As a teacher, you have to look after yourself, and especially your health, both physical and mental. Always avoid lifting or shifting heavy furniture, or any other such items. That is someone else’s job. Find out who that person is as soon as possible at the beginning of the school year,
and introduce yourself to him or her.
A teacher CANNOT have a bad back!
COLDS and infections are inevitable ~ you shall be picking up all the new common
cold viruses, all year, as brought to school by the students and other staff. Make sure you eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water ~ a minimum of 2-3 litres daily, including especially foods that boost your immune system (see Section
can slow mucus production, which makes it harder to clear viruses. This happens more in Summer and also in hot, airless, classrooms in the colder months. Sip
plenty of water throughout the day. Check with the School Rules to ascertain if your students are allowed to drink water from unspillable bottles or cups during class.
WASH your hands regularly and
properly. Most colds are passed on when you touch the hand of an infected person, or a surface contaminated with the cold virus, and then touch your eyes or nose, transmitting the infection
to yourself. Therefore, if you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly throughout the day, you cut your risk of infecting yourself. Please reinforce the 'hand
washing' message with students, and EXPLAIN the benefits.
SLEEP ~ Getting eight to nine hours sustained sleep a night helps maintain your immune system and prevents you catching a cold. But it’s not just going to bed on time that counts; you need good
quality, sustained, sleep. Please see my Post on Beware the Light!! and the deleterious effects of late night and / or long-term use of electronic devices emitting the blue-violet
light spectrum ~ televisions, laptops, iPads, Kindles, Tablets, mobile phones, no matter how small the screen.
The evidence is mounting on the lack of attainment and failure to achieve expected results for students, and everyone in the workplace.
your students WHY they need nine to ten hours sustained sleep nightly.
[For your older students, I have developed a Post, "Student! Help's Here"
(the title on this website's Menu). This gives all the self-care advice contained in this Post, plus some extra information, aimed at the needs of teenagers,
older Students, and slightly younger students. I hope you find it helps reduce the time you need to spend on factual information.]
For your young Students, let them know they grow during sleep, and their bones continue to develop.
It is understood that 90 per cent of bone growth takes place at night.
Nine to ten hours of good quality, sustained, sleep
give a child, youngster, and teenager adequate rest.
human growth hormone is released during this time, resulting in growth spurts. Sleep is essential for the body to rest, and adequate rest means better physical growth.
Youngsters would be fascinated to know how much they grow in their sleep ~ SUGGEST to your students that they need to take control of their
sleep, as surely they want to grow as much as possible.
SLEEP is also essential for physical recuperation, the development of the immune system, brain development, learning, memory, and information processing, as well as many other systems of the brain and the body.
The older your students, the more they may be interested in the science of
sleep, and it could make an interesting Project-Based Learning (PBL) undertaking, with different sections of the class
dealing with discrete elements of the benefits of sleep.
However, even young children would be well able to understand the link between nine to ten hours sleep and growing. Young
children might take on various types of projects on the subject, including the science of sleep; sleep diaries / stories including comments on how the quality of sleep affected
the quality of the following day ~ including sports, study, remembering, concentrating; create collages, paintings or drawings of dreams they remember, either new or old.
Sufficient Magnesium in the diet is essential to help gain and maintain good quality sleep. If you have difficulties getting to sleep and staying asleep, you may wish to consider taking a Magnesium supplement.
Please discuss this with your GP. There are high potency, much improved uptake Magnesium supplements, which are of great benefit to those of us who have difficulty absorbing Magnesium from our normal diet. Some people CANNOT absorb
Magnesium from their food. Epsom salts baths may be helpful for some and there are ranges of excellent Magnesium sprays which come for sensitive skin, to aid sleep, and some come as spray oils which can be massaged into the muscles that ache when Magnesium
is not taken up by the body.
STAYING ACTIVE can help
protect you from cold bugs. Aim for 30 minutes daily of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, to keep your immune system ticking over.
evidence that 30 minutes brisk walking daily has great general health benefits. Such daily walking regularly from today, and into older years, it's one of the best shields
(www.getirelandactive.ie / www.irishtrails.ie)
As the school year continues, self-care becomes even more important, because the examination and / or assessment
requirements are building. TRY NOT TO SLIP from your daily habits of good food, lots of water, plenty of sleep, and a reasonable exercise regime ~ you're not trying out for the Olympics!
having an annual Influenza Vaccination. I know some people disapprove of this. However, you are not just considering your own health, you have to consider your wider family, including
older people, pregnant women, and members who may be frail, and who would find fighting influenza problematical, plus your colleagues and students.
