By Jane Barthelemy.
Any change in the weather can shock your immune system. That’s when we get sniffles, colds, and flus. Microbes are everywhere, just waiting for opportunities. They float in the air, we share them with family and friends, spreading them with our hands. We spend good money on medications, and we lose time from the things we must do. Surprisingly, most colds and flus are totally preventable. Yay! Say good-bye to colds and flu forever, with these 6 simple secrets.
Turmeric, Nature’s Superfood and Protection from Illness.
Avoid Sugars, Caffeine, and GMO’s.
Walk Outside in the Morning.
Eat Warming Foods that Protect the Lungs.
Love your intestines, the foundation of your immune system.
Keep Hands Out of your Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Mouth.
Turmeric, Nature’s Superfood and Protection from Illness
Turmeric, the simple Asian herb may be your best insurance against chronic disease. Curry dishes and turmeric teas are delicious ways to get your daily dose. Turmeric and its active ingredient curcumin, contain powerful immune-boosting anti-aging, anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties. My favorite turmeric recipes are Paleo Lamb Stew, Paleo Chicken Curry, Curry Powder-Nightshade-free, and Sweet Potato Latte.
Before you start sprinkling turmeric on everything, please know that curcumin (its major active compound) is poorly absorbed in the body and has minimal impact on blood levels when taken alone. Fortunately, there are four ways you can enhance its absorption:
- Always eat tumermic with black pepper: Black pepper can greatly improve absorption of turmeric in the body. In one study, when taken with 20 mg of piperine (active ingredient in pepper) per 2.2 pounds of body weight, it improved bioavailability of turmeric by 2000%.
- Add some fat: Turmeric is fat-soluble and thus much better absorbed when taken with fat. Examples of fat are coconut milk, coconut oil, MCT oil, animal fats, butter.
- Heat it: Heat is said to increase the solubility of curcumin (the primary active constituent in turmeric) by 12 times, which may also make it more easily absorbed in the body.
- Eat turmeric with quercetin-rich foods: Quercetin, a flavonoid, is known to inhibit an enzyme that inactivates curcumin. Adding turmeric to quercetin-rich foods can increase the absorbtion of turmeric in the body. Foods rich in isoquercitrin include leafy vegetables, broccoli, red onions, peppers, apples, grapes, black tea, green tea, red wine, capers, Serrano peppers, and some fruit juices.
One of turmeric’s primary roles is to prevent free radical formation in the cells, which is the root of all disease. Turmeric also prevents the growth of Beta-amyloid plaque in brain tissue associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It can ease bronchial ailments such as coughs and colds. Curcumin helps protect your body when it’s exposed to toxins such as airborne pollutants, cigarette smoke, and chemotherapy. Turmeric also has powerful anti-cancer properties. It detoxifies the body and liver, reduces bad cholesterol, cleanses and purifies the blood. So drink lots of turmeric tea, chai with turmeric, and curries.
Check out my yummy Sweet Potato Latte with Turmeric
Avoid Sugars, Caffeine, and GMO’s.
I’ll venture to say the top 3 food-related causes of illness are sugars, caffeine, and GMO’s. Some people can get away with eating them for years. But a steady diet of any one of these is guaranteed to challenge your health, as our epidemic of chronic disease clearly demonstrates. Sugar and caffeine set up a metabolic roller-coaster pattern in the body. The temporary energy surge they create, ends up sapping your vitality in the long run, like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. The only loser is you. That’s why sugar and caffeine are considered age-accelerators in Chinese medicine. Caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to give a short-term lift, but it can’t last forever. Even moderately high blood sugar over time has been linked to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. All sugars that contain glucose, sucrose, or fructose cause a rise in blood sugar or insulin response. When blood sugar rises, you feel a pleasant high. But when blood sugar comes down, you feel even more tired than before. Many people get through the day by dosing sugar and caffeine every hour or so, as I can say from personal experience. High blood sugar causes many negative effects in the body. For example, sugar can cause blood lipids to increase, leading to arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Even worse, sugar can cause the loss of important vitamins and nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and other minerals through your urine. Sugar can contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis by drawing from calcium reserves in the bones. Fortunately now you can kick the sugar habit without deprivation. Just use the non-glycemic sweeteners recommended on this website. I don’t sell sweeteners, I just research them. For details check out my article: Top 5 Paleo Sweeteners.
