the airways to narrow, making breathing more difficult.

The preceding info may seem relatively simple but actually, asthma is a complicated, inconvenient, and sometimes fatal disease if not treated. The best way to understand what asthma is understanding its pathology.

  • The respiratory system is in charge of taking in oxygen and eliminating carbon dioxide. It uses a series of organs, especially the lungs, to supply every cell in the body with oxygen. That oxygen is of vital importance to every cell in the body.

Asthma causes parts of your respiratory system to spasm, which makes it hard to bring oxygen in and eliminate carbon dioxide.

  • Spasms are the involuntary muscle constrictions. In an asthmatic person the tubes that bring oxygen into the lungs, also known as Bronchi, spasm and become partially blocked by mucus. That mucus is a result of the body’s autoimmune response, otherwise known as an allergic reaction.
  • An allergic reaction happens when the body’s immune system tries to eliminate a harmful agent, a pathogen. Often the immune system ‘overreacts’ to a pathogen. In layman’s terms; it eliminates a virtually harmless pathogen and makes you very uncomfortable in the process.

This condition makes the intake of oxygen difficult because an allergic reaction, or similar hypersensitivity, causes the tubes that bring oxygen to the lungs to spasm and narrow. This decreases the amount of air that can get to the lungs and be used by the body.

Management of Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disease that can be controlled to allow normal daily activities. By controlling your asthma every day, you can prevent serious symptoms and take part in all activities.  If you asthma is not well controlled, you are likely to have symptoms that can make you miss school or work and keep you from doing other things you enjoy.  Although there is no cure, here are some important prevention strategies

  • Recognize attacks early.
  • Take medication as directed.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke.
  • Identify and avoid triggers.
  • Talk with your asthma specialist to find ways to improve your health.
  • Get the influenza vaccination (pneumonia shot) every five years.

If any questions or concerns, please contact our office for an appointment.  We have 5  Board Certified clinics in the Phoenix Metro to serve you!

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Shellfish Allergies in Children

Shellfish Allergies in Children

Shellfish and sushi consumption is high in the Asia-Pacific, Phoenix and growing all over the U.S.  Unfortunately, reports of allergy responses from shellfish have also increased. Shellfish allergies are common in adults compared to children; and in male children compared to female ones. In addition, if your family has a history of shellfish allergies, your child may be more likely to be allergic too.

Some of the shellfish causing the allergic reactions are crustaceans and mollusks such as shrimp, crab, lobster, clam, oyster and mussel though prawns/ shrimp was most commonly implicated in shellfish allergies which are commonly found in sushi rolls and at many restaurants.

Tropomyosin is the allergen in shellfish causing this immune reaction among other proteins such as arginine kinase. Shellfish proteins can come in contact with your child through ingestion, inhalation – of fumes while cooking – or even skin contact.

Allergy reactions vary by age and even by region. Symptoms of shellfish allergy are hives, eczema, wheezing, dizziness, gastrointestinal symptoms. More severe anaphylactic reactions can cause breathing obstruction, dizziness and shock with high pulse and dropping blood-pressure which can be fatal.

selfishfood

Diagnosis

It is important to differentiate allergy reaction from shellfish food poisoning. Toxins stored within the shellfish – domoic acid, brevetoxins, saxitoxins, azaspiracids, biotoxins and bacterial/viral toxins – can affect your nervous, gastrointestinal and other systems.

Allergic reactions are therefore verified using a variety of tests including skin prick testing.

Treatment

Like most food allergies, avoidance of the allergy-causing food is suggested.

  • You should take care to avoid all shellfish for your child; check with your doctor/dietician.
  • Eating in restaurants where the oil or vessels/surfaces may have come in contact with shellfish can cause allergic reactions. You may decide to avoid restaurants where shellfish or fish are on the menu.
  • Carrying and knowing how to use an epinephrine auto injector may be useful; teach your child this, once he or she is a bit older
  • Doctors also suggest introducing shellfish earlier – to babies as young as 6 months – as this may actually reduce chances of allergies. Monitor your child after introducing the new food and if there are no adverse reactions; include the new food as part of his or her regular diet.

Reference:

https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/baby-development/babywearing-techniques-for-winter/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shellfish-allergy/basics/risk-factors/con-20032093

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