5 Dec 2014 • Steven and Chris on CBCWatch on network
When the weather changes, it tends to dry us out — one reason we’re more vulnerable to viruses and bacteria, since skin and our mucous membranes are our first lines of defense! So besides washing your hands with warm water and soap long enough to sing “Happy Birthday,” keep in mind that your immune system works best when you keep hydrated. Water is the optimal choice, but herbal tea counts too. Plus, by adding lemon to green tea, you get a one-two punch of anti-oxidants from EGCG and Limonene.
Tip: when you’re traveling, consider putting a small amount of petroleum jelly inside your nose using a cotton swab. This will add an additional barrier to shield you from the airborne viruses emitted by coughers and sneezers on your plane.
We know that lack of sleep makes us more prone to getting sick, so it’s important to get about seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Going to bed and waking up at consistent times is important too: setting an alarm for bedtime in addition to wake time is a good way to build this habit. And remember, it’s not just the hours clocked on your pillow that matters: interrupted sleep due to congestion or blocked nasal passages can knock down your immune system. One safe, effective and drug-free solution to that: a nasal strip, which can provide instant nasal relief.
Eat Your Fish…
Chronic inflammation prevents your immune system from working properly. Oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and can help to reduce inflammation in the body.
…And Your Garlic…
Besides viruses, bacteria are also a problem in cold and flu season. Garlic has significant, demonstrated antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It’s also been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and increase immune cell count. Allicin, one of the active principles of freshly crushed garlic, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. In its pure form, it was found to exhibit antibacterial activity against a wide range of bacteria (which is why it’s so great at treating sinus infections).
…And Your Supplements!
Echinacea a clinically proven natural product to strengthen your immune system. It relieves symptoms and shortens the duration of an infection. There are many varieties of Echinacea, so make sure to look for supplements made from fresh extract of organically grown, GMO-free Echinacea purpurea. It comes in liquid spray dispensers, and you’ll find them in your local drug or natural health store.
Living north of 40 degrees means you’re low in vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin.” Now is also the time of year when the sun’s health-giving UVB powers disappear, so your body lacks the raw materials to manufacture Vitamin D3, perhaps the single most important nutrient for health and wellness.
Of course, sometimes all the prevention in the world isn’t enough to stop a mean bug. So if you find yourself with an unpleasant cough, try Bryce’s All-Natural Homemade Cough Syrup.