Food is powerful medicine. Food and drink strengthen your body and help it resist dis-ease.
Or food can gradually break down your immune system, leaving you susceptible to infection from bacteria, viruses, the flu and chronic diseases.
Prevention comes in several forms. Personally and professionally, I prefer food and essential oils to medications and flu shots as year-round preventives.
Having read a lot about flu vaccines I believe that no one can truly predict which one of the strains of influenza will be this years agent of “ahchoo.”.. and therefore what vaccine will combat it. And to be truthful, the stats on how effective vaccination against a flu are not great.
The key to resisting the flu is a strong immune system. Your skin is the largest and first barrier to discomfort and disease; keep it clean and moisturized. As a child, your thymus gland (behind your breastbone) developed as the mainstay of your immunity.
White blood cells, bone marrow and your lymph glands, (found throughout the body, especially under the arms and in the groin area), are a circulating immune system. They help push the nutrients, and other “stuff” that we consume and inhale, around our bodies and eliminate toxins.
Feed your entire immune system – your body – well and you strengthen its natural response to the invasion of germs, bacteria, viruses, parasites – what my grandma called “bugs”.
Poor nutrition is one of the most critical factors affecting infection susceptibility*. According to a report in Primary Care, people between the ages of 65 and 85 with chronic conditions in which food plays a major role, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are more prone to infection. Older adults and those on drug therapies may be at risk for immune suppression, which rises with the number of drugs prescribed.
Many health problems of children from 0 to 5 years old are related to food. Infants raised on breastmilk are less prone to infections than formula fed children*. Allergies or intolerance to food can lead to chronic mucus secretion in the middle ear, lungs, sinuses and nasal passages, which provide “ripe environments” for the growth of bacteria, yeast, and viruses.
A child who has persistent infections (ear, nasal or bronchial) should be evaluated for food allergy or intolerance, which may help them avoid antibiotics and associated problems. A beginning step in determining the cause of these infections might be to eliminate all dairy products, which cause and exacerbate mucus. Check with me or your health professional please.
Strategies for prevention: Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly – cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Increase your “prevention quotient” by reducing toxins in your body.
Recognize any of these common symptoms of toxicity: Fatigue, depression, headaches, allergies, muscle aches, frequent colds, insomnia, nervousness, joint pains? Consider a cleanse, with the aid of a health professional.
When the immune system is alerted to any damage, from toxins or foreign substances, the inflammation process comes into play naturally. It activates various substances and cells to “sequester” the affected area, eliminate dead or damaged cells and allow for new healthy cells to grow.
This “work” by the body is a natural process – that results in elevated temperature, increased blood flow to the area, mucus production and discomfort – beginnings of the repair process.
Symptoms are regarded as a nuisance…so relief of these symptoms is “the common rationale”. A review of flu symptoms mechanisms by Dr. Ron Eccles, MD has shown that some symptoms are “an integral part” of the body’s initial response and “may aid in recovery” from illness – they are part of the body’s attempts to overcome the illness. It may be debatable whether elimination of these symptoms with drugs is beneficial.
Simply put, why not give your body what it needs, like natural nutrient-dense real foods?
The consumption of refined sugars in drinks, snacks, desserts, and other processed nonfoods with artificial chemicals, pesticides or drug residues all stress your immune system, create inflammation (the cause of many acute and chronic illnesses), and set you up to become ill.
A variety of commonly used drugs suppress the immune system including aspirin, ibuprofen & antibiotics.
You’ll be amazed at how good you can feel when your body is pollutant-free and fed with clean, vegetables and fruits like broccoli, spinach & organic greens, brown rice, apples, pears, carrots, oranges, berries, organic chicken, and other fresh foods not likely to provoke allergic reactions.
Whole foods like these have the ability to support the immune system and inflammation/repair processes, since they are full of nutrients and phytochemicals that keep cells healthy and support healing.
A good whole food multi-vitamin/mineral supplement* and extra vitamins A, E, & C, & D, citrus seed extracts and certain essential oils, give your body additional protection. Catalyn, from Standard Process is one I recommend, plus extra food source Cataplex D & magnesium.
Think: an orange a day keeps the colds away. Bananas, peaches, apples, berries, melons, etc. add to the basket of nourishment and prevention you’ll want year round.
Yams are loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and fiber- (cooking will not destroy the intrinsic value of this food). Garlic and oil of oregano are powerful antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agents.
Legumes, beans, are rich in protein, iron, folic acid, and fiber – good as side dishes or snacks, in a tortilla, with salsa or in soups, chili and stews. Fatty fish, the omega 3 fatty acids in salmon, swordfish, and rainbow trout can help reduce the risk of clogged arteries (that start in pre-adolescents!) and help process other fats.
Spinach, kale and collards are loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium and other minerals and fiber. All these, lots of good water, exercise and washing your hands frequently, may help prevent the nasties from invading your system and you’ll enjoy the holidays.
For more specific information for your individual body type and constitution, please contact me Phone consultations are available at reasonable cost. Happy Holidays.
Here’s To Your Good Health.