18. Reducing your cholesterol
To reduce cholesterol:
â€¢ First cut down on saturated fats. To do this:
â€¢ Eat lean meat. Select lean cuts and ask your butcher to cut off the fat.
â€¢ Drink skim milk instead of whole milk.
Do the same for all dairy products. Note that vegetarians have a much lower cholesterol level (almost twice as low as average) which is perfectly understandable, since cholesterol is only found in products derived from animals.
â€¢ Alcohol - in moderation. Not more than two glasses a day. However, it does appear that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol raises the number of HDL lipids (the good ones!), which break down cholesterol. (Moderation = two 4 oz. glasses of wine or two 12 oz. beers.)
â€¢ Do regular exercise, for example walking.
â€¢ Take Vitamin E. It reduces the risk of coronary disease.
â€¢ Calcium brewerâ€™s yeast, Vitamin C and Vitamin B-6 also combat the accumulation of cholesterol. And donâ€™t forget lecithin, which helps fight excess cholesterol, arteriosclerosis, hypertension
and angina (as well as psoriasis, anxiety and diabetes - and reduces the likelihood of contracting cancer). Losing weight is a good way to raise your HDL level.
â€¢ Use poly-unsaturated, non-hydrogenated, cold pressed oil: corn oil, sunflower seed oil, soy, flax etc. A mono-unsaturated oil like olive oil can even raise your HDL level.
â€¢ Daily consumption of fish would be ideal for preventing cardio-vascular problems, as demonstrated conclusively in a number of studies on fish-eating populations (Eskimos for example). Ideally, you would eat fish twice a day. And as strange as this sounds, you should select the fattest kinds: mackerel, sardines, herring, salmon etc.
As for the oil in the fish, it is used to treat arterial disorders. Its effects can be felt in about six weeks. Fish oil contains two poly-unsaturated fatty acids which are very beneficial for the arteries.
19. Digest better
There is a plant for each type of digestion problem.
â€¢ AIGREMOINE is useful when the stomach problem is accompanied by enteritis, diarrhea and/or chronic liver infection. It helps tone a lazy digestive system. And it also helps regularize acidity and soothe ulcers by improving metabolism.
3 or 4 cups a day. 3 1/2 to 4 tablespoons per quart of water.
â€¢ ANGELICA is a digestive, an aperitif, a stimulant, a tonic. It decongests and soothes stomach pains and swelling.
Prepare an infusion (tea) preferably using the fresh plant: 3 1/2 tablespoons of roots per quart of water. If your stomach is very swollen, prepare and drink 3 cups per day made of 5 tablespoons of seeds per quart of water.
â€¢ ANISE is a soothing digestive. It aids digestion and the elimination of intestinal gas, it soothes stomach cramps, aerophagy, dyspepsia (contractions of the digestive organs, dizziness and a heavy feeling after eating).
2 or 3 cups per day, after meals: 2 tablespoons of seeds per quart of water.
â€¢ CAMOMILE: a digestive, sedative, anti-inflammation agent and tonic. It helps painful or difficult digestion, stomach cramps, gastro-intestinal spasms, loss of appetite, and it helps expulsion of gas
(carminative). Particularly recommended for persons who suffer from stomach cramps (and/or who are irritable, temperamental, angry etc.)
One cup of infusion, a half hour before meals, or one hour after. To prepare the infusion, add 5 1/2 tablespoons to a quart of boiling water and let stand for five minutes.
â€¢ CHERVIL: digestive, depurative and diuretic. It also acts as a stimulant. For difficult digestion, drink 2 or 3 cups per day. Prepare an infusion with one teaspoon of dried leaves per cup of water, and let stand for 10 minutes.
â€¢ SAGE: The ancients had a saying - â€œWhy die when your garden is full of sage!â€ It is a digestive, diuretic, antispasmodic and helps combat hypoglycemia.
It stimulates the appetite, fortifies the stomach and aids digestion, especially when digestion is difficult. It is also a general tonic. 2 or 3 cups of infusion per day. 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried leaves per quart of water. (Practical Guide No. 6, Vol. II).
20. Menstrual cramps - suffer no more!
To reduce the intensity of menstrual symptoms, you can change your diet:
â€¢ Less sugar, and slightly more protein.
