Friday, August 20, 2010

Preventing Autism and Allergies

This is just an introduction, and certainly won't be extensive, but here are a few steps that you can take if you are pregnant, want to become pregnant, or even already have a little one.

Eat Healthy. For at least 6 months before you get pregnant! Food is fuel and nourishment for the body. That is it's purpose. Enjoyment is not the main purpose of food. Now that doesn't mean that you have to eat food that doesn't taste good. Healthy food can actually taste very good, but it might take some adjusting to eat a bowl of berries instead of a bowl of ice cream! Healthy is also different than what the media and the American Heart Association will tell you. It is not the food pyramid. But I won't get into all of that here. Very healthy things to eat: grass fed organic meats and eggs, fruit, vegetables, organic butter or ghee, nuts, seeds, and whole grains like brown rice or quinoa.

Whole Foods. Foods as close to how God made them as possible. A good general rule is to shop the perimeter of the store. Nearly all of the food in the middle of the store is processed and has added sugars, salts, excitotoxins and chemicals.

Food Ingredients. If you can't read it, don't eat it! It should read like a recipe, not like a chemical index.

Enzymes. If your food is not raw. Then you should take enzymes to help break it down so your body can best utilize what you are eating.

Orgnaics and Non GMO. If you can, eat organic and not genetically modified. Not only do organic foods not have the pesticides on them, they have more nutrients in them than their non-organic counterparts. Be aware that being organic does not make it healthy - there are plenty of processed organic foods that are not healthy. Foods commonly genetically modified (unless it's organic) are soy, corn, and wheat.

Drink Pure Water. Avoid soda (it's full of chemicals, excitotoxins, and sugar). Avoid caffeine.

Probiotics. Taking probiotics while pregnant and nursing (and give them to the baby in their bottle, if not nursing) is a good idea. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our gut (intestines). Today's diet in America and the tendency to readily use antibiotics, oral contraception, steroid medication, and eat a high sugar diet have wrecked havoc on most people's gut bacteria. When a baby is born, their gut is colonized with the gut bacteria of the mother. If her gut bacteria is bad, the baby won't get the good bacteria they need for establishment of a healthy immune and digestive system. The mother taking probiotics (especially around the time of the birth and nursing) and giving probiotics to the baby after birth (if not nursing) will counteract this and give the baby good gut bacteria that will help to avoid long-term health problems. Probiotic supplements can be found at nearly any health food store. The most common one is L. acidophillus. Probiotic supplements containing only acidophillus or multiple probiotic strains can be readily found. If you or your child must take antibiotics, make sure to take probiotics during the same time period and for a week or so afterward.

Clean up Your Environment. Become aware of what you use in your house and the toxins that are in them and switch to non toxic alternatives. Things like cleaners, laundry detergent and dryer sheets, soaps, perfume, air fresheners, carpet cleaners, lotions (that you slather on your body and get absorbed into your skin and into your bloodstream), body wash, shampoo, bug spray, toothpaste, etc. Some of these may be surprising. But, become aware. Perfumes and artificial fragrances can be some of the more toxic substances in your home some fragrances have as many as 600 different chemicals in them, most of them toxic, and because it's in the air you don't even have to touch it, you can breathe it in.

Be especially aware of baby products like baby wash, lotion, and cream. Babies have thin skin and readily absorb what is put on it and their little systems cannot clear it out as well. It can put a huge burden on the kidneys, liver, and other detoxifying organs. Nearly all of the ones that you will find in the store are loaded with chemicals that are linked to causing cancer, allergies and immunotoxicity problems, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and organ system toxicity among other things. Again, a good guideline is that it should read like a recipe. If you wouldn't eat it, don't put it onto your body - or your baby's. Many stores are now carrying great nontoxic alternatives and there are tons of options online! So it's easy to find them.

Also be aware of cooking processes. We've all heard of the dangers of lead and mercury. They are heavy metals and damage brains, nerves, and cells. Same with aluminum. Replace aluminum cookware with high quality stainless steel (a magnet should stick to it) or glass. Do not cook or grill with aluminum foil. And, I know this sounds radical, but avoid using the microwave. It changes the cellular make up of proteins, toxins in plastic leach into the food, and you are radiating your food! It's a nuclear device - don't use it. I've found the toaster oven makes a great substitute. It warms foods much quicker than the oven, costs less than firing up the whole oven, and foods don't come out rubbery, as with the microwave!

Pharmaceuticals and over the counter medications. They are made of chemicals and all of them have detrimental side effects in the body and there are natural alternatives for most! I know it can be a hassle and intimidating, but seek alternatives, particularly for ongoing or frequently recurring problems. Things like colds and flus and ear infections can be helped quickly (even quicker than antibiotics) without harmful side effects by using things like garlic (a very potent natural antibiotic). You may not know what to do when it hits the first time, but look into it so you are prepared the next time! Even medications considered "safe" during pregnancy like antacids, many contain aluminum. Take nothing for granted.

Vaccinations. You need to know what your baby is being vaccinated for, why they need it, when they really need it (that may be different from when your doctor tells you they need it), and how to do them with your child's greatest safety and health in mind. Get educated before your baby is born!

By all means, unless the mom has Hepetitis B or the baby needs a blood transfusion, highly consider not letting your child get the Hep B shot as an infant, especially the first days of life! Heb B is spread through an infected hypodermic needle, sex, blood transfusions, or from the mom at birth. The vast majority of babies do not need this shot as an infant, especially as a newborn. It isn't worth the risk of overloading the very weak to non-existant immune system of a newborn affecting how it operates long term (think asthma, allergies, etc) or the toxic load this dumps into a newborn. The Hep B shot currently has 11xs the known toxic dose of aluminum for a baby. And that's just the aluminum in it...get educated!

Mercury is still in the flu vaccine. Mercury is one of the most toxic substances on earth. The flu is not particularly dangerous and the gamble that the vaccine makers actually picked the right strain of flu out of a couple hundred options to put in the vaccine isn't great. Weigh the risks and benefits, but you need to know both in order to do that!

Yeast and Heavy Metals. If you frequently get yeast infections, deal with it now! And by that, I don't mean do a round of Monistat or Diflucan (although that can be nice for quick relief) thinking that takes care of it. If it is a recurring problem, it is a sign that you likely have an overgrowth of yeast throughout your body. Find a practitioner or doctor who is knowledgeable about this, deal with it, and change your diet and digestion. If you continue to struggle with yeast, you may have heavy metal toxicity, and you definately want to deal with that before pregnancy and childbirth. This is critical!

We all expect and pray to have healthy children, but the rates of children with health problems are skyrocketing. These steps can help prevent so many of those issues.

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