‘Tis the time of year that the children go back to school and everybody catches a cold. Now a cold shouldn’t be that bad an affair – feel a bit rough for about 3 days, then we are better. Only, of course, these days it can drag on for weeks with an irritating cough, plenteous nose blowing of quite magnificent hues and quite possibly a bit of wheezing and groaning. To avoid catching a cold in the first place – or, should we succumb, to make it an old fashioned affair where it goes away completely toot sweet, here are ten ideas.
- Do not wash hands or teeth with anti-bacterial soap – normal soap/toothpaste will do the job excellently. We need the natural good bacteria resident on our skin and in our gut and mouth plentiful – and ready to fight for our health.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and some fruit, as fresh as possible and some of it raw and/or lightly cooked.
- Get enough sleep and rest! Actively reduce stress levels. Tiredness and constant stress lower the immune system.
- If an exerciser, do interval training mainly instead of long, hard, ball breaking workouts, since these devastate the immune system. Up to 40 mins exercise is excellent for cardio, up to an hour for weights.
- Take a high quality zinc supplement: for adults the pills are best when chelated with an amino acid, so zinc aspartate or orotate are going to do much more for us than zinc citrate will. For children, a high quality liquid zinc – zinc sulphate – will help boost their immune system.
- L glutamine, the amino acid, will boost the immune system, especially if cold and/or stressed.
- Vitamin C helps prevent colds, but pure ascorbic acid will largely pass through us – probably giving a bit of the squits as it goes. The best vitamin Cs come with minerals and vitamins that help us uptake the vitamin.
- Folate is an important plank in the immune system and many of us need to take our folate, or vitamin B9, in methylated form – that is L5 methly-tetra-hydrofolate. This is all horribly complicated, involving a process called methylation that is broken at a genetic level in a good 60% of us. Amongst a long list of horrors, when we don’t methylate properly, our immune system works below par and taking methylated B9 is a vital plank of living a long healthy life.
- Good levels of vitamin D3 are essential. For the Brits, this is impossible to achieve naturally since we don’t see enough sun. And any sun between October and March is too low in the sky for its rays to metabolise into vitamin D in our bodies. So even if we are nude gardeners, we won’t get any D from the sun during these months.
- The final plank in building a good immune system that stops colds in their tracks, is having a good balance between Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. Unfortunately our diet is hopelessly skewed in favour of the Omega 6s – from eating polyunsaturated fats (sunflower oil etc), to our farmed animals and fish being fed a grain based diet that is also high in omega 6 oils. This leads to lowered immune function, increased inflammation, a bumbling brain and claggy blood. Click on the linked blog for more information.
So the answers to avoiding colds lie in taking good quality supplementation and taking care of ourselves, instead of ignoring our needs for rest, recuperation, good exercise and a well nourished body. After all, catching a cold that turns nasty as usual is no fun for ourselves, our family or our co-workers. And the benefits to taking these ten steps to avoiding catching a cold mean we will bounce through life, enjoying every step of the way. Vile Sneezes, Begone!