Secrets of the nutritional game……
Your kids are snotty, you sound like a crank caller, and your friend looks like she cut up onions all day – this is a rough time of year – it’s allergy season! Never having allergies, it’s my physician’s empathy that brings me to share some dependable remedies.
Truth be told, as a kid, I found that the best way to clear packed sinuses was to take the hose to my Mom’s Electrolux Vacuum cleaner and create and air-tight suction around my nostrils. It worked SO well!
Okay, but this was not one of the solutions . . .
Let’s talk immune system – the army of infection-fighting cells must be in full force, trained and ready for action, defeating (actually, eating up) the invader, foreign body. Without a “green card,” this stuff is not supposed to be in this body! Your immune system is meant to clean up and clean out all sorts of crazy stuff that invades your system at any given time. It can even clean out cancer cells!
The problem arises when you’ve run down the battalion of military personnel to the point that you are unable to naturally fight off infection and the body begins to lose the battle.
The early signs of foreign body invasion:
Lethargy – being slightly and unusually tired
Runny nose – especially after you eat (not referring to spicy food)
Watery eyes – maybe a slight tear, for no apparent reason
Scratchy throat – slight, but enough for the need to clear the mucous
Full blown, obvious signs:
Consistent coughing, hacking, sneezing, dry mouth and throat – Need I say more?
The Asian Way . .
If we adopted a method of identifying the potential for infection before it ever became obvious to you, you’d win the battle. The Chinese appear to be able to diagnose conditions before they manifest to obvious signs and symptoms, even before the “early signs.” It’s kind of like seeing the nail in the road before running over it and blowing out a tire. For those of you who might be a little slow and didn’t get the metaphor due to congestion, allow me to be crystal clear . . .
Seeing the nail and swerving to miss it is “the Asian way.”
Seeing the exploded tire and dealing with the repair is . . . “the American way.”
With that said, there are two ways to manage the strength of your immune system before it gets hammered:
1) Minimize the amount of your exposure to germs;
2) Strengthen your immune system.
There are a multitude of ways to keep germs out, short of walking around in a space suit. Here is a powerful one that you may not know about:
Food sensitivity testing: The simple explanation, a couple vials of blood are drawn and interacted with 200 different foods and airborne substances such a dust, dander, etc. The results are received as a printout, three columns:
- Foods you need to avoid
- Foods that are mildly offensive to your body
- Foods you can eat without concern
It’s said to be a lot easier and more accurate than the age-old “Scratch Test” that every allergist uses. It’s worth checking out; I’ve observed several folks have a great experience with it when modifying their diet according to the results.
Now let’s work from the inside out …
Support the immune system with different supplements:
Here is a potent arsenal that I urge patients to practice BEFORE any signs of potential infection. Working with teams of athletes that may be run down and sick, and since my job entails close contact, I routinely get hacked on, coughed on, and sneezed on. I crank up the “formula” during the potential for becoming sick.
Here’s the not-so-secret formula:
Grape seed extract (Resveratrol): The skin and seeds of grapes are rich in proanthocyanidins (antioxidant flavonoids that remove harmful free radicals from cells). You can find these supplements in many health food stores.
Omega-3 fats: Get appropriate amounts of animal-based sources, preferably fish.
Vitamin D: Get your buns in the sun! Safe amounts of sun exposure will assist your body in producing the appropriate amount of Vitamin D.
Limit your sugar intake.
Get rest: Five to seven hours per night has been found to be ideal.
Get your spine in line: Get adjusted by a Chiropractor . . . This is not a pitch to come in to see me, since my practice only consists of professional athletes, but I can recommend someone for you to see or let you know who, around the country, can get the job done.
Now, please comment on your own experiences and share how this information will benefit a family member or friend.