It’s that time of year again. I’m not talking Pumpkin spiced everything. But the time where everywhere you turn someone is getting sick or there is the worst forecasted flu epidemic in years. Around every turn someone is hacking, coughing, or sneezing with a runny nose and a fever. And then it hits you. It’s your turn with the crude, or does it have to be?
If you listen to the media, social media, or the general banter around the schools you would think that sickness this time of year just happens. After all you “get a flu bug” or “catch a cold”, as if it was something you endeared to achieve. But none of this sickness this time of year is anything that just happens to you. You aren’t bound to get a cold or the flu. It doesn’t even come down to who you hung out with at lunch or if you got the flu shot the sniffer one or even one at all. It comes down to one thing. You know, that one thing that the person who never gets sick no matter how sick the people around them are. It seems so unfair. The rest of us suffer while they go on about their day without so much as a sniffle. What do they have? They’ve got a tuned in immune system.
If you listen to pervading thought this time of year it really doesn’t seem like you have any control over your health. But it just isn’t true, there are a ton of great choices you can make that will boost your immunity to the season of yuck. I want to empower you.
What you put in your body as food could be the biggest difference. The average American eats at least 3 times per day so this is an opportunity to make it or break it for many. This time of year we are hit with a barrage of over eating opportunities from Halloween, thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. The burden on your body is great. In short we over eat and over burden the digestive track where much of your immunity starts. Be sensible in your quantities. But it also matters what you’re putting in. If you take inventory of the foods you are eating you’ll most like find them saturated in sugar and grains that easily turn to sugar. This directly will drive down you immune system and stamp your ticket for the flu. Ever wonder why the “flu season” peaks after the holiday season? Clean it up with vegetables, fruits good healthy fats and lean proteins. You’ll also want to make sure you are getting enough water. Most people walk around dehydrated. Water cleanses the body so being dehydrated is like leaving the garbage around that those pesky sickness viruses and bacteria love to grow on.
So eat less, a lot less sugar and drink a ton of water.
But now that we are down to cooking, there are a few things that I like to throw in extra off this time of year because they kick that immunity up a notch. Garlic is my go to time and again. Throughout the ages garlic has demonstrated its positive effects on your heart and immunity, but not so much your breath. The beautiful thing is that it goes in just about anything from soups, salads and sauces. You can also sauté up some cloves and eat them whole. YUM.
Turmeric is another immune boosting spice that can go in just about every and anything. It will up the flavor and immunity at the same time. As a bonus turmeric has demonstrated to have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
While there are many other herbs or super veggies that can level up your immune system, my last must have is ginger. It tastes’ good in a bunch of recipes or just in your tea. It has antibacterial properties and helps to sooth an upset stomach.
There are so many others I could mention here. What are some of your favorites for this time of year?
In American we are more likely to take a supplement than clean up our diet. I’m guilty too. We need both however. As more and more people question the efficacy of medications they turn to a more natural solution. To that end business is booming in the natural cold and flu remedy isle at your local health food store. What do you get? There are a load of vitamins and herbs that can help draw out the superhero cape of your immune system, but there are a few must haves to make immunity work. Your immune system is multifaceted and has roots in your gut, nerve system and more. The gut in particular has received a lot of attention over the past few decades. So much research has been done to reveal that your immune system really doesn’t work well if your intestinal bacteria balance is not in place. This has spawned numerous studies into probiotics being the number one supplement to take for your immunity. The catch 22 is that you can’t just take it over the weekend. You need to start now and cultivate a GI track of the right intestinal flora that keeps you healthy all winter long. Not just the supplement, but fermented foods also push your gut health in the right direction. Supplementing with a good daily probiotic and vitamin D3 are a few of the must have supplements that I recommend.
Vitamin D3 is right up there with probiotics where the studies demonstrate you’ve gotta have them. D3 with its activating factors of vitamin K and E is a powerful force in heart and immune health. On average we are wildly deficient in this vitamin. Like probiotics you will need to take your time to increase your serum levels before you are effective in warding off infection. We recommend 5,000 iu for adults and 2,500 iu for kids daily.
The other daily supplemental power punch we recommend is elderberry. Sure it’s got so many good qualities and makes your immune system titanium strong, but it just taste’s so good! A spoon full in the morning is a treat, not to mention on your occasional pancakes.
Take your vitamin D3, probiotics and elderberry daily.
The Golden Nugget I have to tell you about
The goal of the article is not just to give you a bunch of information that you say, “oh that’s nice”, but some good meaty tools that makes a difference in your day to day and health this winter. To that end I can’t encourage you enough to also get routine chiropractic adjustments. What? You heard me.
I’m not looking just to your joint health, but studies have demonstrated that your nerve system has a lot to say about immune function. The top parts of your spine, C1 & C2, along with the bottom, Sacrum, have been studied and demonstrate a very positive influence on immunity when corrected. A key study demonstrated that with specific chiropractic adjustment to the upper neck would stimulate T cells, a key player in creating an immune response to whole body infections. This is such good news because chiropractic is so widely available and something as simple as an adjustment can not only take the restriction off of your immune system but drive a stronger attack. We see this so often in our office, Inner Vitality Chiropractic in Fort Collins, CO. Routinely this time of year sick people young and old abound in our office. The compliment is when we hear the results that they go over their sickness much faster than usual and they didn’t need drugs to do it. That is some good chicken soup for the soul!
There, your tool chest is full. So this winter when you find yourself full of vitality and energy while others are struggling to make it through the day. Even if your breath is bad from chewing garlic, share this information and help others realize they were meant for health.