The haze is back, and with it the threat of increased throat and eye irritation, asthma, and respiratory complaints. Particulate matter from Sumatran forest fires if inhaled, has the potential to cause considerable physical irritation.
The body’s response to this irritation is inflammation as the immune system tries to cope with the problem.
Below are some tips on protecting yourself from the haze by Ms Ceridwen Wolf – the Product Manager of Zenxin Organic Food.
So what steps can you take to reduce inflammation?
Increase fluid intake.
You can start by making sure that you drink enough filtered water to help the body flush out those extra toxins.
Mulberry leaf tea.
Drinking herbal teas such as our “Simply Natural” Organic Mulberry Leaf Tea is a way of enhancing that fluid intake with additional antioxidants, polyphenols and flavonoids. It has no caffeine and can be drunk any time of the day.
Rich in minerals, beta-carotene, vitamin C and B-group, it makes a very nutritious addition to your daily diet.
Used in Ayurvedic and TCM formulas for thousands of years, mulberry leaf soothes and supports the lung and liver meridians and is known here as “Sang ye cha”.
Grown in our NASAA-inspected Organic Park and dried on the premises, then shipped straight down to Singapore, it is a wonderfully pure product.
Camelia sinensis is the plant used in all true teas, as opposed to herbal tisanes. Organic Green tea is the least processed, least contaminated and therefore contains the most antioxidant flavonoids, such as catechin.
Through the catechins, Green tea drinkers are protected from diseases ranging from bacterial infections to cancer. In fact research is still identifying the many phytochemicals in green tea which support health.
Slippery elm bark and licorice found in TM’s ‘Throat Coat’ tea soothes a sore throat by forming a protective coating. A gentle herb, slippery elm bark soothes inflammatory conditions of the respiratory and digestive systems.
Licorice is a sweet root with strong anti-inflammatory properties, effective against respiratory and hepatic infections. Too much licorice root however, can result in high blood pressure.
Now support your health by supplying the body with as much fresh healthy organic food as possible.
Brightly coloured fresh fruit and vegetables are your best option, they contain the antioxidants the body so badly needs to cope with the extra free radicals.
Asian leafy greens, kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach and salad greens contain chlorophyll, antioxidants, alpha-linolenic acid (needed to build omega-3) and GLA which enhances the anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3.
Chlorophyll binds to heavy metals and their fibre helps carry harmful toxins out of the body. Eat them lightly steamed and drizzled with extra-virgin cold pressed organic olive oil or add them to your smoothies.
Extra-virgin cold pressed organic olive oil is known to contain higher concentrations of polyphenols which fight inflammation. Pharmacological research has also established that olive oil protects against respiratory and digestive cancers.
Lemons are high in vitamin C and are known to have an alkalizing effect on the body. Juice of an organic lemon makes a wonderful addition squeezed over leafy greens, they become more vibrant.
Vitamin C lowers your cancer risk, helps absorb iron and protect your cells against damage and is necessary to regenerate your vitamin E supplies.
Recent studies have found over 15 anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals in blueberries, including dark purple anthocyanin. These help protect the whole body from oxidative stress.
Organic blueberries not only offer a food without pesticides but also have a superior antioxidant capacity.
Sweet potato and other orange vegetables contain betacarotene, the plant vitamin A pre-cursor. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, so to gain the most benefit, steam these veggies in their skin and drizzle with extra virgin organic olive oil to serve.
Vitamin A helps protect your eyes and mucous membrane, the first line of defence against the haze.
Curcumin is the anti-inflammatory antioxidant found in turmeric, a common constituent of curry spice and Nasi Kuning.
This beautiful yellow spice, long used in TCM and Ayurveda, is now know to inhibit tumour growth and destroy mutated cancer cells.
Kombu, arame and wakame seaweed contain fucoidans, sulfated polysaccharides which have documented cancer-inhibiting activity and immune system enhancement properties.
Ginger helps reduce inflammation and eliminate toxins from the body. Ginger tea is a great addition to any diet.
Steep slices of ginger in boiling water, then when it cools, add organic lemon juice and raw honey. This will not only clear up throat and nose congestion but also soothe the mucus lining of both the respiratory and digestive systems.
Garlic contains allicin, a powerful anti-biotic and antioxidant. Not only will it protect your body against free-radicals and infection but it will also help lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Grandma would take 3 crushed cloves of garlic in a mixture of cider vinegar and honey and sip it throughout the day as soon as she came down with a cold. She lived to be 93…..
Increasing the amount seeds and nuts is one of the simplest ways to quell even the most chronic inflammation. Krill oil, brazil nuts, walnuts and freshly ground flax seed oil are good sources without mercury or heavy metals.
Wild Alaskan or Pacific salmon too, is full of prized omega-3, with less heavy metal contamination than it’s Atlantic cousin.
Like vitamins A, C & E, vitamin D3 has known anti-inflammatory effects protecting against the effects of free radical damage. D3 is found in oily fish such as sardine, mackerel and salmon and in liver cheese and egg yolks.
Brazil nuts and also button mushrooms are also a great source of selenium, a mineral essential for the activation of the antioxidant glutathione.
Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in the body and helps protect against the harmful effects of stress, pollution, infection, drugs, radiation and ageing.
Now, to reduce the toxins you can control….
Having increased consumption of healthy fresh organic foods, it’s now time to limit dietary stressors.
Alcohol, caffeine & nicotine are poisons which overstimulate the system, reduce them during this time.
Eliminate processed convenience foods with their inflammatory trans-fats, refined carbohydrates, additives and preservatives.
Reduce known allergens such as wheat, dairy, soy and corn, as these are common dietary irritants.
Use natural cleaning products and detergents.
Limit your reliance on dry cleaning and air fresheners.
Bring in lots of houseplants to help filter the air you breathe.
Rest is the perfect antidote. The simple act of going to bed on time can help reduce inflammatory response. The body needs time to heal damaged cells which bore the brunt of the day’s demands.
Inflammation can be prevented and reversed by making healthy dietary changes today!