Today is the first day since last Wednesday that I feel healthy again. I’ve had a monster cold but I think I was able to get over it in four days by doing the following: 1) Kept up with my workouts, and even though they weren’t my best, it made me feel better mentally. I also believe in raising my body temperature, akin to what a fever does, to drive the virus out. 10 minutes each day in the steam room also helped me sweat it out. 2) I took megadoses of vitamins D3 (50,000 IU’s), C (10,000 mg), echinacea, and 3) chicken soup (Jewish penicilin).

Speaking of waking up with more health than illness, if that is you today, be grateful and take advantage of it. There are two billion people worldwide who don’t wake up with that advantage. Go for a walk, hit the gym, or exercise at home. Don’t have any equipment? NO problem-your body is a weight. You can do pushups in a variety of ways, body squats, lunges, step ups or stairs, chair ups, tricep dips, etc. Revel in the fact that you have the capability to do physical work, because it can disappear…….

In lieu of the recent findings that bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva, Zometa, Aredia, and Didronel) can actually increase the risk of fractures,  I’ve been reading some articles on mineral supplementation for bone health, and the ever-changing recommendations.

According to an article in Consumer Reports On Health magazine, roughly 60 percent of men and 80 percent of women don’t get enough calcium from their diets, and for years the advice had been to make up the difference with supplementation. New research is indicating that it is not as good as getting it from food. (Intuitively, I think we all realize that) At best, calcium absorption from a pill is about 30 percent, meaning that if you took 1500 mg of the best calcium available (citrate), you’d only absorb 450 mg. Foods have compounds that work synergistically with one another, thus bolstering the assimilation of each. For calcium, good food choices are plain, low-fat yougurt, sardines (with bones) Skim milk, tofu, cheddar cheese, pink salmon, cooked greens (kale, spinach, turnip greens), oranges, and almonds and Brazil nuts.

Magnesium works with Potassium to bolster bone, and also is vital for heart beat, and controlling blood sugar levels. Magnesium is also the number 1 mineral for the health of the GI tract. Good sources are halibut, almonds, cashews, and peanuts, cooked spinach, baked potato (with skin on), kidney, pinto, and baked beans, avocado and banana, and skim milk and plain yogurt.

Potassium is vital for controlling blood pressure. Sodium restriction gets all the buzz, but potassium is the unsung hero. In the body, the ratio for sodium to potassium should be 2:3. In most Americans’ diets, it’s more like 2:1. Fruits and veges are high in potassium, animal products are high in sodium. A potassium-rich diet is associated with reduced heart disease, reduced risk of bone loss, kidney stones, strokes, and type 2 diabetes. Food sources are baked potato (skin on), avocado, yogurt, beans (boiled, black, lentils, lima, kidney, pinto), cooked greens (spinach, swiss chard), winter squash, artichokes, and bananas.

Whenever I recover from illness, I vow to re-examine my dietary patterns and make corrections. Although I eat very well, there is always room for improvement.

Stay well, and grateful, John R Blilie, M.S.