These days everyone is kind of fanatical about killing bacteria. We actually need a little bit of a challenge to our immune system to keep it strong. The key is to be mindful of how much of a challenge we are exposing ourselves to. Sometimes a little dirt and germs are really good for you. With spring in full swing and allergy and colds making the rounds, let’s attempt to avoid it shall we?
Where do germs commonly lurk?
- Shopping carts-They are germ farms, especially the cart handles and the seat where babies and toddlers sit. If your supermarket offers disinfectant towelettes, use them.
- Escalator-Runny noses and people who haven’t wiped are all over these, avoid touching.
- Public Restrooms-Use the first stall, they rarely get used.
- Dish Towels and Sponges-These have more germs than the toilet seat. Keep soap in it and two minutes in the microwave kill 99% of the bacteria.
- Phones, computer keyboards, and other desk items-Try to avoid eating at your desk and use alcohol on cotton swab to clean keyboard etc.
Aside from germs, there are other factors that set us up for getting sick:
- Stress-Chronic stress if one of the most damaging life conditions for our resistance levels. A little stress if good, but a lot of stress is very bad. Momentary stressors trigger a quick reaction but chronic stress never allows the body to relax from the fight of flight mode-so your adrenal glands, and your thyroid try to keep up for a while. Soon you’re exhausted, depressed, gaining weight, or not losing it.
- Environmental pollution-Much of the world we live in is far too polluted. If you live near a power plant, you are at risk for mercury, sulfur dioxide, and carbon dioxide contamination.
- Food allergies-Food allergies are the immune system overreacting to a substance the body mistakenly believes is harmful. Technically you can be allergic to just about any food but most allergies fall into eight foods; milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Sometimes we don’t have a full blown allergic reaction but our bodies can register intolerance to one of these foods. When the body reacts to this perceived threat, it zaps our energy and resistance resources.
- Previous illnesses-If you’ve had a cold or flu bug, you know it takes the body time to regain full health. It we don’t allow proper rest, it soon becomes a house of cards; what we left unrepaired and unhealed invites more problems. Previous illnesses can create a weak link in our chain of health and the immune system must work even harder to keep us functioning.
With all these challenges, it’s important to do everything you can to keep your body healthy and your ability to resist challenges strong. Three simple things can help:
- Hydration-Getting enough rest and staying properly hydrated are very important. Water helps us to wash out all the toxins and gives much needed life to our cells. Getting enough sleep is also important, without proper rest our body cannot build its defenses.
- Wash your hands-One of the single most effective things you can do to avoid contamination is to wash your hands with warm water and soap regularly throughout your day. Anti-bacterial soap may actually be detrimental since they are identified and contributing factors to superbugs.
- Be pro-active with immune boosting nutrients-Vitamin C, Echinacea, and zinc have all been used for years to help keep the immune system strong. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) has strong antioxidant properties and has been studied for its ability to speed recovery. High levels of chronic stress can deplete vitamin C. Our bodies do not manufacture it so we need to get it from outside sources. Lastly, oil of oregano is antiviral, antibacterial, and antiparasitic.
Nothing takes the place of rest, relaxation, peace, and a calm mind.
Written by Kristen Carla Blogger/Acupuncture Physician www.facebook.com/kristencarla
Kodawari Studios 3965 S. Henderson Blvd., Suite C, Tampa, Fl 33629