Any advice you might hear form a medical doctor regarding cold and flu prevention will be very ( limited ) different from what you will hear form a holistic doctor or coach. In fact, most of what you will hear form a doctor will be what steps to take after you’ve already contracted something.
If you’ve got a really good doctor you might hear about some prevention beyond relentless hand washing ( which I am for of course – with OnGaurd soap! ) and excessive use of antibacterial hand sanitizers ( which I am NOT for! ). You’ll most likely hear that you need to take 1 – 2 capsules of garlic per day, take a good multi-vitamin, and take a probiotic supplement.
While garlic and probiotics are important, that advice is only one small piece to the large puzzle that is effective illness prevention. So what makes up the rest? Below I will make a list of scientifically backed recommendations that you would hear from a good holistic doctor or coach. You’ll want to copy this and keep it handy all year for a reference guide ~
#1) You do want to take garlic. There has been no established dosage or overdosage as far as capsules go, and I generally recommend taking between 1 and 3 capsules per day. Your other option would be to take garlic straight, 1 – 4 cloves pr day, which is by far the most powerfully effective and least fun strategy ( BTW Message me if you’d like an article about garlic for HPV and other cervical conditions ).
#2) “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates. The father of modern medicine ( while we accredit this title to Hippocrates, it more accurately belongs to Imoteph, an ancient Egyptian who lived 2,000 years prior to Hippocrates, but I digress ) said it best. The foundation of your immunity is built by the daily diet you practice.
What’s a healthy preventative diet? I don’t actually recommend one specific diet for everyone as we are all bio-individuals, but I will say that any healthy diet is a variation of a whole foods diet. Wether you choose to practice a vegan, raw, paleo or Gaps lifestyle, a healthy version of any of these is extremely low in all forms of packaged foods – even the “good stuff”. To simplify, my general rule of thumb is that if it has more than 2 ingredients, don’t eat it.
By avoiding packaged goods you are cutting out all hydrogenated oils ( which is, in my opinion, the #1 killer at large in America ), most if not all refined sugars, and refined carbohydrates – all of which contribute to a weakened and suppressed immune system that is incapable of protecting you against even the common cold, let alone anything more serious.
#3) Your doctor was right, probiotics are very important in preventing illness. However, I have to say that I would not give my thumbs up to most of the probiotic options he/she would recommend to you. What are safe and natural sources of probiotics, then?
a. Quality kefirs and yogurts 😀 For your tropical vegan option, young coconut kefir is not only a powerfully effective way to balance gut health and strengthen immune defenses, but it is also very delicious and cooling drink. It is easier to acquire a taste for coconut kefir than traditional milk kefir, which is also an excellent probiotic. It is best to start children off on this option very young. Children who grow up drinking home-cultured milk kefir love it, but it’s generally not something that can be introduced easily in later years.
b. Yogurt. If you are a dairy eater, now is the time to freely enjoy organic, plain whole fat yogurts. You can easily dress them up with fresh or frozen berries and some quality raw honey, so don’t worry that they will taste bad! Plain and whole fat is the only way to go, not only for healthy weight maintenance, but for weight loss as well.
c. Fermented veggies and beverages. If you are a sauerkraut lover you are in luck! Fermented vegetables and their juices are excellent sources of the probiotics and gut friendly bacterias that you need to be introducing to your body right now.
As far back as existing records can reveal, humans have been fermenting foods as an effective means of storage. At some point ancient peoples discovered that their ingenious methods for storing their food were also incredible sources of longevity and strength. Sauerkraut isn’t the only fermented food you can enjoy! I recommend looking into the book Wild Fermentation, which you can find in my list of recommended books to the right of your screen. With this book you can discover tons of awesome vegetable medley recipes and ideas to keep you healthy and satisfied all year long.
Last but not least, fermented beverages! I did already cover this when I touched on coconut kefir above, but kefirs are cultured drinks. Kombucha is a fermented tea in which the actual kombucha mushroom turns sugars from the tea into CO2 and ethanol, and from ethanol into organic and life promoting acids that create balance and harmony within your body, and truly do promote a long and healthy life that is free of the common cold 🙂
#4) Mushrooms, particularly medicinal mushrooms, are perhaps the most crucial piece to this puzzle. Many of you may already know that 6 oz of any kind of mushroom everyday reduces a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 70-80%. That alone tells us something of the power of mushrooms, but even that is nothing compared to the incredible healing and immune building power of medicinal mushrooms.
Medicinal mushrooms are unlike your regular ‘shrooms in that they grow on trees. In short, this means that they have concentrated and unique elements that were once in a tree, accumulating over periods of 50 plus years. Just a few of these mushrooms commonly used include reishi, maitike and chaga.
You can access these mushrooms in capsule and powder form most commonly from high end health food stores and online. You can harvest these mushrooms yourself, but it’s important to know what you are doing first.
#5) Last but not least, I LOVE and trust my OnGaurd essential oil! Scientifically proven to kill 99% of germs and bacteria, viruses cannot mutate in the presence of OnGaurd. Always have this defensive blend on hand to use in the diffuser and topically/orally.
Look to nature for your health concerns and you will win every time. Please comment or message me with any questions or concerns 🙂 Eat well, live happy! XO