First it’s a cold, then a sore throat, then allergies, the flu, body aches, and then some weird pain in the middle of your shoulder blade. It’s the never-ending onslaught of “sick-in-bed” days and the “work-through-the-pain” days. The “go-to-the-doctor” days and the “really?-again?” days. It’s the days you just wish it would all go away and stay away because frankly, you are just getting sick and tired of it. Pun intended.
Now I’m sure you’ve noticed how two people can be exposed to the same illness and one gets it while the other breezes by without a single sniffle. Staying illness-free often comes down to a healthy and strong immune system. If yours is not up to par, take heed: a constantly sick person is an unhealthy person, and an unhealthy person who can’t fend off acute illnesses will eventually develop more chronic diseases over time. The body can only take so much before it starts to shut down or fall apart, and it’s the more serious stuff that you definitely want to avoid. It’s time to take charge and fight for your health! Here’s how:
1. AVOID ANTIBIOTICS (and other drugs). Yes, I said it. No more antibiotics!!! (Ok, use your best judgment here. There’s a time and place for medicine.) In my opinion, however, antibiotics are often over-prescribed and at the root of many of our Western diseases. From the creation of superbugs that are now taking over our food supply to the upswing in gastrointestinal disorders, behavioral disorders, food intolerances, allergies, etc., these assassin little pills have just got to be restrained! (at least in most cases)
What you need to understand is that antibiotics are pesticides. They kill, kill, kill those bacteria and germs, which is how you are then able to get well after a good 10-day dosage. The problem is they also kill, kill, kill all of the wonderful bacteria that keep you healthy and well. This then leads to an imbalance of gut bacteria, usually lending way to an overgrowth of plenty of “bad guys,” such as candida.
Without enough of the good guys to defend you the next time around, you’ll end up right back where you started the next time another bug comes your way. And the next, and the next and the next. It becomes a quick cycle of disease that is difficult to escape and one that leaves you less healthy after each and every dose. If possible, seek healthier alternatives for a stronger and healthier body.
Alternatives: Try homeopathy for viral and bacterial infections. It stimulates the body to do its own fighting . . . just as God designed.
If you must take a dose of antibiotics, ask the doctor to follow it up with Nystatin to specifically kill candida or other yeast-like bugs in there that will try to take over. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS follow up with a daily dose of Probiotics to build up your “good guys” once again.
2. AVOID SUGAR (and all artificial sweeteners). This stuff is EVERYWHERE! Sucrose, fructose, table sugar, cane juice, brown sugar, sucralose, etc. This stuff hides under more names than almost any other substance out there . . . except for MSG. The problem with sugar is that it completely suppresses your immune system for 4-6 hours after consumption. That’s right. If you eat those tempting little cookies before heading out to the grocery store, you’ve just knocked all your defenses on their hineys.
The really sad reality is that sugar is in almost every processed food out there and in such large amounts that it is very difficult to avoid if you are not avoiding bullet point #3 (see below). It’s also important to note that sugar also feeds candida (bad yeast), so it’s the very first thing you crave when you try to stop and your yeast starts calling. Do whatever it takes but cut it out of your diet as much as is possible. Refined white sugar is toxic and will lead to a lifetime of ill health, including heart disease, behavioral disorders, obesity, etc. (If the sugar cravings are too great, consider a homeopathic treatment, such as Boiron Helonias Dioica 200C to get you through the withdrawal.)
Alternatives: All-natural sweeteners in small amounts, such as pure green stevia, coconut palm sugar, Rapadura, unfiltered local honey and maple syrup are all great substitutes for satisfying the sweet tooth.
3. AVOID PROCESSED FOODS. Virtually all processed foods are harmful to the body. What you need to understand is that the “food” they sell you is designed to live on a store shelf for as long as is possible. In order to make this happen, they must “kill” (there’s that word again) or destroy all of the living enzymes, vitamins and minerals in the original food. They do this through a number of methods, including extrusion, bleaching, etc. until what they’re left with is a dead, and oftentimes unappealing, version of the original food. To make it enticing to the average consumer, they then “fortify” it with synthetic vitamins that are fragmented and many times inflammatory, add some color back through the use of toxic food dyes, and add an onslaught of artificial preservatives, genetically modified ingredients (GMOs), rancid vegetable oils, etc. to pull it all together. Voila! Store-ready food.
I hate to break it to you, but this is NOT food. It’s poison to the body.
What essentially happens after eating processed food after processed food is that the body then has to filter through the mass of chemicals and ingredients you have just introduced, becoming extremely inflamed and acidic. If you expect it to detoxify and mess with all of those chemicals AND protect you against the outside bugs as well, it’s probably not going to happen . . . at least not for very long. A brief introduction to a new bug and bam! You’re sick again.
Alternatives: Buy whole foods that are nourishing and stimulating to the body. Prepare the foods traditionally by soaking nuts, seeds and legumes; fermenting whenever possible, and eating many of the other veggies raw.
Okay, okay, so you’re probably wondering: What does all this talk about the gut and food have to do with my immune system and staying illness-free? In case you didn’t know, 70-80% of your immune system is found in your gut. Yup, right there in the gut. Now, you can’t dump trash on your immune system day after day and expect it to work for very long now can you? You have to treat it right.
Boost your immune system daily with the following:
Cod liver oil
Probiotics (Here’s a great version for kids. Get it also from fermented vegetables and drinks. )
Vitamin D (Get it also from sunlight, pastured animal fats, such as tallow and lard, butter, whole-fat cheeses, and whole raw milk. With this low-fat craze taking over, is it no wonder we’re sicker than ever? We’re missing out on our vitamin D!)
Sleep (A good 7-9 hours a night will keep you strong.)
Now, if you tried your very best and still caught a bug, there’s no need to worry. Boost your immune system naturally, and you’ll be back on your feet in no time. In addition to the supplements above, here are some great remedies to consider:
Homemade bone broth (This is a wonderful electrolyte solution full of natural, healing minerals! . . . A much better choice than the store-bought electrolyte drinks full of artificial sweeteners and dyes.)
Honey, lemon and echinacea tea
If you have a cold or the flu, check out this post with even more natural remedies.
So there you have it. A few things to avoid and some to take in for a stronger, healthier immune system and body and much fewer “sick days.” What are some of your favorite immune-system boosters?
***Please read my disclaimer below and discuss all healthcare concerns with a licensed healthcare practitioner.