Who has time to be sick?!
Cold and flu season is upon us and no one wants to get sick. So how do we avoid the encroaching bacteria and viruses that are ready and willing to invade our bodies? Simple, keep your #1 line of defense strong, your Immune System. Not only does it fight off damaging micro-organisms but it also aids in the healing process.
Increasing your intake of the Vitamins D and C is one way to help yourself this season. Vit D strengthens the immune system and Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant that neutralizes damaging free radicals that weaken tissues, and no, that one orange you eat won’t cut it.
Decreasing your consumption of refined sugar will also help to keep you illness free. The consumption of sugar actually decreases the ability of your white blood cells to fight infection. So the more sugar you eat the less able your body is to fight off the foreign invaders meaning sickness will ensue. So although its hard to steer away from all the holiday baking, if you are feeling low opt for a manuka honey sweetened cup of tea.
Maintaining a healthy gut is also key in warding off illness, it is so crucial to keeping your immune system strong. A very large portion of your immune system is found in your gut, and the good bacteria that inhabit your gut actually produce immune system cells, such as “t-cells” which is a white blood cell that is one of the main “fighter” cells, meaning it will fight the bug that will make you sick. Most people only consider probiotics to be helpful with digestion but they have a much more extensive role. In addition to producing your fighter cells they also keep the bad bacteria from over growing and wreaking havoc on the GI track, and they help produce certain vitamins too. When choosing a probiotic you want to look for one that contains a variety of strains of bacteria since different strains of bacteria perform different roles. They are great for kids as well to help build their immune systems. So if you have a child that is constantly getting sick you may want to look into giving them a probiotic.
The last thing I want to talk about is the importance of sleep. We seem to glorify being busy but not sleeping and taking proper rest time can really take a toll on the body. When you are sleeping you are repairing, this is when your body regenerates for the next day and if you don't allow this to happen then it puts a strain on your bodies systems. When people are tired they make mistakes, the same thing happens to the cells in our bodies, when they are tired that make mistakes, they don't perform their functions properly and this can lead to a number of problems.
So, if you are tired then sleep, if you are unwell then sleep and if you have time, then sleep.