Worried about catching the flu? Don’t want your child to catch that cold going around at school or daycare? Get ready to learn a few simple changes that can boost your body’s natural immunity.
Every day, 24/7, your body encounters germs on a second by second basis. We are surrounded. Many of these bacteria or viruses are capable of turning into cold-like symptoms or even the flu as our body adapts to them. What separates one person to the next? How is it that one person will become sick and another won’t, even when they have encountered the exact same germs? It’s simple. If the immune system is functioning at a high level, the germs won’t affect us; if it is not, that’s where we begin to get sick or feel under the weather.
This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of Rock Hill Reader the Magazine
1. Avoid Sugar
I know, it’s that dreaded recommendation that no one wants to listen to… because sugar is a pervasive part of the SAD (standard American diet). It is no coincidence that the letters spell out “sad” because sugar’s nasty side effects on your health are sad indeed. Sugar increases inflammation, feeds bacteria and cancer cells, and depresses immune function overall. It should be minimized in your everyday life, but especially if you are trying to avoid sickness or are actively fighting illness. In those cases, it should be eliminated 100%. It’s not just things that taste sweet, like desserts, that need to be avoided. Sugar is added, in its many forms, avoided. Sugar is added, in its many forms to almost all processed foods. It is important to read labels on everything you eat and know all of the different forms of sugar to avoid, in order to truly be vigilant.
2. Get Adequate Rest
In our busy lives, this can easily become an overlooked aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Rest is important because this is the time your body is able to heal and restore itself. Notice I say adequate rest and not a specific number of hours. That is because, just like almost anything, adequate rest differs from person to person depending on factors such as age, activity level, as well as the number of stresses a person encounters day to day. Immune function is depressed if your body is lacking the time it needs to heal and restore itself. Especially if you are feeling even a little under the weather, taking time to rest is essential in your ability to bounce back as quickly as possible.
3. Avoid Artificial Colors, Flavors, & Additives in Your Food
Simply put, artificial chemical additives in any form are processed in the body as a toxin, not as nutrition. This ties your body up in the process of detoxing these sources of junk and overloads your system so that it can’t run effectively or efficiently. This is a source of interference to the body’s innate ability to heal. Artificial colors, artificial flavors, MSG, artificial sweeteners, nitrites, and nitrates used to preserve foods and extend shelf life, propylene glycol… the list of things to avoid is a mile long. A simple rule is to ALWAYS read the label of a food and to choose foods with a shorter list of ingredients and those that are recognizable. If it sounds like it was made in a lab and not a kitchen, it is likely something to avoid that will serve as a toxin, and not as nutrition.
4. Get your Spine Checked and Adjusted Regularly
Your nervous system is the system in your body that controls all others, including your immune system. The purpose of the spine is to house and protect that most important system. Through the nerves your body is able to communicate back and forth between the brain and body, conveying messages that control function, healing, and senses like pain or temperature. Simply put, if you have nerve interference preventing your body from functioning at 100% there is no amount of good nutrition, exercise, rest, or supplementation that can fix it. It is essential to remove that interference and allow your body to communicate fully. That is where regular chiropractic evaluation can be essential to wellness.
Knowledge is power, and that is why I am passionate about educating our community, so they can be the best version of themselves. As a chiropractic physician, I am an advocate for reducing interference to the body’s natural ability to heal; so for me, living “that chiro life” means a simple holistic approach to life. The body is meant to heal and function at 100%, we just need to step out of the way and eliminate interference. Be the best version of you… for the betterment of all. — Dr. Traci Levy