Whether it is a simple cold or flu, nasty pneumonia, bronchitis, or long-term chronic conditions, the best approach to take for optimal health is maintaining a lifelong diet rich in vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and high-quality sources of protein. Proper diet and nutrition can actually upgrade your genetic expression and immunity. It's never too late to get started. At this time of year it can be hard to stay sniffle-free. Prevention is the way to go.
Eat high-quality foods. At a minimum, food should be organic. Ideally it should be locally grown, organic and fresh. This gives the body the nutrients it needs for energy, to feel satiated and digest properly. Foods containing white flour, white sugar or hydrogenated oils should be avoided as they have very little nutritional value.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach and broccoli will provide highly bio-available calcium and other minerals to your system, as well as fiber to keep your colon clean and assist in optimal absorption and digestion of nutrients. Oranges and grapefruits are extremely high in vitamin C, which help with absorption of iron from food and build immunity. They are also hydrating and delicious.
At this time of year it's a good idea to supplement with some extra vitamin C, either through foods such as citrus fruits or berries, or supplement with a whole-food source of vitamin C such as camu camu. The Amazon Herb Co. has a high-quality camu camu as well as Radiance C from Synergy. Emergen-C is not a good option, as it is a synthetic-source ascorbic acid that will create an acid system over time. In the 1930s, Dr. Szent-Gyorgi won the Nobel Prize in medicine for identifying vitamin C and all its many health benefits. He affirmed over and over again that the best results occurred when people consumed vitamin C in its natural food form and did not recommend using ascorbic acid. A high level of vitamin C is great, especially for athletes, pregnancy or any time the body is under stress. Citrus fruits, raw chocolate and low glycemic berries are all great sources of vitamin C, or a supplement from a whole food, once-living source as mentioned above.
Cleanse or fast at least once a year, optimally in the spring. Some say that the foundation of all health lies in a clean colon. A clean colon allows you to digest more of your food than if it's blocked up and stagnant. If blockages are present I would recommend a salt flush to loosen up impacted matter and a high-fiber diet, and use a high-quality unheated sea salt or Himalayan salt with food. This will assist with proper fluid balance and mineral absorption throughout the body. Some research shows that 80 percent of our immunity lies in the intestines. Healthy bacteria assist in the production of vitamin B, reduce inflammation and improve immunity. This is another reason to eat a high-fiber diet, cleanse or juice fast once a year so that the colon stays clean and clear.
Sleep is essential. Ideally we want at least seven hours of sleep. This replenishes the adrenal glands, lets the body rejuvenate and allows us to feel good throughout the next day. If there are sleep problems such as waking up throughout the night to go to the bathroom, waking up panicked, or not getting REM sleep, there are many ways to address this to be able to sleep soundly through the night, each and every night. A very simple thing is to avoid TV or computers the hour or two before going to bed as they can be over stimulating.
If you do get sick there are several supplements to help shorten or terminate the infection or illness. When supplementing, I only recommend brands that do not use toxic additives such as magnesium stearate, silicon dioxide, talc powder and others. This is rare but they are out there. Supplementation with coriolus works well for acute infection, colostrum works well as a preventative measure, propolis boosts the immune system and nucleotides will dead stop a cold or flu and speed healing by 70 percent. If antibiotics are a necessity, make sure to supplement post-recovery with a good probiotic and start building up the immunity with all of the above.
Peppo has a nutrition practice and owns Glow live food café where she is available to help with nutrition advice. Glow offers regular biweekly classes to teach plant-based nutrition and quick and easy food preparation, and how to actually feel vibrant every day. To keep informed on classes, events, etc. e-mail email@example.com to be added to the biweekly e-newsletter.