The weather is changing and with the cold climate comes those dreadful colds and flu. You already hear your kids sniffling, sneezing and coughing and you are bracing for your turn. Those bugs seem to be no respecter of persons as they diligently make their rounds till everyone is whimpering at their mercy. Is it even possible to put up a fight against those nasty viruses? It most certainly is! Understanding your enemy and equipping your own defense system is one way to prepare for the impending battle. The battle which you hope to win.
Colds and flu are caused by viruses. These viruses thrive best in cold temperatures which is why the incidence of colds and flu are highest when the temperature falls. They enter the body usually by direct contact with your mucous membranes which are the lining of your nose, mouth and eyes. Once they break through that first line of defense they are confronted with white blood cells which are real mean warriors. They have no mercy and start attacking with serious ammunition to destroy the invader. The aim is to annihilate the virus, bind them up and put them out. Those white blood cells are key players in what is know as your immune system. The immune system is a well orchestrated army designed to fight any and every invader that seeks to do you harm. This includes viruses, bacteria, fungi and cancer cells. Yes, your immune system is important in fighting off cancer too.
Your body is built with many lines of defense to prevent the cold and flu virus from wreaking havoc. The first line of defense is incorporated right where the virus first attacks. The mucous membranes. When a virus makes a successful landing in your nose you begin to sneeze and have increased mucus production. That is the body trying to kill the problem right there. This is your cue to be on guard and to heighten your efforts to stop this invasion. One simple intervention is to dress warmly from your core to all four limbs. Don’t allow any part of your body to be unnecessarily chilled. This is not the time to be cute and show off those attractive pecs and biceps. This is not the time for the kids to wear their favorite sleeveless outfit with no jacket. I realize kids never feel cold. Mine are never cold either but they need to bundle up. The theory behind keeping the entire body warm is based in physiology. We need good circulation of blood throughout the body to keep those soldiers (white blood cells)manning their forts. Keeping the body warm, allows a good circulation, especially to where the invasion is occurring. Exposure to cold causes vasoconstriction (blood vessels to narrow) and a decreased supply of blood to critical regions of the body. Decreased blood supply means decrease defense. Decrease defenses and the viruses are winning. So put on that warm hat and scarf. Make sure that chest is covered and don’t forget those arms and legs.
Another simple intervention is preempting the bugs by washing your hands after likely exposure. Likely exposure would be if you are touching surfaces that others are touching like door knobs, furniture, counters, money and shaking hands. Hand washing is an effective way to decrease the transmission of bugs from others to yourself as they often hitch a ride on your hands as you innocently pick your nose or rub your eyes.
The final showdown all depends on how fit your defense system is. Is your immune system ready and prepared for battle? Are those white cells in top fighting condition? There is no time like the present to take inventory and make sure your army is ready to win for you. A key element in preparing your immune system for battle is to not poison the front liners. A common poison that makes your white cells limp and practically useless is exposing them to processed sugar. I can literally see your eyes growing big as you try to make the connection here. Yes, processed sugar. One major suppressor of the immune system is sugar that is processed and refined. Not the sugars found naturally in foods. Processed sugar is your white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, turbinado, corn syrup, cane sugar. Sugar masquerades by a few other names so you have to be so keen to identify it.
We’ll have to give sugar its own spotlight and talk more about this sweet traitor. In the mean time make sure the family bundles up, wash hands often and slash the sugar big time.
The best of health to you and your family