We've been reading a lot in the news about Swine Flu for the past few weeks. Enough to make you want to panic? Well, here are some things you can do to help alkalize your blood, enhancing your immune system, and making your body inhospitable to viruses.
Besides the obvious common-sensical measures of enough rest, sleep, hygiene and (hand washing), we can do the following:
1. Cut down on our sugar intake or cut it all out altogether. Sugar decreases our immune response by 50 percent. (Have you ever noticed that kids get sick after Halloween, Christmas & Easter? Too much sugar.)
2. Cut out acidic foods like animal protein, processed and junk foods; replace with whole grains, vegetables and beans.
3. Add a small amount of good-quality pickles (1-2 tablespoons) to each meal.
4. Add fermented foods such as good-quality miso soup (1-3 year aged misos) to your diet. A cup a day, or a cup every other day. If you cannot tolerate soy or fermented foods, try a probiotic supplement. Adding good bacteria to your intestines helps build up your natural defenses.
5. A macrobiotic home remedy to help alkalize you blood is ume-sho-bancha. For a three week period: The first week this can be taken three days in a row, the second and third weeks take it every other day. The recipe is below:
Place umeboshi and soy sauce in the bottom of a tea cup. Pour in hot tea. Stir gently and drink immediately. Eat the plum.
I used the above five suggestions with my own kids when they were in junior high and high school, especially my daughter, who was a ski racer during that time. She had lots of homework and a rigorous ski schedule. By January, midway through ski season, she would start to get a sore throat and be flu-ish. She'd sometimes come down with strep throat.
I would immediately insist on earlier bedtimes, reguardless of whether homework was done or not (she complained that I was the only mother to do this!), cut out any excess sugar, except for some fruit, and I'd make her ume-sho-bancha, which she quickly got used to. We were already eating a diet based on whole grains, beans and vegetables and including good-quality pickles, so we didn't need to change this part. Once I started adding these alkalizing things, cutting the junk food and getting more rest seemed to nip it in the bud and avoided progression of the illness.