Beat the Bugs This Winter!

With the return of the short dark days along with wintery weather there will also be the annual increase in colds and flu.  A little strategy and planning can make a big difference in how much these biological foes affect our lives.

There are two aspects to be considered:  The amount of exposure and the condition of our immune system.  With a weak immune system, even a slight exposure can result in sickness and conversely, even a strong immune system can be overcome by high levels of exposure.  So what can we do about protecting our families?

On the exposure issue, simple hygiene measures can make a big difference.  Washing hands several times a day, especially when handling food, can make a big difference. Wash the door handles in your home each week along with the door handle for the refrigerator. Remembering to keep our hands off our faces and out of our eyes is important too, as often we unknowingly infect ourselves in this way.  If our children are sick, best to keep them home until they are over being contagious  rather than expose all the other children in their school, who in turn take the sickness home to their other family members.

Even though the weather is not the best, keeping our homes well ventilated is extremely important.  Figuring out how to have a healthy air exchange is vital for the best health and is possible with a little planning and design.  Remember, if you are burning wood or coal, the fire is taking oxygen out of the air that needs to be replaced from somewhere.  Also, when the air becomes overheated it changes the ionic charge of the oxygen, making it harder for our bodies to absorb.  Some indoor air filters come equipped with ion generators to help correct this problem along with keeping the air cleaner and more hygienic.

Keeping our immune system in top shape is another place were planning makes a difference.  Remember, sugar in the diet lowers the body’s ability to fight disease.  When a high sugar intake is a norm, the immune system is always compromised to some extent, predisposing us to more sickness than is necessary.  Try to use more fresh or dried fruits in place of sweets and 100% fruit juices are much better than the minerals and sugared fruit drinks that are so popular.  Read the labels as you shop. 

Drink enough water.  Proper hydration is important for our blood chemistry and the health of all our organs.  One big aspect of our immune system we often do not think about is our lymph system, which can only work properly when we are properly hydrated and are getting enough exercise.  Since it’s the muscle action that moves the lymph fluids through the body, when we are inactive waists increase and burden our system.  Try to find a good source of exercise several times a week, even if it’s only walking through your estate or to the local shop.

Water on the outside is important too.  Keeping clean day by day has a big impact on our bodies ability to keep healthy and fight disease.  When the waists our body throws off are left on the skin, they reabsorb.  Along with this is keeping the bowels regular, as the longer the wastes stay in our bodies the more they will also reabsorb.  A high fibre diet along with adequate hydration will help keep everything moving as it should in this area as well.

To be at its strongest the immune system must have adequate nutrition, including the many micronutrients that can only be found in plant based foods.  Try to find more good tasting ways to use vegetables and remember the basic four; fruits, whole grains, nuts/seeds and vegetables.  These are the basic foods that all others come from and the more we use these in our diet the healthier we will be.  For a look at the Whole Foods Diet Pyramid, Click Here>>

Remember, the holidays are much happier when the family is healthy.