I stopped getting colds and flus completely after I began my high raw food diet. This kind of diet didn’t happen overnight though – it evolved gradually through the years.
The only time I got flu was a couple of years ago when I was catering for a friend and went off my usual diet. That was a big mistake and something I won’t repeat anytime soon as I don’t like being sick. I need plenty of energy for all the things I want to do..
But, to be honest, things weren’t always this way. I learned to eat this way from an 88-year young nutrition mentor, and since I learned from him, I’ve never turned back.
I realized you have to love yourself in order to pick a healthy lifestyle.
Why do we catch colds and flus at this time of year?
This time of year many people get sick with colds and flus. There are few reasons for that.
First of all – the holidays! Yes, we indulge during Christmas with too much food and alcohol, late nights and short sleep. Our digestive system is overloaded with excess food which often leads to toxic strain.
Second reason is lack of fresh air. Yes, it’s cold outside and we end up spending most of our days indoors, with the stale air producing even more toxins. All of this toxicity leads to inflammation, as well as an imbalance of the bacteria in the gut. Pathogenic, harmful bacteria begin to overtake the beneficial probiotics that normally help regulate our immune system. Consequently, the immune system is overwhelmed. It takes massive action and you develop a cold or flu.
It all begins with a throat irritation…
…and a subsequent fever the next day. By then you are on a one way highway to influenza (better known as flu). It’s a process that starts in your immune system.
Many of the symptoms you feel are due to the reaction of your immune system and not a result of the virus itself. The fever and the mucous production are initiated by your immune system as part of the process of overcoming the toxic load.
The high temperature you are likely to endure in the process is a good sign. Yes, it means that your system is fighting toxic substances. You now experience a sinusitis – inflammation of the sinus – which results in leaky nose and heaviness in your head. Blocked nose makes breathing difficult – but it’s your mucus membrane doing good job in getting rid of toxins you can later blow from your nose.
No wonder all this battle makes you tired – you are probably bed ridden and not likely to do any work. By the way, don’t force yourself – the strain can delay recovery. Just take a time off.
Few miserable days later your sinus starts clearing up, but instead you start coughing like mad. It’s bronchitis. Your lungs do that to remove excess phlegm. This can last few days, or even weeks in rare cases.
The process doesn’t sound very exciting and nobody likes flu. Cold have similar symptoms, yet it lasts shorter and is less intense.
5 Proven Ways to Prevent Colds and Flus
1. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
It’s the healthiest food you can eat. Unfortunately that’s the main ingredient lacking in American diet. Fruit and veg are full of important nutrients, including vitamin C and antioxidants. Moreover they have truckloads of minerals, phytochemicals, fiber and pure water your body desperately needs. When you have enough micronutrients, your immune system gets stronger and liver is ready to cleanse any waste products. When your body is clean you don’t get colds and flus.
2. Limit your food intake
I’m sorry to say that, but too much food is bad for you – and for your health. But relax – you don’t have to deprive yourself for days on.
All you need is to cleanse your system out of the toxic mess you accumulated during holidays. You see, when your body is constantly absorbed with the work of digestion, there can be no focus on repairing tissues and eliminating waste products.
How can you do it? Pick a day during the week, or just do it spontaneously when time seems right, without any culinary obligations – no eating out or family dinners. Then simply drink vegetable juices, green smoothies or even skip a meal every once in a while.
It will do wonders to your guts after the indulgences of the holidays. Your body will have a chance to catch up on some detoxification work. You’ll feel lighter and have more energy. It will prepare your immune system to prevent future seasonal sickness.
Repeat it weekly or monthly for best results. It’s also a good idea to incorporate some intermittent fasts weekly, or whenever you feel like your body is overburdened.
3. Get some fresh air
We are less likely to spend time outdoors in winter – it’s cold, miserable and uninviting. Yet still, your body needs fresh air. It’s revitalizing, good for your immune system as well for your mind. Dress up warmly and go for a brisk walk – for at least 20 minutes every day. If you feel like it, go for a jog or a light exercise – it will boost your system and reduce a risk of catching another cold.
Fresh air will supply valuable oxygen – remember to ventilate your house regularly if you spend a lot of time indoors. The stale air can be full of toxic substances. Don’t forget to refresh your bedroom before going to bed – open a window 20 minutes prior to sleep, or leave it slightly ajar for the night.
Also, bring some fresh air in the bedroom at night. Leave a small crack in the window while you sleep. You’ll breathe fresh air all night long. You’ll sleep better and wake up more refreshed.
4. Have 7-9 hours of sleep
It’s tempting to stay up late and watch TV or play computer games instead of going to bed. This is something we all need to be more mindful of, since a good night’s sleep is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It is when your body is at complete rest and in deep sleep that the most healing takes place. This time gives your body a chance to get rid of toxins and recharge system batteries for the next day. But did you know that a 7-9 hour sleep can work miracles for any developing sickness? Yes, a night rest is the best and most natural method of preventing any colds and flus from developing.
5. Boost your vitamin D
People living in countries north of equator often suffer from lack of sun in winter months. There are not enough sun’s ultraviolet B (UVB) rays to make vitamin D on our skin, on top of the fact that since it’s cold, we’re bundled up and not getting enough sun on our skin. To prevent deficiencies it’s important therefore to make sure you take a supplement.
Why is it so important? Vitamin D shortage can make your system prone to infections. Vitamin D sufficiency is essential to optimize all body systems and improves the functions of the immune system which protects us from infections. It is recommended to consume 2000IU daily during winter months.
Follow these 5 tips and you will greatly reduce your chance of suffering from the flu.
Prescriptions to Relieve a Cold or Flu
By now we know how to prevent colds and flus from happening, but what to do once we get sick?
There are two important factors to bring some relief to your illness as quickly as possible. First, ASSIST your body’s detoxification process, and second, DO NOT INTERFERE with the natural healing process.
Day 1: as soon as you notice flu, stop eating and go to bed. Water fast for 36 hours (that’s right, only water). All your energy is now directed towards toward elimination of stored toxins so don’t waste it on digestion. Food will only complicate things and make your symptoms way worse, and you probably won’t have any actual hunger anyway. That’s one of the main reasons why we end up at the doctor’s office: we eat during acute illness and consequently suffer from humongous headaches and sore throat.
This step will help you avoid unnecessary medications while you see your symptoms decrease in intensity and having your pain and discomfort become milder. The safest thing you can do is avoid eating the first day. If your flu is very intense you can also fast another day or two.
Day 2-3: keep eating lightly, introduce more fruits and vegetables. Keep resting and have plenty of sleep. Make sure to eat only fresh produce.
Day 4-7: continue with your raw food diet and also introduce nuts, seeds, avocado, salad and steamed veggies. Also drink plenty of green smoothies and green vegetable juices and the steamed vegetables will be comforting.
Carry on until the symptoms disappear.
• Do Not interfere
Avoid antibiotics. It is common for doctors to put you on antibiotics when you have flu, but these received a lot of bad press as of late. And for a good reason. Not only has research shown that people do not do not benefit from antibiotics in these types of illnesses, but the latest research published by PubMed shows that antibiotics can lead to severe illness in the future.
Why? Well, they are very invasive and can reduce the friendly bacteria essential to our well-being. Taking medications often interferes with the detoxification process initiated by the body to clean itself out and give your body more work to do. Needless to say it can lead to further complications.
Stay off antibiotics and medications and follow natural fresh food diet we have discussed above. As a rule do not interfere with the healing process of the body. Your body knows what to do.