Nutrition For Health Problems

There are nutritional changes we can make that can aid us in relieving medical problems from angina to yeast infections.

When we are suffering from an illness, we seek out our physician and take our medicines, yet the area of our lives we look at when we're ill should be the first stop on our road to healing, and that area is nutrition.

Simple, or even drastic, nutritional changes in our diet can be just as effective in treating an illness as medications. If it is not the first area one decides to work on when ill, it should at least be done along side the medical treatment.

It is important to note here that one should not attempt self-diagnosis and their own treatment protocol. With any illness, professional medical attention should be sought and nutritional changes should only be made under a physician's supervision. Here we will look at some common illnesses and recommended dietary changes that can aid in the healing of these conditions.

Angina: Angina is chest pain that onsets when blood flow to the heart is weakened, resulting in lack of oxygen. Opening the arteries and improving blood flow will help take care of angina. There are medications that can do this, but what about dietary changes? One way to keep blood vessels clear of fatty deposits is to eat low fat. A very low fat diet can shrink deposits and make blood cells less likely to stick to vessel walls. Supplementing vitamin E can aid in the prevention of angina, along with getting adequate magnesium in the diet.

Colds: We all get them. The sneezing and wheezing, runny noses and watery eyes. What can you do for colds from a nutrition standpoint? Several things. The first is to eat some garlic. Garlic contains a phytochemical called allicin, that not only can lower your blood pressure but also acts as a natural antibiotic. Raw garlic is best, but any is better than none. Second, make sure you get plenty of liquids. Water, herbal tea and hot soup all work wonders. The extra fluid aids in thinning mucous which helps open your airways. Other foods that produce the same effects (but do it faster), are hot, spicy seasonings.

You can also grab some oranges, or any other foods high in vitamin C content, as vitamin C is proven to strengthen your immune system.

Dry Skin: Dry skin can be dull, flaky, scaly and chapped. It can occur on any one part of your body or over your entire body. Dry skin is usually the result of not having enough oil and moisture in the top layers of your epidermis. so should you eat more oily foods? Absolutely not. You need to avoid fried foods and animal fats. Oils that have been heated can produce free radicals, and they can destroy healthy skin cells. What you should do is get your oils from seeds and nuts and take an essential fatty-acid supplement. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, having many of them raw. Garlic, onions, and asparagus are high in sulfur, which keeps the skin smoothe. Vitamin A keeps skin healthy and can be found in yellow and orange vegetables, such as squash and sweet potatoes.

For beverages, you should drink at least a 1/2 gallon of water daily to gain moisture and avoid soft drinks, alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol and caffeine act as diuretics which cause the body to lost moisture.

High Blood Pressure: Hypertension can be a very serious problem and, as always, a physician's attention should be sought. Once that has been done there are nutritional guidelines that will help you keep your blood pressure under control. The first is to avoid salt. This does not mean only table salt, but you should read the labels of everything you consume to be sure it is low sodium, if not sodium free. Next you should increase your fiber intake. Research studies have concluded that adding fiber to your diet can reduce blood pressure. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, garlic, melons, sweet potatoes, etc. Add fresh juices to your diet such as carrot and celery, citrus fruit juices and watermelon juice. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables will also put potassium, calcium and magnesium back in the diet. These minerals help regulate your body fluids, which in turn helps control your blood pressure.

Infertility: Did you know that there are things you can do nutritionally, whether a man or a woman, to increase your chances of conception? The first is to avoid all alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can reduce sperm counts in men, and, in women it can prevent the implantatin of the fertilized egg. Animal fats, fried foods, sugar and other junk foods need to be avoided. Men should increase their intake of vitamin C, as it can prevent sperm from sticking together which allows them to move more freely toward the egg.

For women the most important thing to do is maintain a normal weight. Being either overweight or underweight can upset your natural hormonal balance.

Motion Sickness: Are you going on a bumpy ride and fear getting motion sickness? If you choose not to take over the counter medications, try some ginger. Research has proven ginger to have anti-nausea effects, although they don't last very long. Its best to take powdered gingerroot capsules before your trip and as needed during. Avoid alcohol as it can disrupt your balance mechanism. Whole grain crackers and olive also make great travel companions as they keep nausea away by decreasing your salivation. Peppermint tea can help calm your stomach, or you can take peppermint lozenges.

PMS: PMS is the brunt of many jokes, but, to those who suffer from it, it is no laughing matter. Diet is an important contributor to PMS, and nutritional changes can aid in relieving the symptoms. First, one should omit salt, red meats, junk food, fast food and other processed food from the diet at least one week before the symptoms are expected. Avoiding these foods will help eliminate the bloating and water retention. Caffeine and sugar should also be avoided as they contribute to the feelings of anxiety.

What one should eat is lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and chicken, turkey and fish.

Ulcers: Most people think that ulcers are caused by acid and stress. While they may be contributing factors researchers now believe that bacteria that lodges in the stomach and intestines can secrete chemicals that attack the intestinal linings and make it susceptible to erosion.

These dietary changes are meant to minimize syptoms and aid an already diagnosed ulcer in its healing. To heal, the body needs sufficient amounts of vitamin K, which can be obtained by eating lots of dark green leafy vegetables. Vitamins A and C also help ulcers heal faster, and zinc supplements have been shown to reduce pain while aiding with healing.

Snacking should be avoided as it stimulates acid production. Meals should be fullsize and eaten at regular intervals. Avoid drinking coffee (regular or decaf) and alcoholic vegetables. Also, eliminate milk as it stimulates acid production. Eat your vegetables soft and well steamed. For fast relief of severe pain, drink lots of water as it dilutes the stomach acid.

Vaginal Yeast Infections: If you are a woman that suffers from frequent yeast infections, you should eat one cup of live-culture yogurt daily. This will reduce your symptoms and chances of the infection recurring. Otherwise, avoid all dairy products until the infection clears. Also avoid sugar, fruit and simple carbohydrates.

As previously stated, all medical problems should be attended to by a professional, but incorporating even some of these nutritional principles will aid in your healing.

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