It is that time of year when colds and flus start popping up with sick kids in schools and colleagues coughing in the office. Each year Americans suffer from one billion colds, making the cold virus the most common infectious disease in the U.S.
Typically adults have two colds each year, while children may have up to 12!
Our body’s immune system is a natural and powerful defense team against internal rogue cells and potentially harmful invaders – detrimental bacteria and viruses. So, when our defenses are down, i.e. our immune system is not getting the rest and the nourishment of specific enzymes and nutrients, we are more fragile and susceptible to colds and flu.
If you find you’re almost always well, then good news – your immune system is working effectively! Just because you are exposed to the cold virus does not mean you’ll catch the cold. If your immune system is working at its best it should be quite easy for you to fend off the virus without ever getting sick.
On the other hand, today’s average diet and stressful lifestyle can deplete a body of the vital raw material that it needs to do its job, weakening the immune system and potentially leading to illness. Common contributing factors are:
- Eating too much sugar
- Not getting enough rest
- Using insufficient strategies to address emotional stressors
- Vitamin D and immune system support deficiencies (see below)
Fortunately, there are things we can do to strengthen and support our body’s immune system, so we’re less likely to develop a cold or at least not suffer so long.
Washing your hands is the #1 prevention for cold and flu! When we touch our mouth, eyes, or nose after touching door handles, gas pumps, shaking hands, shared pens, etc. we could be setting ourselves up for the sniffles. Cold viruses can live on objects up to three hours! Natural hand sanitizers can help keep hands clean, too.
Preliminary research has shown Vitamin D deficiencies are common – especially during the colder months. Vitamin D is an amazingly effective antimicrobial agent, producing 200 to 300 different antimicrobial agents to that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. Best source of Vitamin D is sun exposure! If you don’t have access to natural sunlight, then oral vitamin D3 supplements are a good secondary option.
Japanese researchers have proven that young barley grass juice functions to activate macrophageswhich control the immune system. Studies show an increase in macrophages as well as nitric oxide when individuals are given young barley grass juice vs. those that went without. One Green Magma fan, Eric vanTuyl, attests that he has been cold and flu-free for the past 3 years because of drinking Green Magma daily!
So when you’re coming down with a cold, it’s time to address all of the contributing factors immediately — which includes modifying your diet in favor of foods and supplements like above that will strengthen your immune response — Dr. Mercola suggests good choices include:
- Fermented foods such as raw kefir, kimchee, miso, pickles, sauerkraut, etc, which are rich in probiotics, or good bacteria. Scientific research shows that 80 percent of your immune system resides inside your digestive tract, so eating probiotic-rich foods, or taking a high-quality probiotic, will help support your immune system health.
- Raw, organic eggs from free-ranging, preferably local, chickens
- Coconuts and coconut oil
- Locally grown fruits and vegetables
- Mushrooms, especially Reishi, Shiitake, and Maitake, which contain beta glucans (which have immune-enhancing properties)
- Garlic, a potent antimicrobial that kills bacteria, viruses and fungi. Ideally this should be in fresh form, eaten raw and crushed with a spoon just before eating.
- Lemon juice is a natural bacteria-fighter that aids the immune system and improves digestion. Upon waking in water, tea, or your Green Magma shake for breakfast!
And of course, getting your daily dose of Green Magma or Magma Plus to give your immune system the boost it needs to do its job naturally. Your body will feel energized and supported on many levels, too.
The Green Team