Antibiotics are useless against influenza or any viral infection. Visit hse.ie/antibiotics for further information on when antibiotics may be required, and when they have no benefit.
MEASLES (Rubella) virus is making an alarming come-back in Western Europe, and is endemic in parts of Eastern Europe.
According to a special report, "Should we be worried about measles?", on 'Prime Time' the flagship current affairs
programme of RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster ~
"the World Health Organisation warned cases in Europe have jumped by up to 50% in the first five
months of the year due to low uptake of the vaccination".
There is a requirement of 95% vaccination cover to give a 'herd immunity' which is required to stop the disease from spreading.
The Health Service Executive (HSE), which is the National body in Ireland governing the Country's health care, has an Integrated Care Group
for Children, and Dr Kevin Kelleher is on its Steering Group, and is also Assistant National Director for Public and Child Health.
Dr Kelleher was interviewed on the
subject of outbreaks in parts of North Dublin and an adjacent County. He reported the outbreaks are because around 8% of babies nationally do not get the vaccination, and 13-15% of babies are not vaccinated in North Dublin.
There is no reason to think this profile is not replicated
all over the 'Developed World'.
Measles had previously been almost completely
irradicated in the 'Developed World' according to the programme.
Dr Kelleher was asked why there was not full uptake of the vaccination (it is free in Ireland), he said that there is "a very stubborn group of people who are
very anti-vaccination" and "who put out stories" via the internet, media, social media, which put people off having their children vaccinated.
People who do not have their babies vaccinated at 12 months as part of the MMR, and the booster vaccination
when they start school, are not just risking the health and possibly the life of their babies, but they risk the health and welfare of all who come in contact with their babies and children.
Dr Kelleher told of his experience of treating babies with measles when
he was a young doctor, and ended by stating the following vehemently.
"Let nobody ever think measles is a mild disease. IT IS NOT."
He mentioned the group of people in the population who have not been vaccccinated, especially in the "nadir"
years 2001 / 2002.
you know for certain if you were vaccinated as a child? The age group of approximately 40-35 years and younger, is more likely NOT to have been vaccinated due to an unsubstantiated scare over the three-in-one vaccination causing autism, during
that period. The MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), can be TAKEN AT ANY
AGE if a GP immunity test shows you have no immunity.
(Visit www.immunisation.ie / www.hspc.ie).
The 6-in-1 vaccine
protects a baby against six diseases: diphtheria; hepatitis B; haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib); polio; tetanus and whooping cough. Visit the above mentioned links
for further information.
A digest of the Study
"Common Arguments Against Vaccination, And
The Answers to Them"
by Dr Ramesh Manocha, can be found in the
last Section of this Post.
Of course, your health is very important, but so is that of your students, colleagues, family, older or frail people in your life, most especially
pregnant women, and any women you know who may be planning a pregnancy. Catching RUBELLA in early pregnancy carries a risk of miscarriage. Nine out of ten babies WILL HAVE major birth defects such as deafness, blindness, brain damage, or heart disease.
The first signs of German Measles are a high temperature and
a sniffy nose ~ just like the common cold. In fact, some have no symptoms at all. By the time the telltale red splodges appear, two to three days in, you have already infected
others. Proximity is enough to infect another, so being in the same room is sufficient to pick up or spread the infection. If you feel you have the sniffles, do not go out.
PLEASE visit your GP to discuss this and other matters that affect teachers in particular. Please take time to visit
www.immunisation.ie for further very important information on immunisation
Pregnant women may need to learn about getting the WHOOPING COUGH (pertussis) vaccination while pregnant to protect the foetus in the womb and during the first few months of life. PERTUSSIS is a highly contagious disease that can be life threatening and is most serious in children less than six months of age ~ possibly resulting in hospitalisation for pneumonia and brain damage.
PLEASE see your GP if you are pregnant, hoping to be pregnant, or working in an environment with women of child bearing years, or their
partners, for theIr sake and for your own.
PLEASE MEET YOUR GP FOR ADVICE ON DECISIONS REGARDING VACCINATIONS, IMMUNISATIONS, AND ANY POSSIBLY REQUIRED SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR DIET.