GMO foods are even more insidious for health, as they affect the DNA of the bacteria in your intestines, where your immune system resides. GMO foods such as corn, soy, canola, apples, and potatoes not only have far less flavor and lower nutrient value than their organic counterparts. They also cause bloating, and they block your body’s natural ability to destroy cancer cells. Food from GMO-fed animals is an often-overlooked source of GMO’s, such as meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and farmed fish. These animals have been raised the cheapest way, with less concern for the animal’s health and welfare. Animals often live with high doses of antibiotics and chemicals, which are used to avoid sickness, death, and the spread of contagious diseases on factory farms.
While the USA media is mum about GMO foods, many countries have banned them, and GMO’s remain one of our greatest health risks. Since GMO foods are not yet labeled, the best way to avoid them is to eat organic or non-GMO. For details, read my article: Avoiding GMO’s? Here’s a Guide.
Walk Outside in the Morning
It sounds childishly simple, perhaps even a waste of time, until you understand the huge health benefits of a simple 10-20 minute walk outside in the morning. Walking can re-set your natural biorhythms, reduce stress, improve blood circulation, help you lose weight, prevent diabetes, rebalance your blood sugar, boost metabolism, resist cold, vitalize your brain, and control blood pressure. Hooray! Walking outside in the light adjusts your eyes to the daylight through BL-1 point at the inner canthus of the eye. This activates your Qi, or vital energy, as it moves up from the foot and leg into the brain on the Yang Qiao Mai extraordinary meridian. This in turn strengthens all the organs and builds Wei Qi, the body’s energetic protection from harmful energies and toxins in the atmosphere. That’s a WOW effect on your health!
Our brain’s photoreceptors are extremely responsive to light, and this affects your health in many ways, such as blood-sugar levels, body temperature, blood pressure, hormone balance, jet lag, menopause, allergies, and more. It is important for the body to be in tune to the cycle of the sun. However with the advent of artificial light, many people have fallen out of sync with the 24-hour diurnal light cycle. This leads to patterns of congestion such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. Walking outside in the morning can re-synchronize the body with the day-night light cycle.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin D. Studies show that 50% of us are not getting enough Vitamin D. If you tend to be tired, if you’re overweight, over 50 years old, if your skin is dark, your bones ache, you have poor digestion, and if you spend most of your time indoors, you may be deficient in Vitamin D. That’s why a morning walk outside can greatly improve your health!
Eat Warming Foods that Protect the Lungs.
Any weather change can challenge your body. Here are some suggestions to give your digestion a smooth passage through the cold weather.
- Eat warm, seasonal dishes that help moisten the lungs, promote the circulation of body fluids, and combat dryness. Some suggestions are pears, pumpkin, squash, apples, seaweed, grapefruit, and lemon.
- Warm soups such as bone broth and stews are ideal. Enjoy beans such as lentils, kidney beans, and adzuki beans, well soaked or sprouted.
- Eat plenty of green vegetables – especially steamed veggies.
- Herbs are great for the lungs, such as bay leaves, caraway seeds, cardamom, chives, cinnamon, cloves, dill, fennel, leek, oregano, nutmeg, rosemary, thyme, and especially turmeric.
- Pungent veggies help stimulate the lungs, such as watercress, cabbage, turnip, ginger, horseradish, pepper, onions, and garlic.
- Drink plenty of warm liquids, such as hot herbal teas or warm water with lemon. When the body and lungs are dehydrated, they’re an invitation for a dry cough, bronchitis, and every type of microbe.
- Fermented Veggies nourish the micro-biome and help protect Spleen Qi.
- Avoid wheat, fruit juices, processed foods, and refined flours, which cause stagnation and congestion.
- Avoid cold foods or drinks, dairy, and deep fried foods, which cause dampness.
