Thursday, October 1, 2009

Some thoughts on immunity

I was asked to write an immune system diet. Funny that as I was writing it, I got sick.
God definitely has a sense of humor.

In short, the very long article said that you should try to avoid the habits and conditions that may weaken your immune system:

1. Overeating sugars. Did you know that juice, soda drinks, and foods generally rich in carbohydrate may weaken your T-cell response for up to 5 hours? If you crave the sweet taste, go for fruit, where at least you will also be getting antioxidants, too. Do not eat fruit on an empty stomach and go for 2-3 servings daily.

2. Being overweight. Did you know that the low grade inflammation that larger fat tissue causes may lead to more frequent susceptibility to colds and viruses? If you have a weight issue, go for losing 10% of your body weight before winter hits. Just make sure you do it while taking in adequate protein and essential fats.

3. Being stressed out. Stress hormones can nibble on your immune system like it's nobody's business. Disrupted sleep, over training, anger, frustration and lack of food may cause your system to tip, when it should be stable.

I kind of laughed at getting a sore throat after 2 extremely stressful days and funnily this helped me focus more on self care and self love than before, so I am grateful for this.

Here are my favorite stop the cold from developing remedies:

1. Fresh squeezed lemon/orange/grapefruit juice. Usually a piece of each fruit makes a nice cup of juice that will bathe you in plenty of Vitamin C. Drink it immediately after you feel you are getting a cold.

2. Ginger tea with lemon and honey. Take 3 slices of ginger and pour a cup of boiling water on top. Seep and then add a tablespoon of honey and some lemon juice. Wait for the tea to cool off before adding them.

3. Chicken soup. You will need a whole chicken to make the broth. Boil the chicken for 2 hours, take out of the broth and seperate the meat and the bones. Return the bones to the broth and keep cooking with a mix of vegetables. I like adding carrots, celery, onion, a little potato and parsley root. It is wonderful to let it cook for a very long time (3+ hours) and then add some fresh picked herbs on top.

4. Homeopathic medication. I find Oscilococcinum to work very well in the initial phases of a cold. Of course, the fact that it is made from duck liver would probably better remain unmentioned. It does however taste like nothing, just like all homeopathic remedies.

Off to have the chicken soup and finish cooking some amazing garlic chicken stew from what is left of the chicken meat. Look forward to pictures and a recipe later.

Meanwhile, if you want to really get ready for flu season, here are the habits and remedies to vaccinate you:

1. Get plenty of exercise and rest. If you are having a stressful time at work or are on a new training program, add half an hour to an hour of sleep to your schedule.

2. Eliminate junk from your diet and focus on good quality proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables and fruits.

3. Drink 30 ml of water for every kg of bodyweight.

4. Supplement your diet with vitamin A, E and C, zinc, magnesium and selenium. You should be able to find a good multivitamin to supply all of those and more. Invest in a fish oil supplement and add at least 1 gram of omega 3s from it daily.

5. Spend time in nature where clean air and plenty of oxygen will support your body in battling antigens.


  1. This is timely Galya...we've been sick all week!

    Not too sure about your new banner--the colors are appropriate for Halloween though...; )

  2. You know I am about to change it. Thanks for reminding me :)


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