Ethel’s health and wellness weekly tips

Ethel Yagudayeva, Staff Writer

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Week

1/6/20 – 1/10/20

 

Exercise of the Week- Freebie!

Food of the Week- Bisque or Bok Choy

Moto of the Week- If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed.

 

Winter is here, and it is dangerous for our health. Winter isn’t just hazardous outside, especially here in Colorado, but our metabolism drops, and we can catch bugs we don’t need in our life. 

 

Autumn is a perfect time to catch the flu or a fever and feel completely miserable, and our immune system drops. When winter hits, we become more prone to being sleep-deprived, stressed, negative, sick, and unhealthy in general. It becomes harder to stay in shape, stay focused, become included, and like yourself. How should you fix this?

 

Sleep

 

Focus and relax. Winter is an amazing season, when you can wrap yourself up in a blanket with a hot sweet tea with your favorite Netflix series on. Or a book in hand with your favorite playlist pumping. Whatever you like to do in your free time is more than just acceptable. Lack of sleep is not healthy, and can interfere with everyday life. Focusing in class becomes harder, and moodiness occurs more often. Sleep is also very important to lose weight! The National Sleep Foundation explains the recommended amounts of sleep per age:

  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)

Sleep sometimes might not be an option when you pull hours of studying, so you go to bed at midnight, and then wake up early. Sometimes, the amount of work you have can’t be controlled, but can be planned out. Use your off periods wisely, if you have them, and try to multitask during your lunch break: doing homework and eating! Everybody wants to hang out with friends, or get a warm drink from Belleview Square, but prioritize the most important. Learning to understand what comes first on your To-Do list, is crucial to save time for the things you enjoy! My grandmother always said that everybody needs to be lazy. But lazy the other way: being so lazy that you finish all of your work in the best way you can first, and then stare at the ceiling and count flies. Also, the school doesn’t give away planners just to waste paper and kill trees: they make thousands of planners for your own convenience! Organise your planner in a way that will bring you back every day, and will make you start planning ahead. That way, not only do you have extra time, but you additionally sleep better! 

 

Eating Healthier

 

With your immune system falling, a perfect way to make it climb back up is to eat like you did during the summer! During that time, you had every assortment of healthy fruits and vegetables in your fridge, and many combinations of food you could eat! Now, with the fresh grown fruits gone until the warm season rolls around, soups and other hot foods and drinks are the only reasonable foods you can eat! 

Of course, piping coffees, hot chocolates, ciders, and teas every hour of the day aren’t good either. They may be blessings for the freezing weather, but shouldn’t be prioritized over healthy food that can boost your immune system. 

Citrus is an amazing way to boost your immune system, but since that is out of the question, we resort to even better ways! According to The Healthline, these are the best foods to eat during the winter that substitute your summer palette:

  • Red Bell Peppers: Red Bells have TWICE the amount of Vitamin C than citrus fruits. It also has beta-carotene, which is a good immune booster, and makes your skin and eyes clearer. 
  • Broccoli: Broccoli is super charged with Vitamins like A,C, and E, antioxidants, and fiber as well! This is a super food that can help your immunity soar. It’s only secret is that broccoli has most of its benefits in its raw form. Raw, or slightly boiled broccoli is preferable.
  • Spinach: Spinach, even though it is an overrated vegetable that everybody may shudder from, it is packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants and beta-carotene, which increases infection-fighting abilities, boosting your immune system. Similar to broccoli, it’s also most beneficial when cooked the least, as well as enhancing its Vitamin A when cooked that way. 
  • Yogurt: Once again, you see overly familiar Greek Yogurt in the top list. Like I claimed before, Greek Yogurt is a super food! Greek yogurt with live and active cultures stimulate the immune system and have big amounts of Vitamin D. Try to choose Plain yogurt over sweetened, because yogurt with unnecessary additives isn’t beneficial. If you want some sweetness, you can add honey, preserves, or chunks of dark chocolate. It’s also a great combination to mix Greek Yogurt with granola!
  • Almonds: Vitamin E comes just behind Vitamin C in the most positive Vitamin list, but Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means it requires other fat to be properly absorbed. Almonds are PACKED with Vitamin E, with a half-cup full having nearly 100 percent of recommended daily amount of Vitamin E. So eating a bit of this every day will benefit you in immense ways!
  • Green Tea: When sick, Green Tea is a drink packed with positive sources that can sky-rocket your immune system. Of course, both Black and Green tea has flavonoids, which are antioxidants, but Green Tea has a bonus antioxidant that is very powerful called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). This antioxidant enhances the immune system amazingly. Black tea, when going through the fermentation process loses most, and almost all EGCG. Green tea, on the other hand, is steamed, not fermented, so most of EGCG preserved. Other than EGCG, Green tea has amino acids called L-theanine, which helps produce germ-fighting compounds.
  • Chicken: When I am sick, Chicken Soup is a life saver. Chicken, and turkey as well are high in Vitamin B-6, which is important for forming new healthy red blood cells. 3 ounces of turkey or chicken has 40-50 percent of daily B-6 recommendations. Broth in soup also contain gelatin, chondroitin, and other nutrients for a healthy gut and a higher immunity. 
  • Shellfish- Some types of Shellfish are packed with Zinc! Zinc, other than vitamins and minerals, helps our immune cells function normally, fighting viruses. Shellfish with high levels of zinc are crabs, clams, lobsters, and mussels. But be careful!!!! You can’t have more zinc than your recommended needs, because too much can negatively affect your immune system, breaking it down. For boys, aim for around 7-9 milligrams of zinc, and for girls, 4-6 milligrams. 
  • Garlic- You can find garlic in every single cuisine in the world, because it adds a tasty extra note to your dish. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, garlic was found to help reduce blood pressure and slow down hardening of arteries. It’s properties have a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, like Allicin, that boost the immune system and fight bacteria. 