OF CARE REGARDING VACCINATIONS
Having considering the matter of vaccination and the possible consequences of contracting any of the
illnesses contained by the MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), plus the duty of care any school or educational establishment has to its employees and students, I have come to believe it is reasonable
for an interview board to ask any potential employee, at interview, if he or she knows if he or she had the MMR vaccine.
Some people do not know if they had this
three-in-one vaccine at a very young age, but a GP immunity test can show if a person has no immunity. If a potential employee does not know if he or she has been vaccinated, or knows he or she is
not vaccinated, I believe it is the duty of a educational establishment to indicate they WILL EMPLOY STAFF who have been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. An adult can have the vaccine from a GP very easily.
This view will be contentious but many health districts and schools in Ireland and the USA are now banning enrollment of students
who have not been immunised. I believe the same requirement for adult employess of schools, in whatever capacity, will follow shortly.
Whatever is the personal choice of someone regarding having or not having the MMR vaccine, I believe
the COMMON WELFARE of all the staff and students, and their families, in a early education school / Montessori / kindergarten, junior and secondary school, college or university, MUST OUTWEIGH a personal choice not to be checked for an immunity test, or not vaccinated, if shown not to have been vaccinated.
I consider no-one can reasonably expect to be employed in a place of work, particularly full of women of child-bearing years, plus female students, without
having had the MMR vaccine and, of course, their partners and offspring of male teachers. We each have a societal duty. This is just the front line of infection defence.
The infection could easily be brought home to the family by anyone working in or attending the educational establishment.
This personal view is not made with any Employment Laws or entitlements in mind.
AS A NEW TEACHER
You may feel, as a new teacher, that you have to volunteer for everything, to show you are
enthusiastic and keen to be involved in the School life.
KEEP YOUR HAND DOWN! wait, and only volunteer for something you know you are good at and enjoy, and that your efforts would be making a worthwhile contribution,
plus attracting positive reactions from colleagues, school authorities, pupils, and parents.
You will spend considerably more time in research, preparation, lesson-planning, and checking homework, than the school hours allow. You
will be roped into jobs in any case.
Do not rush to add to your workload!
STRESS IN GENERAL
Stress is VERY high on the list of teachers' illnesses. However, stress is frequently under-reported, as it
is seen by many, FOOLISHLY, as a weakness!
Please see the following links.
(www.aware.ie/10+ways+to+relieve+stress / www.heartfulness.ie/Anxiety/Relaxation / https://www.extension.umn.edu/...stress/four-strategies-for-preventing-or-reducing-stress).
If your whole evening and every weekend end up being spent on grading or preparation, your job has run away with you, and you
need to get back in charge. Please see my Post, Beware the Light!! on how over-working with a computer screen, especially late in the evening, can harm your health, and
effect negatively your sleep patterns.
I know teachers who have had complete nervous and physical breakdowns DUE TO THE STRESS of keeping up with grading homework, preparing new and interesting ways of getting across the syllabus, and possibly
studying to improve their own skills. Two of these were school principals and had to retire early on health grounds.
IT CAN HAPPEN to anyone very fast, and it is a long and exhausting way back to health, when one has eventually realised and accepted the fact it HAS happened.
PLEASE GET HELP as soon as you feel under pressure; when sleep is becoming erratic; when your laundry regime has fallen apart; when your mealtimes become hit and miss; when your usual schedule for supermarket shopping, collecting dry cleaning,
and meeting friends, just do not happen any more; when you feel out of control ~ YOU NEED HELP IMMEDIATELY!
HELP immediately could be what saves your career. A likely outcome for a teacher who has a complete physical and nervous breakdown is early retirement.
Jenny Harvey's Survey on Mental Health Issues relating to Teachers in Scotland, February 2017
In a survey carried out in Scotland at the beginning of February 2017, by Jenny Harvey, a Fife special needs teacher (who was taken aback by the volume of responses – 778 at the last count), found nearly half of teachers are struggling with mental health issues.
[See the online TES article by Henry Hepburn for more information.]
NEARLY HALF of respondents to the poll on teacher well-being
said their mental health was POOR, fuelling fears that growing numbers are struggling to cope with the profession’s changing demands.
Experts are saying every school in Scotland should have a
counsellor to help deal with teaching's unique demands.
A significant proportion also takes medication because of the job. The convener of a national mental health helpline has said that the demands of teaching are so exceptional that a counsellor should be stationed in every school.
