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October 2009 —Stay Healthy: Three things you can do

There are three simple things you can do to minimize your chances of getting sick from virus and bacteria. 70% of immune system is in the digestive tract. What this means is that the lymphatic system that carries the immune cells that search out and destroy the bad guys is present throughout your throat and intestines. SO?

SO keeping your digestive system clear and working efficiently is a very important mission. Your skin protects you from the environment on the outside of your body. The interface with the environment continues on the inside as you eat and breathe, bringing air and food into the body. It is impossible to live 100% antiseptically ( remember the boy who had no immune system? He had to live in a bubble!) As the holiday approaches, and our diets will be more abundant and rich, and we are inside more in social gatherings, I have a few simple suggestions for you to incorporate.

Start your day with a glass of hot water. Even better, add either a tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to it. If you prefer to sweeten it, try a little honey, maple syrup or agave (ah-gah-vay) syrup. With or without the lemon or vinegar, sip it over a half an hour or so, and eat your breakfast an hour later if you possibly can. Doing this once or twice a week will help cleanse out your inner system so the immune cells can easily capture and inactivate pathogens.

Second suggestion: make fresh ginger tea and make it your beverage of choice throughout the winter. Most grocery stores have fresh ginger. You need about 3 inches, sliced thinly. Add that to 2 quarts of water and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn it off and let it steep. Drink it plain or sweetened, and keep drinking the rest, which will get more potent over the rest of the day. If there is still tea remaining after 24 hours, strain the liquid and refrigerate. Warm it before you drink it. If you tend to feel chilly in this season it will help warm you up. It also boosts digestion very effectively.

A third idea: Sip hot water with your meals, especially if you are having a rich or heavy meal, or a dairy-rich diet. All the benefits of dairy foods (Calcium, protein etc) will be more easily digested with a warm digestive tract. Drink ice water apart from your meals, if at all.

December 2006