When your body is alkaline, because you eat a net alkaline (Paleo) diet, you’re far less likely to be a good host (or hostess) to bacteria, viruses and yeasts than an acidic body fueled by grains, dairy, legumes and sugar.
In addition to following the Paleo lifestyle, there are other ways you can stay healthy while those around you are dropping like flies.
- Clean it up! Wash your hands often with warm, soapy water. Sanitizers do not cut it. Do it again after shaking hands and before eating. Use disinfecting agents on community surfaces, such as doorknobs, counter tops and office equipment.
- Keep your body alkaline. The stronger your immune system, the less likely you’ll fall ill. Consume huge amounts of fresh veggies, raw garlic and even more water than normal. Stay away from sugars and refined foods which not only create an acidic pH in the body but serve as food to bacteria and viruses, prolonging sickness.
- To help combat dry air, an all too common side effect of forced heat, use a humidifier. By preventing your nostrils and throat from drying out, you’ll allow one of your body’s natural defense fighting mechanisms (increased mucous production) to be as powerful as possible. Germs can attach to dry nasal passageways far more easily than healthy, lubricated ones.
- Don’t fight your body’s efforts to fight off cold and flu bugs. Most OTC products do nothing more than suppress symptoms, not address the cause. Symptoms (runny nose, coughing etc.) are the results of your immune system doing its job. Stand in its way and you’ll do nothing more than increase duration and severity, as well as set yourself up for possible dehydration, constipation and stomach upset, amongst other unfortunate side effects.
- If you must take something, go with homeopathic remedies that support the immune system, rather than fight it. Even better, go with foods that provide healing benefits, such green bell peppers (high in vitamin C), oysters (rich in zinc) and turmeric, a natural anti-inflammatory spice.
- Rest when you can. Taking a couple days off exercise, if the body rather than just from the head up are feeling ‘off’, in favor of a few extra hours of sleep can make the difference between a fleeting scratchy throat and a three-week flu.
- Stay hydrated! Should be a no brainer but it doesn’t hurt to be reminded every now and then.
- Eliminate dairy, if you haven’t done so already. In many people, it causes excess mucous production and chances are, you’re making enough on your own!
- Eat copious amounts of green leafy vegetables. I say copious because when the average American sees a leaf of kale, they likely recognize it as garnish for their fries and shove it off to the side with the rest of the unwanted bits!
- Eat raw garlic. Yes, your breath will tell all what you’ve eaten–there is no way around it. But the compounds in this wonderful little bulb are so tremendous at healing and fighting flu- and cold-causing bugs, it’s worth it!
- Sweat it out. Bundle up before you go to bed, wear socks and a hat, and use a heating pad. If you can break your fever, you’ll likely feel much better in the morning.
- Take a warm bath with three to four quarts of hydrogen peroxide. The antimicrobial properties can permeate the skin, helping to ward off the bacteria.
- Use a neti pot with natural salt water (1/4 tsp. sea salt in warm water) for nasal irrigation. This helps to rid the nasal passages of unwanted funk.
By following these guidelines, cold or flu bugs don’t stand a chance!
Nell Stephenson, the original “Paleoista,” is the author of Paleoista, Gain Energy, Get Lean and Feel Fabulous with the Diet You Were Born to Eat (Touchstone, 2012) and co-author ofThe Paleo Diet Cookbook with Dr. Loren Cordain, PhD (Wiley & Sons, 2010). In addition to her work as nutrition consultant and trained chef, Stephenson is a personal trainer and competitive endurance athlete who credits the Paleo diet for her transformed health and athletic success. Visit her blog at www.paleoista.com.
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