Some 45 per cent said that their mental health was “poor” or “very poor”, and 15 per cent reported taking medication because of the stresses of their work.
Ms Harvey was surprised by some findings ~
such as almost every respondent felt the “heavy burden” of GUILT about the educational experience they offered pupils.
“We just want the best for our pupils and sometimes we feel more could be done for them,” she said. “There just aren’t enough hours in the day or resources that we need”.
I do not imagine
Scotland is out of step, and that the teachers there are under a significantly greater burden than teachers here, elsewhere in Europe, or further afield. I imagine the respondents to this survey found being able to be straightforward about their
experience a relief.
IS THIS not a good time to ask some stark questions about the general mental health status of our teachers, the levels of support they get to do their jobs, and if they have sufficient resources and assistance
to ease their stress levels?
ALSO bear in mind, that if your students are sitting a State exam, or any important school exam, some may become very stressed. Prepare from the BEGINNING of the school year to reduce their stress levels by introducing them to the self-help information below with STRESS CHATS. Stressed
students can add to a teacher's sense of pressure.
If your School has a Counsellor, co-ordinate your Stress Chats with your students with him or her, so that he or she knows to
expects extra appointments, and request in good time quantities of leaflets beforehand, from the Counsellor, which you can pass around in the classroom, having read the contents yourself.
Then, put aside time to talk to your students about STRESS, impressing on them it is NOT shameful,
that it IS manageable, and TO TALK ABOUT IT. Let them know the School Counsellor is expecting applications for appointments.
Let your students know you are always there to listen, if they need to talk.
If you do not have
a School Counsellor, try finding out what up-to-date information might be in the School Library and the Staff Room,
and also email a request to your Local Health Authority for sufficient leaflets on such topics as:
STRESS (www.aware.ie/10+ways+to+relieve+stress / www.heartfulness.ie/Anxiety/Relaxation / https://www.extension.umn.edu/...stress/four-strategies-for-preventing-or-reducing-stress);
USE OF STREET DRUGS (www.drugs.ie/Know-The-Facts / www.drugs.ie/resourcesfiles/guides/DealingWithDrugUse.pdf / https://drugfree.org/parent-blog/preventing-teen-using-drugs-persuasion/);
PREVENTING OR STOPPING SMOKING IN YOUNG PEOPLE (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934164/ / www.facebook.com/HSEquit / www.quit.ie / www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen.../in...smoking/art-20047069 / https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934164/ /
YOUTH ALCOHOL USE
VACCINATIONS AND IMMUNISATIONS HPV Vaccine - early teenage girl vaccination to prevent cervical cancer (www.hpv.ie / http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv-vaccine.html);
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs) (www.healthpromotion.ie / www.hivireland.ie
/ www.healthinfo.ie / www.man2man.ie/pep9.html / http://www.hivireland.ie/hiv/testing/free-hiv-sti-testing-centre-locator/);
MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE FOR CHILDREN FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
(Teenage Mental Health - MyMind.org / www.mentalhealthireland.ie/teens/ / Adwww.mymind.org / Mental_Health);
HELP DETAILS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO CONTACT IN CONFIDENCE (Teenage Mental Health - MyMind.org / www.mentalhealthireland.ie/teens/ / Adwww.mymind.org / Mental_Health / www.aware.ie/).
If you know the latest thinking on any subject, you will be more confident supporting your students.
Clearly, most of the the above sites are Irish, but they should give you basic information, and you could then go to your own local Health Authority to
obtain links and brochures relevant to where you live.
The following may help your students keep a balance, and perhaps you would care to post it up on the classroom wall.
A Quote from an Article by Marie Louise McConville on Stress Coming up to Exam Time where anyone can see it. The School Counsellor may be pleased
to have a copy.
12 May, 2017 01:00, The Irish News
[Ms McConville became very unwell due to over-studying and becoming extremely stressed before
"If you are about to sit exams these coming weeks, take a minute to remember that while results are important, they are not the be-all-and-end-all.
"Exams can be re-sat but we only have one chance at life and living it and enjoying it and really, without our health, what chance do we have?
"So, if you're about to enter that intimidating exam hall or about to hand in that all-important dissertation, take a deep breath and remember, your life will not be determined by this one
exam or in this one moment.
"If you're feeling under pressure, it's important you talk to someone. You are not alone. Your family and
friends love you and want what's best for you and will support you no matter what and you will never disappoint them.
