The buzz on the streets in every corner of this country is about health care. Yes, we need big improvements to make the system function better. On every level I believe we do need change. Instead of discussing all the usual problems and solutions, I’m going to talk about a different solution, one that I am not hearing much about.
Prevention! Yes, preventative health care. If people knew how to take better care of themselves, then they wouldn’t need to fill so many prescriptions and visit their doctors so frequently.
When I was growing up at the first sign of a sniffle I was ready to take a variety of over the counter drugs and even antibiotics. As I became tired of having five or six colds/flu a year, I thought maybe there is a better way.
Turns out there is: prevent the cold and flu from coming in the first place. There are many ways to do this.
SIMPLE WAYS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNITY
For one, stop eating foods that make you congested. Basically, when you are experiencing congestion (ongoing), runny nose, etc., you likely have food allergies. Dairy is a huge culprit.
Even if you aren’t allergic, it creates mucus, which is something to avoid when trying to ward of a cold or flu.
Eating fresh veggies and fruit (more veggies than fruit) each day is also helpful. This provides the body with antioxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals.
If prevention doesn’t work and you still come down with the sniffles, it’s possible to prevent it from becoming worse.
At the first onset, instead of reaching for the over the counter remedies, try taking herbs or medicinal mushrooms.
Many mushrooms such as reishi, shiitake, turkey tail, and maitake raise your Natural Killer white blood cells. These blood cells are critical to fight off invaders that enter your body.
Limiting sugar is also a smart preventative move since it lowers the Natural Killer white blood cells that the mushrooms are trying to raise. And no, mushrooms dipped in sugar does not balance out.
Load up on zinc and vitamin C as well. In fact, when you are sick your body can handle quite a large amount of vitamin C. For maximum absorption, go for real food C such as Camu Camu.
For flu, elderberry is an herb that has been used for thousands of years. Until recently no one knew just why it was so effective at fighting flu. Research has now shown that the phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that give it its dark color are also loaded with antioxidants that support the immune system.
Elderberry has compounds which prevent the flu virus from replicating by puncturing the virus cell walls. It works best at the first onset of symptoms, though it could still help if the virus has already taken hold.
KNOW YOUR BODY
How can you tell if you have a cold or flu? The flu usually starts with fever, chills, and body aches. The cold usually starts with sneezing and a runny nose.
Another issue is genes. Many people say, “Well everyone in my family has diabetes or heart disease,” and they just resign themselves to that fate.
The interesting thing is that genes are simply a blueprint. It does not have to turn into the worst case scenario.
Often times when everyone in the family got diabetes or heart disease it was because they ate the same foods. Food is not only fuel, but it also tells our genes what to do.
I met a man who had eight brothers who all got heart disease. They lived in the midwest and ate mainly meat and potatoes and processed foods. This man moved to California 15 years earlier and began eating fresh veggies and cut out processed foods. Guess what? Yes, you guessed it, he did not have heart disease or even high cholesterol. We always have a choice!
So think about your particular blueprint and avoid the risk factors and increase the foods and lifestyle choices that will further reduce the risk. This is a simple way to avoid a lifetime of doctors offices and medications.
Sure, it may not always be fun to avoiding those donuts, but down the road they will be a distant memory as you are not only experiencing more energy and vitality but more in the pocketbook to spend on yummy kale!
OK, maybe not just kale, but certainly the money will be in your pocket and not plugged into the system of un-wellness.
BECOME A VEGGIE ADDICT
Veggies are packed with everything that our body needs to be well–vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, yet many people don’t consume enough. I will share with you this crowd-pleasing recipe for veggies. There are an infinite number of possibilities for this simple dish. You can change the veggies with the season. My favorite is brussels sprouts! Try to include all the colors of the veggie rainbow for maximum nutrient benefits.
Rogue food rainbow of roasted veggies
3 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
3 tbsp lime juice
1-2 tbsp Dijon mustard, to taste
1 cup green beans, whole
1-2 yellow summer squash
1/2 head purple cauliflower, pull off from head into bite-size pieces
1-2 leeks, cut into rounds
1 red pepper, thin strips
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cut in half
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
fresh herbs, to taste (oregano, basil, thyme, marjoram)
dried spices, to taste (I use an organic spice blend)
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Himalayan salt, to taste
directions: Put all cut and washed veggies(except chard) into a baking dish. Add spices and fresh herbs. Mix olive oil, lime juice, and Dijon mustard, and pour liquid mixture over veggies. You can pop into the oven right away or let marinate for a few hours or even overnight. Cover with foil, and bake on 350 for about 30 minutes. Pull it out of the oven when there are about 5 minutes left and mix in chard. Cover and put back in oven for last 5 minutes.