- Some of my favorite cold weather recipes are Bone Broth, Wild and Chunky Salmon Chowder, Black Bottom Squash Pie, Paleo Pumpkin Bread, and Indian Root Veggie Squash Soup.
Indian Root Veggie Squash Soup is a favorite, and super-easy to make.
Love your intestines.
We take our tummies for granted. However your digestive micro-biome is a delicately balanced eco-system. What’s hidden from view is the most important root of your health! Here are a few surprising tips for intestinal health.
- Chew your food really well. Most people forget this, and as a result, they absorb a fraction of the good food that they eat. Chewing your food 20 to 50 times will REALLY improve your nutrition absorption. When we chew it until it is a liquid, we get to enjoy it more, we mix it with amylase digestive juice in the mouth, which gives your digestion a head start, so your stomach doesn’t have to work so hard. We spend plenty of money on nutritious food, so we may as well benefit from it. Half-chewing food and eating on the run, are like throwing food in the garbage. Anyone who has seen whole peas or carrot bits floating in the toilet knows exactly what I’m talking about.
- Take a good quality probiotic, to give your micro-biome a healthy infusion.
- Keep your intestines clean. Processed food creates a gummy coating on the delicate cilia, the cells that allow nutrient molecules to pass into the blood. To keep your intestines clean, eliminate refined foods, GMO’s, and processed flours. Make sure you have daily fiber to clean the intestines. For a healthy dose of fiber every morning, soak 1 1/2 tablespoons of chia seeds in 1/2 cup water overnight. In the morning add 1/2 cup boiling water, and drink.
- Treat yourself to a regular colonic. Or save the money and give yourself a coffee enema once a week. This is a relaxing way to cleanse the intestines, detoxify the liver, flush tiny gall bladder stones, and make your skin glow with health. Mae West was a big believer in colon health.
“My biggest beauty secret is a clean colon. I take a colonic every week.” Mae West 1893 – 1980
Keep Hands Out of your Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Mouth
Most colds, flus, and bronchial ailments are preventable, by keeping our hands away from eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. Here’s how to prevent colds and flus.
- Wash your hands well with soap when you come home from out in the world. Even children can learn this simple habit. Here’s a great video on how to wash your hands.
- Keep your fingers away from your face. Your hands collect microbes from everything you touch. Do not put your hands near your eyes, nose, mouth, and especially your ears. The ears connect to the internal organs through the Eustachian tubes, and are a favorite entry point for microbes.
- Cure Flus and Colds with Hydrogen Peroxide. In 1928 Richard Simmons, M.D. found that the inner-ear (middle-ear) is the perfect bacterial breeding ground. Once pathological microbes enter the inner ear they begin breeding, and from there they have access to every part of your body to infect and make you sick. For many years people in the know have been avoiding flus and cold by treating the inner ear with 3% peroxide. It is important to begin treatment as soon as symptoms appear. Remarkable results in curing the flu and cold can happen within 12 to 14 hours when administering a few drops of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) into each infected ear. The H2O2 starts working within 2 to 3 minutes to kill the flu or cold. There will be some bubbling and perhaps mild stinging. Wait until the bubbling and stinging subside (usually 5 to 10 min) then roll over, drain the H2O2 onto tissue and repeat in the other ear. To cure the flu completely you’ll need to repeat this process two or more times at one or two hours intervals until there is no more bubbling when putting H.P. in ears.
4. Rinse Your Sinuses Daily – Everyone’s heard of an Indian Neti pot, but now there’s something even better. Recently an Indian doctor in the USA developed the NeilMed Sinus Rinse, available in any pharmacy. Use it to squirt salt water up into your nostrils to cleanse the sinus cavity. Keep the bottle right in the shower – it’s way easier than a Neti pot. It takes a bit of getting used to, but afterwards you’ll feel clean inside and out. I began this regimen a few years ago, and haven’t had a cold since!
Say good-bye to colds and sniffles. Keep this handy bottle with salt near the shower, and rinse your sinuses every day. Best wishes for a healthy season!