"They want you
healthy and happy.
"Remember, it is true what they say, you're health really is your wealth.
Help in the classroom by doing some of the exercises in When Eveyone Needs to Calm Down! ~ is to be found at the end of this Post, and also read through with the students the last section called WHEN ENOUGH IS
My Post, THE STUDENT TAKES THE LEAD DESIGNING WORK PLANS, helps students to calm down and get some structure to their late evening activities, and plan their
own work schedules. Also, use suggestions from the Care for Your General Health ... advice Sections above and below, from the beginning of the school year.
For the teacher's own sake, she should have her plans for the examination academic year prepared well in advance, so that the vital work is covered by the students in the fashion that suits them best. Many teachers
may have worked with the class the previous year, and so will know what style of studying works for each student.
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a great way to engage learning of all different modalities:
visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, and tactile. Utilising PBL is an equitable way to reach and engage all learners in your classroom, and provide them with hands-on, real life, problem solving opportunities.
IF SUCH prepared plans are not in place, the teacher
can divide the class into the above groups, and get them to work together towards a single goal, for each element of the syllabus.
Taking Care of Yourself Should Optimally Include the Following
Some people require the addition of vitamins and other substances in food
supplements. They can be fairly inexpensive to very expensive and could make a difference, even starting today, to how you manage your resistance to infection, supporting energy and sleep levels,
during the pre-exam and exam seasons, any time of stress, or just as part of your regular regime.
If you are buying folic acid tablets, for example, buy Folic Acid BP ~ much cheaper than branded
versions. Always ask for a generic brand of any supplement or vitamin you choose to buy.
As with every product you buy, check the contents to see what percentage of what you want is included, and what percentage is filler. See below
for folic acid rich foods.
BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM & CARE FOR YOUR MIND & BODY
GARLIC ~ Research has found that people who eat fresh garlic are two-thirds less likely
to catch a cold. This is because it contains allicin, which fights infection. Odour-free garlic products are
available; I do not know if they are equally beneficial. The potent sulphur compound in garlic, allicin, is responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of this plant. You can increase the activity of allicin by letting garlic sit for about 10 minutes after crushing or chopping it before adding to ingredients or heating it. Add the garlic towards
the end of cooking to retain nutrients.
MUSHROOMS ~ Many modern medicines come from fungal extracts. Mushrooms contain Vitamin D, and are great at combating viruses. They are also a handy source of Vitamin B12, an essential
Vitamin which helps with mending cells and with eye care, especially in relation to the maintenance of the essential eye mucous. Vitamin B12, other than
in mushrooms, is difficult to source in food. Without sufficient Vitamin D your body’s T-cells lie dormant, and these are what help fight infections.
Ordinary white button mushrooms, brown caps, large flats, or breakfast mushrooms, are all good sources of Vitamin B12. Don't imagine
you need to spend a lot on special, expensive, mushrooms for your Vitamin B12 requirements.
Mushrooms also have powerful bioactive components that reduce inflammation. Try a stir-fried mushroom dish, and maybe include other mushroom varieties, such as maitake, enoki, and oyster mushrooms.
Recent research has shown the many health benefits of Maitake mushrooms, including their ability to boost the immune system. This is due to
maitake’s beta glucan content. Beta glucane is a complex sugar that activates and increases the activity
of the immune system to help the body fight illness more quickly and efficiently. Studies show that beta glucan may
also trigger cancer fighting cells, possibly making chemotherapy more effective. In addition, maitake mushrooms have been SHOWN to decrease the negative side effects of anti-cancer drugs, including nausea, vomiting, and hair loss, when consumed during treatment.
Enoki mushrooms have a somewhat sweet flavour, and are frequently used in
soups and dishes like nabe and sukiyaki. Similar to the shitake mushroom, enoki mushrooms are low calorie, low fat, and
sugar free. In addition, like other mushrooms, enoki is high in B Vitamins; it’s particularly rich in niacin, which helps support adrenal functions and is necessary for metabolism. In a single cup
serving, enoki mushrooms offer 23% of the daily recommended value of niacin. This can help reduce the potential for heart
disease and may be useful in preventing second heart attacks in those who are at risk.