There are many foods you can eat to help boost your immune system, as long as it’s organic, and not donuts and such! Avoid fake and negative fats, as well as added sugars. Of course, when you’re sick, you’ll want something sweet to make your day better, but your leftover popcorn or candy won’t heal you. 

 

             What else can you do: 

To prevent getting sick more often, and have a healthier lifestyle, start cleaning up!!! It’s not a good idea to get up and work when you have a fever, so try to stay as clean as possible.

 

               Cleaning: 

 

  • Take showers every day! Avoid baths, because even if they are relaxing, they won’t clean you. Once a day is ok, but no more than two showers.
  • Wash your face well! Cleaning your face of all the bacteria throughout the day will give you clearer skin, as well as relieve stress!
  • Brush your teeth! Your mouth is dirty! Brush your teeth two times a day for at least 2 minutes, and floss every day too! Cavities won’t make your life any easier. Don’t make me be your dentist. Make sure to have an appointment AT LEAST once a year.
  • Clean your room! Don’t throw your clothes on ‘that chair’, if you know what I mean. Throw your clothes into your dirty bin. Wipe all surfaces clean of dust at least every 2 weeks. Vacuum your floors of trash and bacteria. Try to be as clutter free as possible. Clutter in your room clutters your mind. Open your windows 2 times a day for a few hours to let your room air out. Help out your mom, dad, aunt, or anybody in your house by letting them have one less thing to worry about. 
  • Wash your hands once you come home! You have been everywhere, so washing your hands well after coming back to your house will make sure you don’t carry in germs that can potentially turn into sickness. 
  • Sterilize your phone! You probably heard this too many times, but your phone carries about 17,000 bacterial copies on an average high school student. Clean your phone with a wet wipe at least once a week. Be careful though! 
  • Trim your nails! Nobody likes to see long nails. The longer the nails, the more bacteria you can gather under it, and you will have a higher chance of breaking your nail. Trim your nails, because nobody wants to see black nails. 
  • Sanitize your hands. This can be an alternate for cleaning your hands when you don’t have time to go to the restroom. Get at least a dime-sized amount of sanitizer. Don’t substitute hand sanitizer for washing your hands with soap! 
  • Just consider daily hygiene. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t always mean eating sleeping and sweating during workouts. Being cleaner makes your life a little less stressful, and a little less intimidating. Also, being in public is always a bonus if you are clean. It’s proven that hanging out with clean people is always better than hanging out with people that wash their hair once every week or so, and ‘forget’ to brush your teeth. Being cleaner is more appealing to people around you. 

 

Don’t forget vaccines! Sure, society is different, and many people are anti-vaccine. People are different, so vaccines can affect people in different ways; however, vaccines are vital to keep you healthy and running. There are many different vaccines you need. Consult your pediatrician or physician every year, and talk about what vaccines you need and when. Get your blood drawn every now and then to see if you are healthy. Sure, nobody likes needles, but these procedures can be crucial for your health, for now and the future.