Cold weather often inspires another kind of cold in our bodies – the bacterial kind. Cold and Flu season is largely associated with winter months not necessarily because the weather invites the bacteria, but because our immune systems are strained. Chances are we don’t eat as well during these months, we don’t get as much exercise, and we probably stay indoors with re-circulated air for the vast majority of the day. Additionally we generally have more direct contact with our friends and coworkers through the winter as a consequence of spending more time indoors, which – when our friends and coworkers are ill – also leads to the spreading of the classic winter “cold”.
While there is really no cure for the common cold, there are a variety of steps you can take to boost your immune system and decrease your chances of hosting one of these nasty bugs.
Start with your diet.
Eat as many raw fruits and vegetables as you can. The high nutrition in these foods supports your immune system and consuming them raw often delivers enzymes and other “good stuff” to your body so it can mount an attack well before symptoms show up.
Drink plenty of clean water. A suggested guideline is half your body weight, in ounces. If you are working hard, have just received a massage or chiropractic adjustment, or are suffering from congestion, drink more.
Supplement with high quality herbs, vitamins and minerals.
Garlic is easy to come by and a great way to boost your immune system. It has antibiotic properties and can improve cardiovascular health. Don’t worry about offensive breath, either. While eating garlic in its natural, raw state is preferable, there are odorless supplements available.
Vitamin C is another valuable supplement we are all familiar with. However, to maximize the benefits of this nutrient, consume it as much as possible in raw form. Citrus fruits, broccoli, tomato, papaya, mango, red, green and yellow peppers, and kiwi all have significant doses of the vitamin.
Tea has been studied and shown to increase the levels of interferon – a hormone vital in our immune systems. Green and black varieties are best, and consuming at least a couple cups per day is suggested.
Consider visiting your chiropractor.
Just as you will not breathe well when your throat has undue pressure placed on it, your immune system will not function as well if your skeletal system is out of alignment. Our central nervous system controls virtually every other system in our body, including our immune system. A body out of alignment directly impacts the nervous system, which can directly impact the immune system potentially causing the body to “mis-manage” pain or illness. A chiropractic adjustment can help to re-align your structure which can help to improve your health overall.
Additionally, chiropractic adjustments will provide increased blood flow, allowing your body to more efficiently “flush” and detoxify as it fights infection. This will also support strong muscle and organ functions, and help to fight that “sick and sluggish” feeling.
Adjustments also release endorphins that have a calming and relaxing effect on the body. A body under stress does not heal well, which is why bed rest is often prescribed for a variety of illnesses. Regular chiropractic adjustments when you aren’t feeling well will help to de-stress the body and allow for faster healing.
Science also suggests chiropractic care may increase levels of Immunoglobulin A in the body, an antibody directly connected to the mucosal immune system which protects the mucous membranes in our bodies from infection.
Stay healthy this season. Enjoy a good diet, plenty of water, high quality supplements and regular chiropractic adjustments to help you feel your best, and enjoy your winter wonderland.