The Eryngii (King Oyster) mushroom is the largest species of the oyster mushrooms. It has a thick white stem and a meaty texture
and can be thickly sliced and grilled like steak. Eryngii has naturally occurring antioxidants, including the amino acid ergothioneine, which protects the body’s cells against free radicals (harmful damaged cells), thus reducing the risk of
chronic disease. Ergothioneine, an antioxidant found in eryngii mushrooms, is not reduced by cooking. Eryngii
also contain a disease fighting compound called Lovastatin, which helps clear cholesterol from the body’s circulatory system, improving blood flow.
They also contain significant amounts of zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and folic acid. They're an excellent source
of the essential mineral selenium, and easier to absorb than the inorganic selenium typically found in dietary supplements.
GRAPES ~ Grapes have
one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit. These antioxidants are largely concentrated in the skin. The anti-inflammatory properties of grape skin have been demonstrated.
Grapes have also shown to have anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic activity. Freeze them and use them in place of ice cubes. Add them to all
your salads. Add them in the last few minutes of cooking to any sauce for sweet bursts of flavour. They are great in curries or any tomato sauce.
DILLISK ~ is a seaweed found widely spread in the oceans of the world. The Dillisk I get comes from the West Coast
of Ireland, and is about as pure as one could get. Dillisk contains astonishing high levels of B12, calcium, and other vital trace elements. It is very beneficial in reducing
inflamation. I go to Wild Atlantic Seagarden <email@example.com> for my information on the many benefits of the numerous, various, seaweeds.
CARE FOR YOUR EYES ~ Consider
the length of time you will be reading texts and reading your screens, your eyes need all the support they can get.
see my Post, Beware the Light!! for further information on eye care.
CINNAMON ~ A generous sprinkle of cinnamon will help expel
toxins from the body. It is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal: A TRIPLE SHIELD against illness. Some people cannot bear the taste of cinnamon, so try adding a couple of spoonfuls regularly to curries or to robust, well-flavoured casseroles full of herbs and vegetables, or other strong tasting
FOLIC ACID ~ Spinach is rich in folic acid, a
key ingredient for repairing cells, this SUPER-FOOD is also a great source of Potassium and Vitamin C, which help keep you healthy.
Kale, and other cruciferous
vegetables should be consumed at least five times a week because they are rich in sulphoraphane,
which helps eliminate harmful toxic compounds in the body that might otherwise promote inflammation. Kale stands out among this stellar group, because it is one of
the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. Try kale in salads, smoothies, soups, casseroles, and stews. Mix it into pasta dishes. Bake them in the oven to make kale chips. Also, incorporate other cruciferous (brassica
oleracea) vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts into your diet. These vegetables are related to each other and are all rich in folic acid.
The shorthand version is green leaf vegetables all include
folic acid, including rocket and other salad leaves!
There is an increased risk of the foetus developing a serious birth defect, known as a neural tube defect,
if the mother has a poor folic acid intake before and during pregnancy. The neural tube is a narrow channel that eventually forms the brain and spinal cord.
of neural tube defects include:
Spina Bifida – where the baby's
spine does not develop properly;
Anencephaly – where a
baby is born without parts of the brain and skull;
Encephalocele – where
a membrane or skin-covered sac containing part of the brain pushes out of a hole in the skull.
Please go to the following site, from which
I quoted above on neural tube defects, for further information on infertility due to a lack of folic acid in the diet and other matters.
VITAMIN C ~ Taking a high dose of Vitamin C could help shorten a cold if you take it at the first sign of symptoms. It could also cut your risk of the
common cold in the first place. However, a good diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables is an excellent source
of all the vitamins and trace elements we require. Most vitamin supplements will not give you the essential trace elements found in
fresh fruit and vegetables or quickly frozen vegetables and fruit.
MAGNESIUM ~ Taking Magnesium daily helps to regulate
your sleep patterns and is helpful in keeping mental well-being in balance. Any time of stress can cause some people to lose control of their sleep regime, starting to worry, and thus beginning a cycle of poor sleep. Consider starting a
Magnesium supplement now and and it will help in the coming weeks and, indeed, years.
