The government and media are still continuing to build the fear around catching the Swine flu, now referred to as the "H1N1 Influenza A". Is this legitimate or it is fear mongering? Tell me what you think!
While it may be true that most people do not have immunity to the current Swine flu, this is the case for many viruses as the flu season develops. Why? Viruses change and alter. However, most people don't get sick because they have a strong terrain and have been taking proper steps to build a strong immunity against foreign invaders, so that if one does come along the body doesn't recognize, it has the ability to fight it off.
Just like food poisoning, it all comes down to having a strong terrain (your body's defense). Have you ever noticed that some of your friends or family members always seem to get food poisoning or catch every flu from everyone they shake hands with? Yet, they blame everyone and everything else for getting sick! The truth of the matter is if you have healthy gut flora and you eat the same bacteria-infused chicken as your buddy and he gets sick and you don't, then you KNOW it's because you have a much stronger immune system and healthy gut flora. For your poor friend who gets sick, send him this post and tell him to take some probiotics and read my tips :)
I have 5 more tips to share, which will add to a total of 10 ways you can boost your immunity! Here goes:
1. Oil of Oregano. My dear friend Elaine and fellow Nutritionist reminded me of this one yesterday! Oil of oregano is a herb you can take in a capsule form, or if you are so daring... you can put some drops in a small glass of water. A powerful immunity builder - Oil of Oregano is a natural substance that is extracted from wild oregano plants, and two key compounds found in it are carvacrol and thymol. Studies have shown that both of these compounds have significant effects on harmful microorganisms that cause many illnesses in humans! It is also known for helping digestive problems, skin infections and helps to prevent Yeast overgrowth, aka Candida - this is worthy of a whole post on it's own.
2. Eat lots of FRESH Garlic (and finish with fresh parsley for nice breath). Not only is garlic going to punch up your favourite recipes, garlic is an immunity builder. People have been using garlic for literally thousands of years as a natural way to increase your immune system and ward off colds and flus. One of my favourite quick snacks with fresh garlic is bruschetta (all organic of course!) - chop up some fresh tomatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, chop some basil, a few tbsp of olive oil, some freshly ground black pepper and VOILA - immunity boosting snack and a party pleaser!
3. Echinacea. My mom swears by this stuff! Whenever she is getting sick she takes her Echinacea which is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are plants that have the ability to resist chemical and biological stressors and to pass that ability on to humans. The best way to prevent getting sick is to actually take it BEFORE you get sick.
4. DRINK WATER! Your body is made up of 70-80% water! Water flushes toxins from your cells, keeps your skin young and hydrated and keeps you healthy. If you are even a little dehydrated, how is your body supposed to produce mucous to get rid of the bacteria or virus? Blowing your nose or coughing up "gunk" from your chest is actually a good thing! This is your personal detoxification at work. In most cases, taking meds to suppress these symptoms can be the worst thing to do - drink 6-8 glasses of water with fresh lemon per day!
5. Sleep. Back in the "old days", it was not uncommon for the doctor to say "go home, get some rest, you'll feel better the next morning". This is sound advice and yet somehow over the years we decided to fight this advice by popping Dayquil or Tylenol Cold to get through our day. You may be suppressing your symptoms for 5 hours, but they are still there and most likely you will feel worse off than if you just stayed home and slept. Not to mention they are shutting off important pathways of detoxification in your liver (a post for another day). If there was one tip or piece of advice that I would say is THE most critical, it's this one - listen to your body and get some rest.
Happy Immunity Building!