“Bacteria are nothing the terrain is everything” Louis Pasteur.
It’s that time of year readers, flu season. Not just flu but cough, cold, congestion, and all around sick season. Unfortunately there are many ways that pathogens (disease causing viruses, bacteria, parasites) can get into the body. Which is fine. This happens. It actually helps to strengthen our immune system so don’t go all “Purell” on me. A healthy diet and lifestyle is our first line of defense against these little critters. NOT, repeat NOT THE FLU SHOT! The healthier our immune system, the more equipped our terrain is, the better we can deal. Don’t believe me? Ask a your super healthy friend or coworker the last time they were really sick/how often they actually get sick. So what’s the secret to a healthy terrain? Here are things you can do to strengthen your immune system, and, in the next post, how to treat what ails you in the event you are taken down.
You can’t build a house on a foundation of sand. If you aren’t building a strong base of health don’t get healthy when it’s too late. This is for you people who feel a tickle in your throat and THEN start the Emergen-C. Too late, the bug has already gotten you! First build the base, so the tickle won’t even happen:
Sleep – You know this, you’ve heard this before. So sleep! Aim for at least 7 hours per night. Unless you have a good excuse to not get 7 hours, do it. Sleep is when the body regenerates, detoxifies, and renews itself. Sleep is like a boost for the foundation of our health. It’s like filling the tank, or charging the battery of your car and you know, you can’t run on fumes. Eventually, you will break down.
Diet – A consistent diet of Tim Horton’s breakfast muffins, too much coffee, and no vegetables is not going to prevent you from getting sick. The more time your bod has to spend on cleaning out the junky food you eat, the less it has to strengthen your immune system. Aim for eating a whole foods, plant based diet. This will ensure you are getting plenty of antioxidants and vitamins to help strengthen your immune system. In addition, eat foods that help to clean out your detoxifying organs so they are ready for action. This includes kale, beets, and cabbage. (Ironic that these are winter crops, no?)
Probiotics – Research consistently shows the healthy, or good gut bacteria not only help to strengthen your digestion but also are critical for maintaining systemic health. They help to induce an overall immune response that helps keep your immune system active and strong. A good probiotic such as, HMF Forte, and eating fermented foods everyday ensures you are helping out the good guys!
De-stress – High amounts of stress = high amounts of cortisol = suppression of the immune system. Whatever it takes for you, do it. Whether you meditate, do yoga, hike, sew, knit, whatever just take time to turn down the volume on your stress levels.
Herbal Tinctures – If someone in your household, or in close proximity to you falls ill, start a combo immune support herbal tincture containing at least astragalus and echinacea. You can easily add this to a glass of water or take it like a shot first thing in the morning. It will help keep your terrain healthy and flu ready!
So there you have it. Easy ways to start building the foundation of a strong immune system. Next up, what to do if you actually get sick!