Hardly ever getting sick is something I love bragging about. Why? Because being sick is an awful thing. Common cold symptoms such as coughing, headache and runny nose are annoying and makes you feel miserable.
Some of the over-the-counter cold remedies can upset your stomach or even damage your liver. I always feel bad for anyone I come across who is sick but I don't fear being around them.
A big myth is that if you are around sick people, you will get sick. The truth is that if you take care of yourself, you will not get sick. You won't get the common cold, a head cold or a cough. This doesn't mean you won't ever get sick, but you will reduce your chances significantly.
Keeping the digestive system and immune system healthy is the best chance for avoiding colds, flu's and viruses. 70% of our immune system is in the digestive system. If the digestive system is unhealthy, so is the immune system.
How do you know if your digestive system is not healthy? Does any of this sound like you?
👉Diarrhea and/or constipation
👉Bloating and gas
👉Congestion, coughing, wheezing
👉Brain fog, difficulty recalling words, short term memory issues
👉Headaches and migraines
👉Acne and itchy skin
👉Tired all the time
👉Sensitivity to fragrances and chemicals
If you said yes to just one of the above, your body is telling you something is not right. Discovering the root cause and how to get healthy can be confusing and hard! I am here to help.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist obsessed with teaching people just like you how to heal their gut so you can stop suffering and get back to living!
I offer a FREE 30 minute strategy session where we will talk about your specific symptoms and how the Simply Great Health program can help.
How would eliminating your symptoms improve your life? You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Focus at work
✅Have more energy
✅Stop running to the bathroom
✅Workout without fear of an accident or farting
✅Restore your confidence
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Simply Great Health is a customized 5 Step plan that heals your body and fits your busy lifestyle.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
5 WAYS TO SUPPORT A HEALTHY DIGESTIVE AND IMMUNE SYSTEM
#1 REGULAR EXERCISE
That's right! Moving your body will benefit both the digestive system and immune system. How? Exercise helps keep your digestive system healthy by helping you to avoid being constipated and promoting healthy digestion when you are at rest. Over time, exercise will help strengthen your digestive system which helps to keep everything moving. (Source: Manhattan Gastroenterology)
When you exercise, your body's temperature naturally rises. Heating up the body can help kill off any pathogen that may be floating around your body. Also, Medline Plus states that physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, which will help you avoid the common cold and flu.
Exercising can be as simple as walking for 30 minutes. But make sure to do it at least 5 days a week. If you haven't been exercising regularly, make sure to check with your doctor for any restrictions.
#2 TAKE VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
While I would love to tell you that eating a healthy organic diet will give you all the nutrients you need to stay healthy, it just isn't possible. Our bodies need high doses of nutrients to stay healthy.
For example, Vitamin C has been studied for its role in helping to avoid the common cold as well as treatment for reducing the number of days a person is sick with the common cold. While results can be mixed, a review of the studies showed that taking Vitamin C reduced the number of colds in half in people who are physically active. (Source: Vitamin C and Infections)
There are foods high in Vitamin C such as oranges, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach. But even though they are high in Vitamin C, it isn't high enough to support the immune system. The studies I mentioned earlier used anywhere from 3,000 - 8,000 milligrams.
That is a lot of Vitamin C! A single orange contains 51 milligrams of Vitamin C. That means you would have to eat 58 oranges just to get 3,000 milligrams in one day! Impossible!
To help avoid the common cold, take at least 1,000 milligrams a day. This can be in a tablet form or by drinking Emergen-C. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin so you can't overdose on it. Large amounts can both some people's stomach. If this is you, simply take a smaller dose several times a day.
Another key supplement to take daily is a probiotic. As I mentioned earlier, a probiotic will help keep good bacteria in the digestive system, which will support a healthy immune system. Look for a product that contains both Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These are the most prevalent types of good bacteria in our bodies. A daily dose of 3-10 Billion bacteria will help you stay healthy.
#3 GET PLENTY OF REST
Sleep is so important. I know it seems like we have to keep going all the time but without proper rest, the body cannot repair itself. Sleep allows the body to slowly repair itself. Think about it: our bodies never get a chance for downtime. They are always working. But when we sleep, the body gets a chance to slowly work through any damage that is occurring.
If we don't sleep an adequate amount, our bodies get tired which will make us more susceptible to getting sick. Getting at least 7 hours is necessary. You may not be able to get 7 hours every night due to work, family and other demands on your time.
If this is the case, take one day to sleep and not set the alarm clock. Tell your family that you need this time to be healthy for them. Sleep as long as you need to which will help the body get time to repair itself.
#4 DRINK PLENTY OF LIQUIDS
Most of us are dehydrated. We drink liquids that are dehydrating, such as soda or coffee, and not enough water. Some people don't even like the taste of water. It is too bland they say. But being hydrated helps the body fight infection.
How? Water helps the mucous membrane in the nose stay flexible to keep things out of our bodies such as dust, dirt and bacteria. When the nose stops these irritants, it helps keep them from getting to the lungs. When we are dehydrated, our nose becomes dry and can't work as effectively to keep irritants out of the lungs. Sickness occurs. (Source: Daily Mail UK).
What should you drink if you don't like the taste of water? Try flavored herbal tea, hot or cold, that you make yourself. The problem with herbal teas that are already prepared is the sugar content.
Too much sugar is an issue for most of us causing weight gain and maybe leading to diabetes. Water also tastes great when you let cucumber or fruit or both infuse into water overnight.
Make sure to choose clean filtered bottled water to drink. The quality of water is just as important as the quantity. Simply filtering the water from the sink or through the refrigerator will not clean it enough from the chemicals that are allowed to be in our water systems.
How much water should you drink everyday? Drink at least half your body weight in ounces everyday. If you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces per day.
#5 EAT ORGANIC, MOSTLY PLANTS
Reducing the amount of meat you eat will boost your immune system, benefits your digestive system and makes you feel great. Plant based foods are high in antioxidants which are known to fight oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. When we eat plant based foods, we are eating a lot of fiber.
Plant based food helps our digestive system stay healthy and feeds our immune system with good bacteria. If you can't give up the meat, try to reduce the amount you eat in a single day. Using meat as a side dish to a meal that mostly focuses on whole grains, vegetables and fruits is a meal that will help your body fight illness.
Eating organic foods helps us avoid chemicals and pesticides. Food that is grown with chemicals is not really food. It has been modified in some way for mass production.
The chemicals used for mass production can't be processed by our bodies. When chemicals are in our bodies, they reduce the effectiveness of both the immune and digestive systems. This makes us more susceptible to catching colds.
Organic foods are higher in nutrients. This means you will eat less when you eat organic. Also, organic food is very accessible. Major brands and grocery stores see how people are voting with their wallets for healthier foods.
You no longer have to go to a health food store to shop. Local grocery stores are selling a lot of organic options. Avoiding chemicals by eating organic foods helps the immune system and digestive system stay healthy. This means you can avoid colds and hardly ever get sick, just like me!
I hope you enjoyed learning more about how to reduce your chances of getting sick. Eating organic, plant based foods, moving your body, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and taking supplements are the keys to keeping your body well. Our immune system lives in our gut so if our digestion is not healthy, neither is our immune system.
Do you think you will try any of the steps above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.