â€¢ Diuretic foods such as eggplant, cucumbers and parsley can help diminish water retention.
â€¢ Calcium supplements (1 gram per day) and magnesium (500 milligrams) can help reduce anxiety (always take both).
â€¢ Vitamin B-6 (not more than 50 milligrams per day) can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and tension.
â€¢ Vitamins E and C also help reduce the intensity of cramps.
â€¢ Aspirin has a mildly soothing effect.
â€¢ And once again you can turn to plants to relieve your pains:
* ANGELICA in infusion: 3 1/2 tablespoons of root per quart of water.
* MATRIX (derived from the Latin for womb): 2 teaspoons of flowers per quart of water.
* MILFOI OR YARROW which soothes and reduces overly abundant menstruation: about 5 1/2 tablespoons of flower tops per quart of water.
* SAGE in infusion: I 1/2 tablespoons of dried leaves per quart of water.
In extreme cases, ask your doctor for medication to alleviate pain.
21. Stop catching colds
As much as possible, avoid coming into close contact with infected persons, especially if they cough or sneeze.
A person with a cold is extremely contagious: he or she fills the air with fine particles of saliva or mucous which transport the virus microbe. Even if the person is careful to wipe his nose with tissue or a handkerchief, the microbes will be transported to his hands.
And studies have shown that these viruses are transmitted through hand contact. So if you have to shake hands with someone who has a cold, you would better wash soon after!
What can you do if you do catch a cold?
It is useless to take antibiotics: they have no effect on viruses. However, there are certain substances found in alcohol which help decongest sinuses, that is why a good hot toddy can work wonders. But take care of your liver: a toddy is just as good with a little rum as with a lot.
You donâ€™t have to get drunk to get better. You donâ€™t even have to drink it - just sniff some strong alcohol like cognac or brandy and breathe in the fumes.
22. Use heat to cure
Everyone has heard about how good a sauna feels, and of the relaxing effect of a steam bath which bathes you in hot vapor.
But there are other heat treatments which are equally beneficial. Heat relaxes the muscles and ligaments. When applied locally, for example, with hot towels, it can ease muscle spasms. It can also reduce arthritic pain. Heat dilates the blood vessels, which in turn activates circulation.
Applied to a wound, it can prevent infection by helping white blood corpuscles and fresh oxygen surround the area more quickly.
23. How to combat fatigue
First make sure you are sleeping enough.
Is your nutrition sufficient? In general women need at least 1200 calories per day and men 1500.
Avoid monotony: a varied diet will be more likely to provide the nutritive elements you need to conserve your energy.
The sensation of fatigue may be stress-related, especially when you experience emotional stress. Do you feel tense at work or at home?
Lastly, donâ€™t neglect physical exercise. Tired or not, get out in the fresh air every day. Walking is the minimum effort necessary for staying in shape.
24. Protect yourself against cancer
Radical liberals are not a political group, but a kind of very active molecule that is suspected of being one of the causes of cancer.
How can you protect yourself? Diet plays an important role here, especially in the absorption of anti-oxidants. The strongest anti-oxidizing agent is Vitamin E, which is found in wheat germ oil and sunflower seeds.
Next comes Vitamin C (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, red peppers etc.).
Beta carotene also absorbs large amounts of radical liberals. This substance seems to act as a protecting agent against most types of cancer.
Where do you find it? In red vegetables (like tomatoes), orange ones (carrots), yellow (squash), and dark green (broccoli). All these are rich in beta carotene. So make them a regular part of your menu!
25. Prevent high blood pressure
Research has shown that people whose diet is rich in potassium (vegetarians for example) are less likely than others to develop high blood pressure.
Calcium is also beneficial. Fortunately, potassium and calcium are abundantly present in a large variety of foods.
Fruits, vegetables, beans, fish, fowl and lean meats are full of potassium.
Calcium is a little more restricted. Foods rich in calcium usually also contain large amounts of sodium and fat, which can increase blood pressure.
However, moderate amounts of milk are recommended, as well as yogurt, almonds, bananas, grapes, broccoli, potatoes, beans, tofu and sardines.