This Cold and Flu Season - and All Year Long!
BY STEVE BORN
We're definitely entering that time of year when the potential for getting sick increases significantly. One of the reasons this occurs is because of the dramatic drop in temperatures, which can make getting sick more of a probability than a possibility. Even for those of you who live in milder climates, it's arguably still the time of year when catching a cold or getting the flu is more likely. While there are many steps we can take to help protect our immune system, here are nine of the most important:
1) Wash hands with soap and hot water. Dr. Bill Misner writes, "Hand washing is the beginning of infection control. This is an indisputable fact, not simply a statement. Hands need to be washed with soap and water and the temperature needs to be hot. Why? Because oils on the skin allow common germs to adhere to the skin more easily. Though hot water does kill some microbes, water alone fails to remove germs completely. The purpose of hand washing is to remove or destroy (disinfect) pathogenic microorganisms (˜germs' in common parlance) in order to avoid transmitting them to yourself or others."
2) Make sure you're drinking sufficient amounts of pure, clean water. While we tend to think about it more during the hotter months of the year, it's important to maintain adequate hydration during the winter months. No matter what season of the year, your body's cells, tissues, and organs need sufficient water to function properly, while boosting immune system function.
Take your body weight in pounds and multiply by 0.5 to 0.6. This is the amount of ounces of fluids you should drink - primarily from pure, clean water - each and every day.
3) Eat a healthy diet containing a variety of whole plant foods. This can be a challenge in the winter, but it's important to consume as many organic fruits and vegetables as possible due to the nearly countless health-benefiting nutrients and compounds that can only be found in plants (e.g. bioflavonoids in fruits such as berries; isothiocyanates in cruciferous vegetables). Additionally, supplementing with Phytomax will supply your body with quality vegetable nutrition - vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fatty acids, antioxidants, RNA, DNA, chlorophyll, and other phytonutrients - and help you obtain the full amount of the daily greens you need.
4) Supplement your diet with a range of antioxidant nutrients. Your main training and racing season may be over, but your immune system needs protection against free radicals, which NEVER have an off season. Premium Insurance Caps, Race Caps Supreme, Mito Caps, Super Antioxidant, and AO Booster should be daily staples in your supplement program.
5) Take a probiotic supplement (Digest Caps or iFlora) daily. When the healthy bacteria in the digestive system are destroyed - which can be caused by infections, poor diet, stress, and/or overuse of NSAID medications, antibiotics, and even chlorinated water - it allows undesirable bacteria to flourish and compromise digestive system function, nutrient absorption, intestinal health, and immunity. Taking a probiotic supplement daily helps tip the scales in favor of the good guys.
6) Protect and support your liver with LSA Caps. The liver works hard enough as it is every single day to detoxify, filter, and help remove harmful toxins, chemicals, and bacteria in the blood, as well as toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. It has to work even harder when our immune system is being taxed, which is likely during cold and flu season. Two capsules of LSA Caps twice daily will prove to be highly beneficial in maintaining the optimal functioning of this extremely important organ.
7) Get your daily dose of D! Whether it's from the sun or from supplements (where you live will determine the source), make sure you're supplying your body with sufficient amounts of vitamin D. It's one of the most essential nutrients you can take for a plethora of health requirements, including improved mood and immune system support. There is a wide range of how much vitamin D you need to take on a daily basis to maintain optimal levels - an inexpensive vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy blood test (well worth the cost) is the only way to know for sure - but the general consensus is 2000 IU- 4000 IU daily. Be sure to also take Essential Mg daily, as this mineral is the key to activating vitamin D and unlocking all its benefits.
8) Reduce stress as much as possible. Dr. Saul McLeod writes, When we're stressed, the immune system's ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. Read more
9) Get adequate amounts of sleep. Dr. Eric J. Olson writes, Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. (Reference). REM Caps, Hammer Hemp, and Essential Mg are all great supplements to take - regularly or on an as-needed basis - to help you get a full night's worth of quality, immune-boosting sleep.