Millions of skin cells die everyday and replaced by healthy cells so, in fact, the
skin you have today is not the same as the skin you had yesterday. The problem arises
when the body makes skin cells faster than average and causes the skin to get thick
and scaly. Doctors aren’t sure what causes psoriasis but it appears that the genes
that tells skin cells how fast to divide may have been damaged by the immune system.
There is evidence that those who ate carrots, tomatoes, green vegetables and fresh
fruits (foods high in beta carotene, vitamins C and E) were much less likely to get
psoriasis. Researchers hypothesize that it is the antioxidant and immune stimulating
effects of these foods that may make the difference. In addition, certain types of
fish, like salmon, mackerel and herring, that contain a fat called Omega-3 fatty
acid may help ease psoriasis by reducing skin inflammation. Wild salmon (not farm
raised) is especially good because it is rich in Omega-3.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria takes up residence in the bladder
or urethra thereby causing painful or frequent urination. It is more common in women
than men and antibiotics can usually clear up the problem in a few days. But research
suggests that drinking cranberry juice will prevent or, if you are already sick,
speed up UTI recovery. Women prone to UTIs may have “sticker” cells in the urethra,
making it easier for bacteria to hold on. Cranberries contain a substance that acts
like a no stick coating making it easier for bacteria to slip away. Blueberry juice
may have the same effect. Women who frequently get UTIs should drink 10 oz. of cranberry
or blueberry juice daily. If you don’t have juice on hand, drinking eight 8-oz .glasses
of water daily will help wash away bacteria before they cause infection..
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a miserable intestinal problem that causes gas,
diarrhea and constipation. The trickiest part of managing IBS is determining which
foods are most likely to cause an attack as everyone with IBS reacts to different
foods differently. It is a good idea to keep a food diary to find out what triggers
your flare ups. However, there are some common food denominators that causes problems
like dairy foods, fructose (sugar) found in sodas, and apple and pear juices, and
sweeteners like sorbitol which is found in diet sodas and chewing gum. Caffeine and
carbonated beverages should be avoided as these causes spasms which is where the
pain comes from.
A common cause of flare-ups is fat. The bowels normally contract after a high fat
meal and for people with IBS these normal contractions can be painful. It is also
a good idea to add fiber to your diet because fibers make stools larger and the intestines
do not have to squeeze hard to move them along. In addition, larger stools sweep
potential irritants before they cause cramping or gas. At the same time, higher fiber
intake help relieve both diarrhea and constipation. Having smaller meals rather than
having two or three big meals may help for the simple reason that the more food you
eat the harder the intestines have to work.
There are also a number of herbs that will help keep IBS under control. Licorice
root, a natural anti-inflammatory, psyllium and peppermint can be very effective.
In one study, peppermint capsules eliminated all or most IBS symptoms. Peppermint
tea is also effective.