November 2010 - Advanced Physical Medicine
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Immune System Booster Foods

With the changing of the seasons from warm summer to cool fall and cold winter, comes the chance for the flu and other sicknesses to create havoc in your body.  Pumping up the immune system with foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants are the best way to fight off colds, protect your body from the flu, and stay your healthy self throughout the season.  Here’s a listing of our top 10 immunity boosting foods that will help you to power through:

1. Oranges...

Are mother nature’s power fruit!  They are rich in immunity boosting vitamin c, potassium, vitamin B6, and flavonoids.

2. Carrots...

are a super helpful vegetable that build up infection fighting cells within the body because of beta carotene.  Not only will they help guard against colds and the flu, eating carrots often can protect against cancer!  They stimulate macrophages which makes it produce a cancer fighting agent.

3. Garlic...

Doesn’t just ward off vampires, it wards off illness too!  The garlic juice has amazing immunity boosting qualities, so have plenty of pasta and soups loaded with garlic and a side of garlic bread.

4. Pasta & Bread...

Wait, what? Yes, speaking of pasta and bread, many grains contain vitamin E that will boost your system's defenses.

5. Broccoli...

Your mom was right when she told you to eat your Broccoli, it really does help immensely with the immune system and can be added to many dishes from salads to omelets.

6. Fat Free Yogurt...

When eaten daily, it can supply your system with a fighting squad of live bacterias and immune boosting nutrients to get you through the cold season.  The vitamin D that it contains can knock a cold right out.

7. Almonds...

They are a great snack to help build up your immunity.  They contain zinc and proteins which will help to fight infection through the white blood cells.

8. 100% Fruit Juice...

Drinking 100% fruit juice will also give you the nutrients that your body needs and makes a great alternative to sodas.

9. Flax seed oil...

It has omega-3 which the body’s immune system loves.  This can be added to oatmeal or smoothies.

10. Ginger root...

It is fabulous not only in cocktails, but also if you have unfortunately come down with a cold. Ginger kick-starts sweating and lowers feelings of nausea.

There you are, the complete arsenal of foods to have that will get you through the flu season.  Keep hand sanitizer around and healthy foods in your belly and you just may achieve a sickness free winter!

Can Back Pain Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Men suffering from both back pain and erectile dysfunction may be surprised to find out that the back pain could be CAUSING the erectile dysfunction.  Our bodies are a complex infrastructure of connected parts that can either work fluidly together or cease to function properly when one area is affected.  Erectile dysfunction is often a symptom of other areas of concern and we’ll touch upon the effect that back pain and medications can have in causing this problem.

The process of getting an erection begins when something sexually stimulating impacts the senses, making the muscles of the penis relax and blood flow increase to the area which then pushes against the veins carrying blood out so that they are blocked and thus an erection is created.  Erectile dysfunction is then usually caused by blood flow being disrupted, slowed, or hindered through out the body.

Back issues can cause erectile dysfunction when nerves or veins are pinched, leading to lessened blood flow to the pelvic area.  Many men who have had a car accident or work injury affecting the back or pelvis region then found themselves facing erectile dysfunction.  When this correlation was first discovered, treating the back injuries was found to cure the erectile dysfunction at the same time.

Exercises that are meant to strengthen weakened muscles and increase blood flow will also help overall health as well as erectile health, so a regimen that includes yoga, therapeutic massage, and normal gym cardio workouts will help.  So, if you have back pain and are experiencing erectile issues at the same time, talk with your doctor (or if you live in Chicago, contact our Chicago physical therapy clinic), so that you can be properly diagnosed and appropriate treatment can be administered.

Impotence is needn’t be a hindrance to a full and happy sex life.  Treating the cause for the problem will lead to a cure for the symptom, so have your back checked and work on leading a healthy lifestyle full of nutritious foods and exercise.

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