With the winter season here, I get asked this question all the time from patients, family members and of course friends. They have all heard how antibiotics really aren’t what we thought they were twenty years ago. It has become more common that even medical doctors are advising patients not to take antibiotics as most of the time the bacterial infection is already immune to it. Even worse, antibiotics kill all the “good” bacteria in your body that supports a healthy immune system. It would be like trying to control a pest problem by setting your house on fire. What happens if the fire does not kill the pest? Well, now you have a messed up house! This is exactly what can happen to the body.
The first thing you must understand about colds and flu is that they are not caused by luck and just because your partner has a bug it doesn’t mean you are going to get it too. Sickness is caused by your cells having to adapt to an unhealthy environment. Let’s think of it this way: When do we get sick? The winter right. Are there any holidays during the winter where we eat poorly? Candy on Halloween, pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, cookies on Christmas, or even champagne on New Years? Do we get sunlight daily for immune promoting Vitamin D? Not in New England where I live! Are we exercising during the winter? Are we stressed during the holidays when buying presents and watching our bank accounts diminish? Do we forget to get our weekly adjustments? Well, hopefully not if your one of my patients but you get my drift. Your body has to be in an unhealthy state to become ill. Healthy cells must be put in an unhealthy environment to become sick. This is the case in all diseases or illnesses!
So how do we keep our cells in a healthy environment so we can deflect illnesses?
Here are Dr. Jamie’s 10 tips that can help you through the winter whether you have a cold, flu, or just plain don’t want to catch anything in the first place:
1. Get adjusted by your local Chiropractor!
Of course I am going to start with the most important system in your body: your nervous system! Neurologically, when you have subluxations or misalignments in your spine, your body elicits a stress response which inhibits your immune system. It is devastating to your entire body, so keep up with your regular adjustments! It is no wonder that chiropractic patients get sick less.
2. Eat leafy greens!
If you don’t maintain the pH balance in your pool or hot tub what happens? You get a pool full of muck! Your body is the same way! Eating greens alkalinizes your body so that bugs can not live in it! Don’t like to eat greens? Look for green drinks available at your local health food stores. Make sure they do not contain artificial sweeteners.
3. Avoid sugar and dairy:
What happens to sour cream if you don’t eat it by the expiration date? It becomes a science project very quickly! Bacteria love dairy and sugar. The same thing happens in your body when you consume these products. Milk products and sugar are awful for your immune system. Pathogens feed on sugar and dairy! Sore throat? Stay away from ice cream! Try some tea with lemon (vitamin C) and honey.
4. Eat garlic, ginger, and onion:
All three of these items are God’s gift to the human immune system! They are natural antibiotics! Eat them up! Raw if possible! (see tea recipe below)
5. Vitamin C (1000mg) & Vitamin D:
For proper daily Vitamin D, get that sun on your face if possible for five minutes a day. If not, supplement with Vitamin D in a liquid form. Liquids always absorb in your body much better than pills. Look for whole food supplements, not synthetically made supplements. If you are in a hurry or travelling, there are plenty of Vitamin C Boosting Packs available that you mix with water. Just as with everything else, check the ingredients.
Stress does awful things to the body! Sleep is your body’s natural way to heal. Keep your immune system high by getting 8 hours a night! If you do get sick, take the day off and stay in bed. One day out is better than getting worse and having to take off a week!
7. Echinacea & Goldenseal:
Did you get sick? Take these if you are coming down with something. The sooner, the better, so don’t wait! Liquid source is always better if you can stand the taste. Organic is always better but a bit tougher on your wallet (but well worth it!).
8. Think healthy thoughts:
I had a teacher who once said, “If you tell three people you are getting sick, you will get sick.” Taking time to count your blessings and deep breathe will help boost your immune system. Always remember: thoughts promote physiological change good and bad.
9. Watch out for unhealthy cough drops!
Always check the ingredients for high fructose corn syrup and toxic artificial sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame K, saccharin, sucralose, etc.) Organic Zinc Lozenges with Echinacea or Vitamin C is the way to go! Menthol may feel good but is not as constructive as Zinc when it comes to repair.
10. Add some spice to your food!
If you can handle spicy food, try adding a bit of hot sauce or Cayenne pepper to your food to drain congestion naturally. A nice bowl of spicy Thai soup or curry flushes out those sinuses. Can’t take the heat? Try Steaming! Put boiling water into a bowl with a couple drops of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and cloves. Put a towel over your head and breathe!
I hope you enjoy these tips! Do you have any good tips to share? Please comment below! I would love to hear what you do when you are sick!
QUICK IMMUNE BOOSTING HEALTHY RECIPE:
Dr. Jamie’s special “tea”: Pour boiling water into a big mug over some chopped up ginger (without the skin), big slice of organic lemon, a few cloves and local organic honey. Peeling ginger is easiest with a spoon or if you get lazy just chop it off with a knife. Enjoy!