There are a lot of germs in the world. We have a few choices, we can freak out and stay indoors with gallons of bleach and a face mask or we can live life and boost our natural bodies defenses. I prefer the second choice. There is not reason why life cannot be lived to its fullest even and not get sick.
As I write this, we have a potential pandemic of COVID-19. A nasty little virus that is particularly harmful to the elderly, the immune compromised and people with a history of respiratory illness. Officials say that everyone will eventually get sick from this in their lifetime, just like the flu. I don't know anyone who has never had the flu. I also know plenty of people that have had a common cold, bronchitis and pneumonia. Fact is we will get sick with something. Why not make your immune system as strong as you can to fight off everything.
Years ago when my kids were little I explained why they need to take their vitamins this way: "Inside our bodies there is an army waiting to fight all of the germs that might get inside us. If we take our vitamins and eat good food, we keep the army strong with plenty of armour. If we eat things like sugar, don't take our vitamins, don't wash our hands and don't get some sleep it is like stripping our bodies army of it's weapons. We take away their swords and shields and they can't fight the germs as well and we get sick." To you this comment may look a little strange coming from a parent but I was a sword fighter at the time and the analogy fit. Think about it for a second, this fits. If you do certain things it can strengthen your immune system, if you do other things you weaken it. So, let's talk about which of your habit does what to your immune system.
How to Weaken Your Immune System:
1. Don't Wash Your Hands (Ewww)
2. Don't Get Enough Sleep
3. Eat A Ton Of Junk Food
4. Stop Exercising
5. Stay Overly Stressed
7. Drink An Overabundance Of Alcohol
8. Drink Plenty Of Water
How to Strenthen Your Immune System:
(pretty much the opposite of what is listed above)
1. Wash Your Hands:
At least for 20 second with warm water and soap. They say sing "Happy Birthday" twice while washing so you know you have kept the proper time. There are clever songs that people have made up that you could do as well, I just count to 20. Washing your hands often is your first line of defense to make sure bacteria is not introduced to your body.
2. Get Plenty Of Sleep:
Lack of sleep will not only weaken your immune system but it will make you cranky and possibly kill you. If you don't sleep at all your body will completely break down. When my daughter was in gymnastics I was up in the observation area with another mom. We were chatting and she told me that for years she worked third shift at her job. She loved her job was used to the nighttime hours. Then she had a baby and everything changed. She was getting around 1-2 hours of sleep a day. She told me she was stuck. She couldn't afford to quit her job but her doctor recently told her that if she continued this schedule she would die. Just looking at her I knew she was not well. Her skin was grey, her hair was thinned and her eyes were sunken in and hallow. She said she lost a lot of weight and her body was starting to shut down. I don't know what she ended up doing and I hope for the sake of her and her child she made a change. But every time I want to stay up late to binge watch something on my phone I think of her and shut it off.
3. Eat Plenty of Healthy Foods - STAY AWAY FROM SUGAR!!:
What is that saying? "We are what we eat." It's true and our immune systems strength relies on us eating right. Sugar is the biggest culprit of stripping our immune system of it's sword and shield. I will share a story about how I personally tested the affects of sugar below in the section where i teach you How To Strengthen Your Immune System.
Bottom line..... if you eat poorly your body will not have the strength to fight off germs.
I have done some unintentional personal testing on this subject. You see I pay attention to how my body reacts to certain things, because I want to teach others what I learn so they can benefit and stay healthy. Again unintentionally I added a donut (my weakness) to my body (yes it was yummy) when I was just starting to feel a cold or flu coming on. That night I was full blown sick. Not too long after I got over said flu I started to feel run down again but this time I stayed away from sugar. Low and behold I was able to fight off this case of illness without getting. If you are skeptical I have tested this theory, on purpose, a few more times just to make sure. Every time it was the same results.
4. Get Plenty Of Exercise:
This tip is like music to my ears since exercising is an important part of my life and my job. But since I own a gym maybe you think I have a hidden agenda when I promote exercise in any way. So I went to the experts.
Mayo Clinic: Aerobic Exercise - Top 10 Reasons to Get Physical.
mayoclinic.org Feb 5, 2020
"Ward off viral illnesses Aerobic exercise activates your immune system in a good way. This may leave you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu."
Medlineplus.gov - The U.S. National Library of Medicine reviewed Jan 14, 2018
"Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness.
Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These antibodies or WBCs circulate more rapidly, so they could detect illnesses earlier than they might have before. +
The brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infection better. (This is similar to what happens when you have a fever.)
Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones. Some stress increases the chance of illness. Lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
Personally, in the past I have walked into class feeling run down and after I teach I feel better and stay better. So between me and the experts I hope that you can see the benefit of exercise to help keep you immune system strong.
We simply do not get enough vitamins from our foods, period. Supplements have to be a way of your life to stay healthy. I read an article years ago that explained why we don't get enough vitamins and mineral from our foods. It's the fact that the soil that farmers use now is depleted of its nutrients by 50% from years of farming. The same foods that you eat now was full of more nutrients in 1950s. Since our bodies have not changed and we still need the same amount of vitamins and minerals that people needed in the 1950 we have to take our vitamins. I cannot stress this next statement enough. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS ON THE LABEL OF YOUR VITAMINS. They are there for a reason and I will explain why this is important. There are two different types of vitamins, Fat Soluble and Water Soluble. Fat Soluble vitamins will be used but if you take too much the excess will get stored into your fatty tissue and could cause you problems in the future. Water Soluble vitamins will be used and the excess will be eliminated when you go to the bathroom. An example, Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin. You can take as much as you want without damaging your organs. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. I don't care how long you want to grow your nails, if you take too much
Vitamin E you could get very sick.