Prepared products containing mixes of various vitamins and supplements
are usually expensive and do not contain sufficient of any of the ingredients listed to have a specific effective impact. A judicious selection of the basics would be much less expensive, and have
BANANAS ~ Using bananas as your snack of choice while having a break during study, marking, teaching, gives you a supply of trace elements not found in any other fruit or vegetable. They are very easy on the digestive tract, and if you add a dribble of honey
now and then, between them they will keep your gut active and calm, and help reduce gastric upsets which are common at times of stress. Unripe, green, bananas have a higher starch content. As they ripen, the starch is converted to sugar (and the fruit becomes sweeter). Green
bananas are also a good source of pectin, which is a type of dietary fibre found in fruits and helps them keep their structural form. Pectin breaks down when a banana becomes overripe, which causes the fruit to become softer. Bananas are loaded with valuable micro-nutrients, especially potassium. Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the
body, helping to regulate heart function as well as fluid balance – a key factor in regulating blood pressure. The effectiveness
of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, in lowering blood pressure and protecting against heart disease and strokes is well accepted and bolstered by considerable scientific evidence. Bananas are soothing to the gastrointestinal tract due to their high content of pectin – as soluble
fibre that not only lowers cholesterol but normalises bowel function. The high fibre content of bananas promote satiety (feeling of fullness). However, as a tropical fruit, bananas are
higher in sugar and aren’t a great choice for diabetics. The resistant starch in bananas also has a pre-biotic effect, helping to keep gut bacteria happy by increasing the production of short chain fatty acids for digestive health.
HERBS & OILS ~ Echinacea and Pelargonium herbs are both immunity super-boosters, and can
help reduce the number of colds you get if you take them throughout the cold season. These are available in various sources from capsules to powders. Echinacea
is a vital source of Omega 3, 6, and 9, especially for vegetarians and vegans, as it is plant derived, rather than the usual fish oil sources, and so there is no after-taste of fish. However, halibut
and cod liver oil capsules are good value, and easily available sources of Omegas. A regular fish element
in your diet, two or three times a week, would give you all the Omega you require, and it is low in cholesterol. Tins of sardines in
olive or sunflower oil can be kept in the larder for a good while, always available for breakfast on toast, lunch, or supper. Rich in Omega 3, this is a good value, very handy source, especially for those living alone, studying, or working late.
oil is high in Omegas and can be used in place of olive oil for cooking or salad dressings.
PLEASE consider where your fish is SOURCED. I would never buy fish taken from the Irish Sea, for example, as it is described as a 'sewer' by marine biologists, given its contributions from the nuclear power plant,
Sellafield, in Britain, and the untreated sewage pumped out of Irish towns and cities along the coast.
HUMIDITY ~ Normally, tiny hairs in your lungs waft germs and mucus into your throat, where you clear them by swallowing. But
very cold air slows this movement, giving viruses longer to take hold in your lungs and cause an infection.
VERY FEW schools will invest in humidifiers! So, I suggest keeping containers of water (changing the water daily) beside / adjacent to every heater, radiator,
or heat source, in your classroom (and at home). Keeping humidity levels between 40-60% using a humidifier reduces the period viruses survive in the air, and keeps your respiratory
system warm and moist. Now, the system I suggest is clearly not so scientifically accurate, but it will help. Be careful that the water containers
are safe from being knocked over, and should never be put near electric heat sources.
YOU SHOULD CHECK FIRST to see if you are allowed to introduce such a humidifying system into your classroom.
Even if disallowed in School, you could make your own for your home.
PORRIDGE ~ Trinity College Dublin continues to come out
with more good news on the benefits of porridge. We already know a bowl of porridge for breakfast reduces random, unhealthy, snacking, it fills
one until lunchtime; it is very good for the skin; and now we hear that the active parts of the oatmeal work to breakdown cholesterol build-up, and plague build-up in blood vessels. It assists in weight loss; and of course it is a very good value food ~ considerably better for us than the processed breakfast cereals claiming to contain seeds and fruit which are hugely more expensive, with their frequently added sugar / sugar-types and salt. We can add our own, in
season, fresh fruit, as we like!
For example, LINSEED (flaxseed) CANNOT be digested by the human system as
the coating is too dense for our digestive juices. Also, bought milled linseed is of little value, except maybe as a very expensive contribution
to roughage consumption. Linseed is very rich in Omega, and should be milled as one has one's breakfast or whenever one plans to use it, as it loses
it nutritional value within twenty minutes after milling.
The above information is based on my own Montessori Training including nutrition and general healthcare; https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/nutrition/top-15-anti-inflammatory-foods/; my keen interest in good quality, good value food; the Health Section of the 'Sunday Times Magazine'; https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-bananas; the Holland & Barrett website; plus advice from a Local Authority Dietitian regarding stress management, and continuous reading of up-to-date research.