We are in the thick of cold and flu season and that can cause major problems for employers and employees alike. No one likes missing work because they are sick. For one thing, it takes away from precious vacation time spent doing things that are fun! Employers dread those weeks where an entire office is decimated by the flu, grinding productivity to a halt.
So what can you do to stay healthy through the cold season (and all year for that matter)? The world doesn’t need another blog post about washing your hands, keeping your fingers out of your mouth and wiping your door knobs. Although those things are excellent at avoiding passing around germs, it doesn’t get to the heart of the matter which is how to avoid getting sick DESPITE being exposed to viruses. We all have those coworkers who never seem to get sick. They are probably following a much healthier lifestyle than most Americans.
RULE #1: DO NOT OVEREAT.
Digestion takes more energy than just about any other daily human activity. Placing excessive burden on your digestive processes diverts energy and resources that might otherwise be devoted to better quality immune function. If you are constantly asking your body to digest food, it has precious few resources to fight off a virus when it comes knocking at your cell walls. Americans have access to food in quantities that are just not conducive to a healthy body. Fasting or time restricted eating is, hands-down, the best way to keep your body healthy. BUT YOU MUST BE RELIGIOUS ABOUT IT!
Here is a comprehensive guide to Time-Restricted Eating.
RULE #2: LIMIT SUGAR AND ALL CARBS.
A high carb meal can decimate your your primary immune response for 2-4+ hours following it. Glucose also further attracts undesirable free radical activity (bad!), is acidifying to the system (favoring pathogens) and increases insulin production (taking away from your internal repair, immune and maintenance processes). Sugar also literally feeds pathogens. ALL carbs (except indigestible fiber) are sugar once they reach your bloodstream. This includes bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes, rice, juices (yes–even orange juice), grains (even whole or sprouted grains), corn, milk (especially low-fat/non-fat–very high in sugars), legumes (are about 60% starch) and other sugary/starchy carbs which suppress internal repair and maintenance processes. It’s best to moderate your protein intake and use fats like coconut oil and poultry fat (both of which contain effective antimicrobial compounds) to help support your inner germ fighting warriors! Bone broths and light soups top the list of immuno-supportive meals when you’re fighting a bug. Supporting your internal wildlife with ample coconut kefir and cultured veggies is an added plus.
RULE #3: LOOK TO SUPPLEMENTS
After you’ve cleaned up your diet, there are a couple of supplements that will enhance your new, supercharged immune system. A daily dose of Astragalus is an excellent addition to your health regimen. Read about Astragalus health benefits here. None of us get enough Magnesium which is a shame because it is so important to a healthy body. Read about Magnesium here.
RULE #4: Ok, that’s enough rules for this week. Rule number 4 is simply to follow the 3 rules above. Try it for a month. Be vigilant, be strong and we are sure you will see a difference in how you feel and how your body reacts to those bad bugs that are all around us this time of year.