Are you ready for cold and flu season?
How to Stay Healthy this Flu Season
Avoid processed sugars. Sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defenses against infectious disease, see:
Sanchez, A., et al. Role of Sugars in Human Neutrophilic Phagocytosis, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Nov 1973;261:1180_1184. Bernstein, J., al. Depression of Lymphocyte Transformation Following Oral Glucose Ingestion. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.1997;30:613
Ringsdorf, W., Cheraskin, E. and Ramsay R. Sucrose, Neutrophilic Phagocytosis and Resistance to Disease, Dental Survey. 1976;52(12):46_48.
Eat more organic vegetables and fruits. They are higher in nutrition as compared to conventionally grown foods. Avoid fast foods and junk foods.
Article by:Walter J. Crinnion N.D.
Published in Organic Gardening Almanac, 1995; Llewelyn Pub
“When they study organic foods for mineral levels, the researchers also looked for the amount of the heavy metals: aluminum, cadmium, lead and mercury. Aluminum has been implicated for years in the development of Alzheimer's disease. Its content in organic food averaged 40% less that in commercial foods. Lead toxicity, which has been in the news a lot lately, can adversely affect our children's' IQ. It averaged 29% lower in organic foods. Mercury, which can cause neurologic damage, averaged 25% lower in organic foods.
Here are a few of the nutrients that were found in higher levels in the organic foods: * Chromium is a micronutrient that is low in Western diets. Its deficiency is associated with the onset of adult diabetes and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Chromium was found to be higher in organic foods by an average of 78%. * Selenium is one of the antioxidant nutrients that protect us from damage by environmental chemicals. It is protective against cancers, heart disease and enhances the immune system. It was found to be an average of 390% higher in organic foods. * Calcium, needed for strong bones, averaged 63% higher in organics. * Boron, which has been shown to help prevent osteoporosis (along with calcium), averaged 70% more. * Lithium, which is used to treat certain types of depression, was 188% higher. * Magnesium, which reduces mortality from heart attacks, keeps muscles from spasms, and eases the symptoms of PMS, averaged 138% more.
Get adequate rest. Another important component in helping our immune system should be an easy one: relaxation. This means sleep, low stress, and a good attitude. When we sleep, our bodies recharge themselves: this means repairing tissue, healing, and fueling cells and organs up with fuel. Sleep may be the single most important thing we can do to help our immune system. Ever wonder why you catch a cold when you feel "tired and rundown"? That's why.
Exercise. Perhaps the biggest benefit of exercise is indirectly related to the immune system in that exercise gives you "well-worked" organs, muscle, tissue, fluids, and so on which results in healthier bodies later in life and even more years. Many different studies have shown that exercise slows down the body's deterioration. According to the figures of Fred Kasch of the Fred Kasch Exercise Physiology Lab at Sand Diego State University, aging accounts for about one-third of a body's aerobic decline. Inactivity is responsible for the remaining two-thirds. Jim Graves of the University of Florida Center for Exercise Sciences, quoted in Health says, "Exercise will prevent most age-related-deteriorations through age 60." After 60, the body does slow down, but exercise can still keep your body fit and active.
Avoid dairy products. My experience personally and with clients is that dairy products often increase mucus production. I generally recommend avoiding them when you have a cold or other upper respiratory congestion. Substituting vegetable juices, almond or rice milks and broths along with herbal teas will provide fluids to help thin mucus secretions during acute illness. There are studies pro and con this subject.
Before getting a flu vaccine, do some research. You may not like what you find. In a review of 48 reports, (more than 66,000 adults), “Vaccination of healthy adults only reduced risk of influenza by 6%, and reduced the number of missed work days by less than 1 day (0.16) days. It did not change the number of people needing to go to the hospital or take time off work.” Reference: “Vaccines for preventing influenza in healthy adults.” The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 1. 2006. Please check out the CDC website for what is in vaccines- http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-1.pdf
More prevention. Taking a dose of Oscillococcinum weekly may help prevent flu, along with Vitamin C, but any herbs you are considering taking like Echinacea should be started long before the flu season starts because it takes awhile to build in the body (at least 3 months ahead). To take the Oscillococcinum for prevention: open one small vial, pour enough of the tiny pellets to cover the bottom of the cap. Make sure you have a clean mouth, no eating/drinking 20 minutes before and after you take the remedy. Toss them under your tongue and let them melt there for a few seconds. Depending on your exposure, you can take it this way once or twice a week through flu season months. If you do feel like you are coming down with the flu, then do the same as above and repeat hourly, making sure you take it within the first 48-72 hours. You should be able to get 5-6 doses out of one vial.
Wash your hands often. Plain soap is fine. Especially when returning from a shopping trip, or outing around lots of people.
If you do become ill, homeopathy has a wonderful history of helping with acute conditions and many epidemics in the past and present.
Lisa Rough, D.H.M.