October is here which means holiday season is right around the corner. Which also means, cold/flu season is right around the corner. So how do you stay germ free?
To start, it's all about your nutrition and the quality of. Our immune systems can not build on their own. They have to be supported by the nutrients that you receive from your food choices. Wouldn't it be amazing to go an entire season with no head colds, flu or "icky" symptoms? It can be done but you have to stay committed, eat LOTS of nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits and steer away from (dare I say it...), alcohol. Alcohol, sadly, is not our friend. It is our enemy. I will save it for a different post but understand that alcohol weakens your immune system and makes it more susceptible for infections. So, be smart about your alcohol consumption (if any) this Fall/Winter season.
Separate from a great, balanced, and nutrient-dense diet, and washing your hands numerous times a day, here are 4 easy steps that I swear by to live germ free:
*Note: I am not a doctor and cannot diagnose or prescribe medications. These are simple natural remedies to try for preventative health.
I'm sure you all remember as a kid when we would get sick, your parents would bring you to your doctor and they would tell you to drink lots of fluids. The reason for that is almost self explanatory. Your body is made up of 55-70% water. Water is a MAJOR key ingredient to so many functions in the human body, one of which is removing toxins, waste and germs. I always tell people to make sure to drink 1/2 their body weight in oz of water a day (more if you exercise). If you're not doing this already, start now. Dehydration is a major cause to restless sleep, migraines, hormone imbalance, anxiety, depression, & all the above. Make sure to get your water in! See germ season prescription below.
General Health: 1/2 of your body weight.
Fighting cold/flu: 3/4 of your body weight.
#2. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is known as the most popular vinegar in the natural health community. It is an aqueous solution of acetic acid, produced by fermentation of sugars. This solution has been used for thousands of years because of it's powerful antibacterial properties. There is a LOT of research out there backing up ACV and it's effect on healing infections, killing bacteria, balancing blood sugar levels, weight loss, lowering cholesterol (with healthy diet, of course) and there are even studies speaking to it's effect on fighting cancer cells. ACV is a MUST staple in everyone's refrigerator. It can be a hard thing to get down at first, but the benefits are worth the 0.01 second of "pain". See recommended daily prescription below.
General Health: 1x/day.
Fighting cold/flu: 3x/day (before breakfast, lunch, & before bed).
How to take:
Option #1: 1oz shot
Option #2: 1oz mixed with glass of water
Personally, I like to get it over with. I pour it into a shot glass and take it as-is. It's tough to get down in the beginning but you get used to it, I promise.
#3 ELDERBERRY SYRUP
Elderberry has been around since the Native American and Egyptian days. This powerful berry was used to treat infections and heal wounds. It is still around in today's world but not many people are aware of it. Elderberry is a low calorie berry that is PACKED with nutrients including high levels of vitamin C, fiber, phenolic acids (kill germs), flavonols (more powerful antioxidants), and anthocyanins (provide the color of the berry and very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects). To sum, this berry is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power house. See recommended prescription below:
Preventative Health: 1 teaspoon daily or 2-3x/week.
Fighting cold/flu: 4 teaspoons throughout the day until symptoms subside.
#4 OREGANO OIL
Oregano is an herb that is best known in Italian cuisine. However, it is also concentrated into an essential oil that is loaded with antioxidants. Research shows that the oil has the highest levels of antioxidants compared to other most commonly used herbs. It also acts as a natural antibiotic, antiviral and anti-fungal. This oil is VERY potent so it's a must that you mix this with water. If you take it on it's own, you'll learn the hard way (like I did) and discover that it's not a fun experience. So, mixing it with water is the way to go! I, personally, take oregano oil when I feel the 1st sign to getting sick and/or 1x/day for 3-4 days leading up to travel. See recommended prescription below:
Fighting cold/flu: 3-4 drops mixed with 1oz water 1x/day for 3-4 days when you feel like you're coming down with something.
Note: Do not take oregano oil if you have an allergy to herbs in the mint family, are pregnant or on blood thinning medications.