Posted on 10-06-2017
It's that time of year where the sun goes into hiding in the pacific NW which means vitamin D levels plummet and the holiday goodies take their toll resulting in colds and flus...commonly termed the "cold and flu season." Big pharma had sone a wonderful job marketing this said season which turns into big dollars for there products. What people need to know is that the cold and flu season isn't a death sentence and can be successfully navigated naturally.
The health of your immune system resides in your intestines. The immune system is an interactive network of organs, cells and proteins that protect your body from viruses and bacteria or any foreign substance. The immune system works to remove pathogens like bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi that enter the body. It recognizes and neutralizes harmful substances from the environment.
The cells of the immune system originate in the bone marrow, then migrate to guard the surrounding tissues, circulate in the blood and in the specialized system of vessels called the lymphatic system. When our immune system is working properly, we don't notice it. It's when the performance of our immune system is compromised that we face illness. Under activity of the immune system results in infections, while overactivity results in allergic and autoimmune response.
Now that we got that out of the way, let me share with you my favorite go tos!
Water- Your body is composed of mostly water, proper hydration is essential for many physiologic functions of the body as well as waste removal and detoxification.
Vitamin D- Studies have demonstrated that this fat-soluble vitamin is important to the function of your immune system. It is important to start taking this supplement when fall and winter start. Only taking it after onset of a virus won't give you much help. This is a proactive vitamin!
Vitamin C- There are studies that show this vitamin will shorten the life of your cold. Typically, the higher dose the better. There are various ways to get C such and an oral C, intravenous, or liposomal C. I personally like the liposomal C for its ability for my body to properly absorb it. I take 4-6 thousand milligrams a day....not all at once and typically with food to avoid a stomach ache. I do not recommend chewable vitamin C, I find that these typically contain sugar.
Garlic- Garlic is known of its powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also helps fight infection from yeast and fungus. I recommend using raw garlic. It's super important that when using raw fresh garlic that it is crushed or chopped, it will release an enzyme called Allicin, this enzyme breaks down into different compounds that are the bug fighters. Garlic also contains manganese, calcium, phosphorous, selenium, vitamin B6 and Vitamin C.
Bone Broth- organic bone broth is rich in amino acids, collagen (good for skin!) and trace minerals. There are many different nutrients in bone broth that are not easily obtain from other foods, which is why it is good for you. Bone broth also improves the health of your gut (i.e. referred to as your 2nd brain via lymphatic and nervous system connections and also the gateway to the immune system).
Apple Cider Vinegar- sicknesses increase your body's acidity. Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid that prevents the growth of viruses and actually reduces acidity. I usually do 1-2 oz. per day. Needs to be organic with "the mother" inside.
Zinc- Zinc is assertional for immune system function and has shown to shorten duration of viruses. Many of you have seen all sorts of zinc lozenges available in stores but it is important to not overdo it on zinc. Too much can interfere with copper absorption. Too much iron in your diet can reduce the absorption of zinc. Foods rich in zinc are: lobster, oysters, beef, crab, pork, cashews, chickpeas, chicken and swiss cheese.
Sleep- Lack of sleep has been linked to may disorders of the body and immune system depression.
NO SUGAR- Sugar is a huge immune system depressant.
Chiropractic- spinal misalignments or fixations are stressful to the body and nervous system which lead to a poor immune response. When you get adjusted, this stimulates coordinated responses between the nervous system and immune system. It improves the stress response from your body. It is stress (whether it is enivornmenal, emotional or physical) that depress the immune system. Make sure to visit your chiropractor to eliminate these subluxations in your spine and stay healthy!
Yoga/meditation- meditation has significant effects on mood, heart rate and reduction of stress.
Exercise- Good rule of thumb is that if your symptoms are all above your neck such as sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes, then breaking a sweat is considered safe. Your immune system works better when you exercise regularly. When you have a cold, walking, jogging, yoga and easy biking are good. Endurance activities that puts more stress on you body may make your symptoms worse.
Lymphatic Massage: This technique I do in office to help the lymphatics, the sewage system of your body, properly drain cellular waste. A back up of fluid at the various node site in your body often leads to increased pressure and pain at the node site.