Eat, Drink, Strengthen


Dengue is a very scary thought. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) has recorded a 23.5 percent increase in dengue cases, as compared to September 2014. That amounts to about 92,000 cases nationwide, and out of that number, 269 have lost their lives to dengue this 2015 alone. Furthermore, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, about 400 million people a year have been infected by this disease worldwide since the 1950's. The figures speak for themselves. People are taking action to keep themselves and their families dengue-free. It is no wonder why we see so many kids walking around with mosquito patches stuck to every imaginable piece of clothing. Almost all healthcare brands have also come out with their own versions of anti-mosquito sprays and lotions to serve as additional protection against dengue. Not to mention, the DOH has actively stepped up its information campaign to raise public awareness about disease prevention and treatment.

What is Dengue? Dengue belongs to a family of illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes. That pesky mosquito bite will lead to symptoms within four to ten days, manifested by high fever, muscle and joint pain, rash, nausea, headache, and low blood platelet count. Since mosquitoes thrive in tropical countries, the Philippines is a prime breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. And so if you, or anyone you know, presents these symptoms, do not hesitate in rushing to the doctor or to your nearest hospital. It is always better to be safe than sorry with a blood test and physical examination of symptoms.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against dengue. There is no magic pill to make dengue go away. Doctors treat the patient's symptoms as they come. But that's the worst case scenario: when you find yourself in the hospital, having ignored symptoms and allowing the virus to weaken your body.

Eat, Drink, Strengthen Current public awareness campaigns teach us that there are ways to strengthen our immune systems and help our body prevent the onset of dengue fever. The DOH has come up with a good game plan to prevent the spread of dengue. It calls for the four o'clock habit: Stop, Look, and Listen. This campaign asks people to stop outdoor activities from 4PM onwards because this is the time when dengue mosquitoes are most active. Then you need to look and actively search for breeding areas for mosquitoes, places with stagnant water in and around your living areas. And lastly, listen, keep your ears open for the latest developments about the dengue outbreak.

But we can take prevention further. How about we Eat, Drink, and Strengthen? Good nutrition is the foundation of a healthy body. When we eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and when we drink lots of water and vitamin-rich liquids, we strengthen our immune system against viral infections.

One particular way to boost immune function is to increase our Vitamin C intake. Studies show that our body's need for Vitamin C increases when faced with an infection. It's a good thing that Vitamin C is naturally found in a lot of food and readily available supplements!

Vitamin C is simply awesome. It helps our body in the repair and development of body tissues, maintains bone health, helps heals wounds, and boosts white blood cell production. Medical practitioners also claim that it enhances the immune system's production of Interferon, a protein that helps prevent cells from being infected by a virus.

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away Apples are extremely rich in Vitamin C, plus they are nutrient dense and low in calories. In fact, one medium apple has anywhere from 64 to 80 calories, and ten percent of your daily Vitamin C requirement. That makes it a perfect snack that helps your body fight viral and bacterial infections! Indeed, consuming an apple or more a day will have direct benefits to our health.

As though the case to eat apples was not strong enough, here a few more interesting apple trivia for us to know: * Apples are fat-free! Win! * Apples are a great source of fiber and antioxidants. * Oddly enough, apples float in water because 25 percent of the fruit is composed of air. * It is medically accepted that apples keep the heart healthy. * Did you know that apples decrease tumor growth and help prevent cancer? * Biting and chewing apples are natural ways to clean teeth! Apples stimulate the production of saliva, thus fending off bacteria. But that's no reason to stop brushing your pearly whites! * Drinking apple juice helps prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

Drink Up Eating fresh fruit is always better and healthier. But the truth is that our hectic lifestyles prevent us from getting our hands on the best produce on a daily basis. Let's be honest, there are days when even passing by the grocery becomes an unwanted chore. It is very good to know that if you can't bite into an apple every day, a glass of apple juice would do the trick.

Mott's 100% Apple Juice is readily available everywhere. It's so convenient that you could grab a bottle or two, and it would last you and your family a few days, depending on how much you consume. We took a close look at its nutritional information. An eight-ounce glass of Mott's provides two fruit servings! It also fills in 120 percent of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. This makes Mott's Apple Juice a delicious and healthy treat for everyone in the family!

Let's keep these in mind as we get the fight against dengue on its way! There is comfort in knowing that an easy tip on keeping our loved ones dengue-free is to stock up our kitchens with fruit, and our refrigerators with apple juice. The next time you find yourself unsure in the presence of mosquitoes, ask yourself if you've had your apple fix for the day. Indeed, the nutrient boost of a piece of fruit, or a glass or two, would go a long way.

Image courtesy of winnond at