Natural Support for a Strong Immune System
Welcome to October 2014. The headlines are terrifying. Is the media hyping up the risk? Is a major modern plague at our doorstep?
Is there anything we can do? YES! You can do something to protect your family.
The media makes its money on readership. Controversial and terrifying headlines get you to click and share an article increasing their readership. (Hopefully, you’ll click and share this one ;-)). I’ve been following the Ebola stories and the EnterovirusD68 stories. Especially on Ebola, it is difficult to sort through the hype, misinformation, and the CDC’s assertion that everything is “under control” even when two new cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in the U.S. despite CDC protocol.
Building a strong immune system can help you stay healthy even in the nastiest of flu seasons. Is it a guarantee that you will never get sick? No, no one can give you that. No one can claim that a natural remedy will kill Ebola, or Enterovirus68, or even the flu. Be wary of those who do make such claims. Those substances have not been tested specifically on Ebola. I want to give you solid information and I’m telling you what my family is doing to protect ourselves. I am not making a claim that Ebola can be prevented this way, I’m sharing with you on what my family has done and what I recommend. This article cannot be considered an exhaustive treatment on building immune system health. I have some resources at the end that I and my clients have used. My apologies in advance to anyone reading this looking for the ONE THING or the ONE drink or ONE pill that will “bullet-proof” their immune system. You won’t find that here.
If you have a strong immune system, you are far less likely to catch an illness and if you do become ill, your symptoms are more likely to be milder and with a faster recovery. Either way, you are better off than if you did nothing.
What You Eat
Did you ever notice how sick children get right after Halloween? It’s a major sugar festival! Sugar has been shown to reduce immunity. Research has shown that even just 100 grams of sugar (3 cans of soda) will immediately and significantly reduce your body’s ability to fight bacteria. Processed sugar is an all-to-common ingredient in or food supply. Americans in 2012 consumed an average of 130 pounds of sugar compared to less than 20 pounds in 1820. (1) As we approach the holiday cooking season and all of the tempting treats to cook and eat, start looking now for alternatives with less sugar. You may need to get your family’s agreement on this! Do not switch to artificial low calorie sweeteners as a replacement. Those have their own negative health effects. Instead, cook more like our ancestors did in the pre-processed sugar era: molasses, maple syrup, local honey, or fruit purees. As your family reduces the sugary foods in its diet, it will naturally desire those foods less.
Reduce the amount of fruit juices your family drinks. Fruit juices are sugary and you do not get the amount of nutrition for the calories, as you do eating raw fruit. I cut the fruit juice we drink with purified water. Packaged sports drinks are now replacing soda as the go-to beverage for teenagers. These sports drinks are less about sports nutrition and more about sugar and artificial colors. It goes without saying, (but I’m saying it anyway) cut out the soda and the sports drinks!
Increase raw fruit and veggies in your diet. The government says that we should eat at least 5-8 servings of fruit and vegetables every day, about 3 cups, yet most Americans eat about 1.5 cups per day – usually on pizza, hamburgers or as French fries. (2) Eat seasonally if you can. Get your produce locally whenever you can. Limit your family’s exposure to pesticides and herbicides. I found that if I prepare fruit and veggies for nibbling, my family is more likely to eat them. Look for ways to increase the servings of vegetables. For example, I sometimes blend baby spinach into my Shaklee 180 smoothees. It turns them green, but doesn’t affect the taste. And I get 1 cup or 1 serving of dark leafy greens!
Increase your intake of purified water. Our bodies NEED good hydration to function properly. Water is the best source for hydration. How much water should you aim for? Divide your weight by 2. That is the number of ounces per day you need. Water is easier on the budget than sodas, coffee drinks, and fruit juices!
Increase immune system building vegetable protein in your diet. Americans eat a great deal of meat overall, but vegetable protein intake is low. Vegetable protein is less expensive, easier to digest and much more affordable to purchase organically. Good sources are beans, especially soy. Soy contains all 9 essential amino acids that your body needs to build protein. Being deficient in a single amino acid can lower your immunity. Download the truth about soy protein here. My family has used Shaklee’s soy products for 18 years.
Eat whole grains over processed grains. Grains provide fiber, B-vitamins, and a modest amount of protein. Processed grains, like white flour and white rice, act more like sugars in your system, less like nutrients. Try new grains like Einkorn wheat, spelt, quinoa, millet, and standards, like barley. Incorporate grains into hearty soups. Make healthy cereals from cooked wheat berries and quinoa. Need recipes? The internet is a tremendous global recipe source for new ways to eat vegetables and grains!
Exercise, even 15 minutes per day increases your immune system and your brain function. Make sure you incorporate exercise and stretching in your day.
What About Masks and Anti-bacterial Soaps?
Antibacterial soaps are controversial. The chemicals in them are toxic if ingested, when your hands still have wet solution on them and you eat. Studies have not shown them to be effective in stopping the spread of disease. Frequent use may actually increase the development of resistant bacteria. HERE Good hand washing is essential, and regular soaps (we use Shaklee’s non-toxic Hand Wash) work very well.
Basic-G I love this product! Basic-G is powerful disinfectant from Shaklee. It is EPA certified to kill a 60 bacteria, fungi and viruses staph, HIV, and salmonella. It’s very concentrated, just use 1/2 tsp of concentrate in 16 ounces of water. I use it to clean bathrooms, pet areas, kitchen counters. If someone is sick in our household, the door knobs get wiped down too. Traveling? Carry along Germ Off wipes for hotel TV remotes and phones and public restrooms.
Have a sick family member? Waiting for the boom to drop and the rest of the family catches it? Surprisingly, surgical masks reduce the likelihood of infection with colds or flus by 80% when worn in AND good hand washing principles are used. HERE Neither hand washing alone nor the masks by themselves seems to work to reduce the rate of illness, but are excellent in tandem. When it comes to very small viruses like Ebola, it may be that even the N-95 masks are not sufficient. Right now I don’t see many Americans willing to go out in public with surgical masks, but who knows? If there is a serious pandemic of any kind, this may change.
The simple things that you do to create a healthy lifestyle also strengthen your immune system. Get started right now!
Keeping Colds and Flus at Bay – Dr. Stephen Chaney HERE