Stop that lingering cold, boost your immune system and inspire your friends to look after themselves better. with their diets. We have to stop the endless rounds of colds and flu’s happening that some of you are struggling to shake off weeks after you contracted them.
With winter comes many more clients suffering from a cold, sore throat, coughs and flu symptoms. The NHS and GP’s are gearing up for the onslaught of case load increases and Lemsip becomes the 4th biggest over the counter medication sold. But what is interesting for me now after 7 years of full time practise is how much more severe these symptoms are, and how much longer they are lingering for. Many clients and their friends or colleagues are telling me how they’ve had symptoms for over a month, and in some cases 2 months, and haven’t been able to shake it off. My friend who is a nurse rather succinctly said, it’s down to their diet and lifestyle and I agree because it’s the foundation of our health.
Increases in fast foods, the use of preprepared foods dominating, even my local cafe makes most of it’s revenue from pre-prepped foods. The majority of the population rarely eating their 5 a day, a lot of people are now eating in a way that is working against them rather than supporting their bodies. We are so tired and dehydrated that we are drinking more caffeine fuelled drinks across our days, energy drinks are outperforming the rest of the soft drinks market sector, with their global value in 2017 reaching €44 billion and stress is a constant factor in most people’s lives.
It’s no wonder really that our collective ability to fight off these bugs is becoming more difficult. When I first started practising it was a rare client that a simple dietary change and supplement didn’t resolve these immunity issues within the month. Now it’s a totally different ballgame, and the more we erode away our health the more at risk we are putting ourselves.
So one of my long term clients who is in great health said today what do you think that we do, that other’s aren’t doing? Well the common ground we found between us was that…
- we get to bed on time and don’t stay up late. A much under rated aspect of our health and well being that needs to be taken more seriously.
- Our adherence to eating more than 5 portions of vegetables a day and then fruit as well.
- We juice daily during winter, I juice garlic amongst other vegetables, yes I smell great!
- Fresh foods are our focus. Not processed, we make everything ourselves from scratch.
- Neither of us smoke or drink and only use natural products.
- We keep ourselves fit and healthy, exercising daily by getting outside.
- We have reduced our stressors down, we are both busy but not overwhelmed, and we laugh a lot.
What I didn’t ask was about their bowel movements! From my perspective if the bowel isn’t moving daily then the health and immunity is likely to be much lower, and this is also a factor in the reduction of our health. Constipation is wide spread mostly due to stress, the low vegetable diet, sugar and processed foods which are working against the good health of the bowel. Whilst it’s constipated it’s much more likely to encourage bacterial overgrowth which will then reduce further the immunity of the body. So moving the bowel is really important for good immunity.
So let me help you to understand how those simple sounding things we both do help us both to keep well. We now stay inside far more than ever, going from one box to another in dim lighting, which has to be impacting on our ability to get sunlight in our lives and onto our body’s. Sunlight and most of you will know about vitamin D now, is absolutely key for good health, and when it’s deficient it can decrease our immunity. It is shown as a factor in Strep A and tonsillopharyngitis so getting outside into the light should be part of your health and lifestyle routine. Just make sure you wrap up and protect your ears from the cold winds.
Stress is expensive on the body, and uses up our zinc amongst other trace minerals. We have a number of other factors that impact on our body being deficient in zinc including birth control, copper pipes, the blanching of vegetables before commercial freezing, and some medications. Zinc is an essential mineral which promotes a healthy immune system, reducing stress is the obvious first step whilst ensuring that your diet has zinc rich foods. Chicken soup with lot’s of vegetables is a great food to consider during this time which makes increasing zinc easy.
Antioxidants rule, and vitamin C is a powerhouse for fighting off cold viruses, hence why I use juicing to boost these in my diet. Add an orange to your diet, put it into salads with roasted beetroot, and the green tops, or use it as a dressing, include kiwi which will also help move the bowel, we all know about lemons, but also include peppers and elderberry which will also help the respiratory tract.
Add your garlic, it’s a wonderful addition to your diet, inexpensive to include, it can be juiced as I do, or as most do cook with it. Clearly the smell of this can be a factor, so feed it to the whole family and no one else will notice! Leek and potato soup can be a great addition because the leeks like the garlic include antibacterial compounds and are antiseptic. Perfect for winter, add some sauerkraut or kefir as a drizzle on the top and hey presto you’ve increased a simple soups antibacterial power, to one that alsoincludes good bacteria.
Cat’s claw tea is one of my favourite teas to add at this time of year, it’s good for easing symptoms of a cold and is lovely in general to include in your healthy herbal tea collection which should also have ginger tea, add a squeeze of lemon.
Crush root ginger and add to honey and lemon juice and hot water for a warming drink. Ginger can help to reduce coughing, and helps not only to reduce rhinoviruses, but also can help to reduce pain.
Cleansing techniques should be included, we feel better when we are moving, and movement helps the lymphatic system to move, once this becomes slower and congested we become sore, and achy. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and is a network of vessels that drain the lymph fluid carrying nutrients where needed and carries away the waste into the bloodstream. If you are wondering why you have joint pain when you have a cold or flu then it’s because the lymph circulates into the narrow spaces of the joints. The lymph needs to be moved manually, and so exercise is still important, well at least some movement depending on how ill you are feeling. Clearly if you have a flu then you are likely to not only be sleeping, but sweating with no appetite, so stay in bed under those conditions and keep hydrated.
Lymphatic drainage is important and it’s rarely talked about, but taking in deep breaths, walking, rebounding and skin brushing all help the lymph when you are not well enough to do more. Eating your greens, celery, apples, watercress, having potassium broth which is made with potatoes and vegetables, juicing celery can all help. If you are too cold then stick to soups.
Gargle with doTerra Melalueca Essential Oil, just one drop in water, or salt water, to help with sore throats,
doTerra Eucalyptus essential oil and peppermint can be used as steam inhalation to improve the sinuses, diffused or even a drop or 2 onto the corner of the floor of the shower you are taking which will mix the rising steam. Only one drop remember not the whole bottle and be careful not to make the floor slippery.
I believe we need to start taking our diets and lifestyles far more seriously, the length of colds and related symptoms that are now happening is highlighting that we are out of balance in so many ways. If you start with just one of these things it should be to balance each meal you eat to optimise your nutritional picture, so that you are including proteins, fats, starchy carbohydrates, and vegetables, lots and lots of vegetables.