Here are 7 ways you can prepare your gut for the changing seasons. Be sure to scroll down for bonus recipes!
As the weather gets colder, our immune systems need to work harder to deal with the changing weather, the heater running more and the falling pollen, flora and fauna.
- Eat an alkaline diet: Start your day with warm lemon water (1 liter/quart of water with the juice of 1 lemon), make daily green juice, eat leafy greens, vegetables and seaweeds to up your alkalinity quotient. See recipes in my other blogs for ideas.
- Take probiotic capsules (with enteric coating): Most people don’t realize how much they can benefit from taking a probiotic daily. Once on a regular regiment of taking 1-2 caps a day, people have reported quicker digestion, better moods, improved brain function, clearer skin and a happier outlook on life. According to Dr. Mark Perlmutter, MD, you should look for probiotics which have Lactobacillus plantarum. to re-implant your gut with good bacteria. The prices will vary according to how many billion bacteria are in the bottle. I suggest starting with 15, 30 or 50 billion bacteria and trying different kinds and strains to find one which works for you. Each person has a different microbiome, so you may need to do some experimenting to find the right probiotic for you. A great way to do this is to buy one brand or type at a time and take it until the bottle is finished, then try a different kind the next time. Some of our favorite brands are: Ultimate Flora, Probiotica, Garden of Life, Master Supplements or Dr. OHara to name a few.
- Eat cultured foods daily, such as coconut kefir and sauerkraut (see recipes below). Not only does this add a great flavor to your meals, it also adds a healthy dose of good bacteria to your gut to help fight off the bad guys. If you are on a budget, this is an inexpensive way to populate your microbiome with friendly flora. Here a recipe for Live Sauerkraut
- Avoid white sugar: Holidays seem to herald an abundance of sugar in the form of cakes, chocolates and candy. If you are feeling at all under the weather, it would be a very good idea to eschew such things. IAccording to Health Services at Columbia University, when you eat 100 grams of sugar, about as much sugar as you find in a 1 liter bottle of soda, your white blood cells are 40 percent less effective at killing germs. This can cripple your immune system for up to 5 hours after eating sugar!
- Avoid glutenous foods and white flour: these foods can rob you of energy and create a highly acid environment in your body, which germs thrive on. Gluten consumption has also been directly tied to depression and brain health. Beware of gluten substitutes as well, which can be just as acidic and detrimental to your health (such as gluten-free baked goods).
- Avoid nutritionally devoid foods: Many vegans who eliminate animal products start to go for all the meat and dairy substitutes. This can be a big mistake. Be sure to read your labels and avoid things you cannot pronounce or too many ingredients.
- Add these immune boosting supplements: Chinese medicine and adaptogens such as:
- Ho Shu Wu and astragalus. These can be brewed into tea or taken as supplements and can greatly boost your immunity. We love Dragonherbs.
- You could highly benefit from taking a few drops of oregano oil to instantly kick out viruses and bad bacteria. This is my # 1 go to when I am feeling like I might be getting sick. Oregano oil, like other essential oils, can act as an anti-viral,anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent so use caution as it might not only attack the bad baceria. Try putting 3 drops of oregano oil in an empty veggie cap and taking it morning and night until you are feeling 100% healthy again. Then be sure to up your pro-biotic quotient for a few days.
- P.S. Remember self care: Take a hot bath with Epsom salt, do an evening foot rub with essential oils, have a sauna or massage, do dry skin brushing, and be sure to get in movement every day. If you go outside for a 20 minute walk, you will get life enhancing Vitamin D thru the sun and get improved circulation and fresh air.