Inside Out

Questions on antioxidants, asthma answered

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If only the solutions to your many problems provided quick and easy healing. Then again it’s all about transformation.  And this takes time and perseverance.

Q: Is there a single, antioxidant you would consider a super vitamin?

Yes. Medical experts and nutritionists alike consider vitamin C as an all-important vitamin. And I agree with them because the human body does not produce vitamin C. However, nature does provide us with a supply of vitamin C. Rich natural food sources: pineapple, guava, kiwi, broccoli, peppers, cantaloupe, pink grapefruit, oranges and strawberries.

At the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine in California, Pauling’s vitamin C legacy continues to investigate the healing power of this antioxidant. Medical breakthroughs explore the potent role of vitamin C in the fight against HIV, cancer, cardiovascular disease, skin health.

There are skeptics, of course, who disclaim its health benefits. But countless testimonials pour in attesting to the everyday benefits of this supplement. I, for one, have not had the flu or developed fever for the last seven years since I increased my vitamin C dosage from 500 mg to 3,000 mg. Please note however that the daily value recommended is only 60 mg. Whether it’s ascorbic acid or the more sophisticated kind, it doesn’t matter; you still get the same benefits. The only advantage of buffered C when taken in mega doses is that it may cause fewer bouts with diarrhea. In my case, I have not experienced any unpleasant side effects from mega-dosing. Only good ones.

A deficiency in vitamin C will show the early warning signs: weakness, lethargy, slow wound healing.

Q:  I have been overweight and an asthmatic since I was 20. Now at 32, I wish to rid myself of it. How?

It is good you have decided to take a proactive role in overcoming this challenge.

There are few natural approaches you and your doctor could consider: Chronic asthma, which is what you have, also presupposes that your lungs are in a state of inflammation.

The usual treatment for asthma is drugs which open airways and reduce inflammation. This, plus avoidance of your allergy triggers like certain foods, animal dander, dust are recommended.

To do:

1. Have an allergy test again. Trigger foods: peanuts, nuts, shellfish, milk, soy, bananas, wheat.

2. Go for that ideal body weight. The extra weight contributes to breathing problems.

This is aggravated by any oral steroids you could be taking which contribute to weight gain.

3. Beware of sulfites, which are deadly food preservatives to asthmatics. Unsuspected sulphites can be dried or canned fruits and vegetables, instant foods mixes, potatoes, shrimp and some wines.

4. Avoid salt and salty food. This aggravates fluid retention. Any food labels that indicate 400 mg of sodium per serving should be avoided.

5. Go fish. The anti-inflammatory omega-3 oils in fish are beneficial. Consider mackerel, swordfish and salmon. Give up one beef/pork dish a week for fish. You cannot go wrong on this. Consider taking capsules of omega-3-rich fish oils.

6. Supplements:

  • Beta Carotene 25,000 iu
  • Magnesium 400 mg
  • Niacin 100 mg
  • Selenium 100 micrograms
  • Vitamin B6 50 mg
  • Vitamin C  500-1,000 mg
  • Vitamin E 800 iu

Note: Do not stop your medications without clearing with your doctor. Before taking any magnesium supplement, check with your physician especially if you have a heart or kidney problem.

Q: I have been depressed twice in my life. How do I prevent this from recurring in my later years?

Depression has its triggers—just like asthma and allergy. And curiously enough, many asthmatics have emotional challenges and baggage.  Exploring the mysterious connection between the emotions and the body will reveal that by healing the spiritual, you can repair the physical.

Look into the following:

1. Family history. Just like diabetes and hypertension, depression runs in the family. This doesn’t mean that if your father had it, so will you.  It only means that you are prone to having it. It’s not a death sentence.

2. Event management. Manage the events in your life well. Put up a strong defense against stressful situations such as a breakup, death of loved one, loss of a job, retirement, midlife crisis. Know that the elderly are particularly vulnerable.

3. Hormonal imbalance. See an endocrinologist. An imbalance can cause severe mood swings.

4. Eat and drink healthy. Sugar can contribute to depression if you are taking it in excessive amounts.  More so with caffeine. Minimize coffee, tea, chocolate and cola if you are suffering from depression.

5. Low fat is better. Research shows that by cutting back on the fat, you can improve your mood and your overall health.

6. Exercise. Stay active. This stimulates and increases the release of happy hormones—endorphins.

7. Be happy. Your state of mind is a powerful medicine. Surround yourself with happy people. Happiness is contagious. It is also a choice.

Affirm today:  “I choose happiness”

Love and light!

Reference: “Prevention’s Healing with Vitamins” by the editors of Prevention Magazine Health Books.

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