Years ago when my son was little he got a cold. Randy and I knew a bit about supplements and we gave my son Zinc to help him get over his illness. We gave him too much and he ended up throwing up. We learned a very powerful lesson.
So here is a list of the vitamins and supplements that I use to help us boost our immune system and if they are water soluble or fat soluble. I thank God that I was introduced to Shakeology. It's simple and quick and after I drink it I don't have to worry about any other supplements to keep me from getting sick.
Chicken Soup - What?!!! I know its not officially a supplement but chicken soup has been used for years to cure illness. The ingredients in chicken noodle soup provide the body with a boost of vitamin A and selenium. Warm liquids, such as chicken broth, can be used to promote hydration and clear your nasal passages. The vegetables contain vitamins A, C, and other antioxidants that boost the immune system. Not to mention it is totally a comfort food right?
Vitamin C - Water Soluble. Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. You can take a lot of this vitamin however if you take too much you will have diarrhea. If that happens back off on the Vitamin C.
Some great sources of Vitamin C:
Essential Oils: Young Living Orange Oil, Young Living Lemon Oil
Essential Oils have the same vitamins as the fruit they are extracted from but in
concentrated form. One drop of essential oil is equivalent to 5 pieces of fruit. You
can put the oil in water and drink. Lemon Essential Oil cannot be put in a plastic
cup or water bottle so please keep it in glass. Orange, Tangerine and Grapefruit
Essential Oils are find in plastic.
Foods: Anything citrus has a lot of Vitamin C.
Vitamin B6 - Water Soluble. Vitamin B6 is vital to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. I get my B Vitamins through my Shakeology but you can get a supplement in pill form or liquid extract.
Vitamin E - Fat Soluble. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. You can get vitamin E as a supplement.
Zinc - Fat Soluble. You can get Zinc as a Supplement. Remember the story about my son. Follow the recommended dosage directions on the package.
Echinacea: This is a remedy that has been used for centuries. Echinacea also know as Coneflower has been know to fight off the common cold. You can find Echinacea in liquid extract, dried tea or pill form. The best quality of Echinacea is found at health food stores or higher end grocery stores. Echinacea has an acquired taste so be warned.
Garlic - This one is both. Garlic Oil is Fat Soluble where dried Garlic or fresh Garlic is Water Soluble. The cold-fighting compound in garlic is thought to be allicin, which has demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties. Allicin is what gives garlic its distinctive hot flavor. To maximize the amount of allicin, fresh garlic should be chopped or crushed, and it should be raw.
The World Health Organization recommends 2 grams to 5 grams of fresh garlic, 0.4 gram to 1.2 grams of dried garlic powder, 2 milligrams to 5 milligrams of garlic oil, 300 milligrams to 1,000 milligrams of garlic extract, or some other formulation that yields the equivalent of 2 milligrams to 5 milligrams (2,000 to 5,000 micrograms) of allicin daily.
I have know people that eat fresh raw garlic whole. There is a risk that you will burn your esophagus and stomach lining if you do that. Crushed or minced raw garlic is fine, like on Bruschetta or salads. Cooked garlic is fine as well.
6. Drink Plenty Of Water:
I just recently learned that having a dry throat will allow the bacteria to stay in your throat, cultivate and BOOM you are sick. Water will flush the bacteria to your stomach and your stomach acid will kill the germs. If you are feeling under the weather hot liquids could do the trick. The warm liquid helps kill the bacteria trying to start a party in your throat and again the water washes the germs to be killed in your stomach. You can do tea, soup or plain water but staying dehydrated will not help you fight off infections.
7. Young Living Thieves Spray and Thieves Oil:
This is my go to when I am starting to feel run down. It has helped me and my kids stay healthy or get over our illness faster by boosting our immune systems. Thieves Spray is also a great all natural disinfectant so I can spray it on whatever I am about to touch or my hands if I believe that I have touched something yucky. With ingredients like clove, cinnamon and orange essential oils Thieves Spray is God's gift to man. You can use Thieves Essential Oil in tea, place it directly on your tongue or dilute it and place it on your skin. It is considered a Hot Oil, because of the Cinnamon so when you use Thieves Spray or Essential Oil internally it will have a strong taste. I love it.
8. Whole Food Nutritional Shakes:
You have heard me talk about Shakeology well it is on the list of Immune Boosters. Shakeology has all of the vitamins and minerals that you need to fight off viruses. One of my brand new team members recently told me that both of her kids got the flu. After taking care of them for a week she felt run down for a day and than was fine. She said that before Shakeology she would have gotten the flu as well. I stand behind Shakeology and I know that every time I drink one I am arming my immune system with shields, sword, bayonettes, AK-47s and cannons. LOL yeah that sounds a little overboard but it's true.
Getting sick is no fun at all. I hope that these tips are a blessing to you and you can keep your body healthy.