It is October, the colorful and fun Halloween decorations are popping up everywhere, a nice indicator of who is a planner and who is the last-minute doer, or who is simply too busy to think about Halloween yet. Although we’re technically well into autumn, the last few waves of summer heat are still with us. In the Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are more likely to feel ill as our body is trying hard to rebalance the Yin & Yang. Scientific speaking, our immune system has taken a pounding, consider a few precautions and some self-care which will see yourself safely into winter without the cold and the flu. Fall weather is often changeable, so don’t get caught without a jacket handy. And continue to get plenty of sleep; that’s when the body performs its ‘running repairs’. Both stress and exercise impact on your immune system. Moderate doses of both are fine, but be wary of excess; too much of either can have depressing effects, making you vulnerable to illness. Most importantly of all…

Pay Attention to Your Diet, Especially During The Holiday Season. Eat Well And Be Well!

  • Fresh fruits — especially those in season which are high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
  • Fresh vegetables, especially the colorful ones. Have a vegie dish or vegie juice daily — be creative! My favorite one is the mung bean sprouts, which is the main ingredient in Karuna Detox.
  • Unprocessed, wholefoods. How close is your food to its natural state?
  • Include nutrient-dense foods such as ‘superfoods’ — quinoa, aronia berries, Goji berries (the Traditional Chinese Medicine believes Goji berry is a strong immune system booster), sesame seeds, cacao, and my favorite one, Ashitaba, the super green from Japan.
  • Eat organic food whenever possible — free of pesticide/herbicide chemicals and GMO.
  • Keep up your fluid intake of purified water and herbal teas, and remember to eat food with low glycemic index to keep blood sugar stable and avoid cravings.

What To Avoid:

  • Refined sugar & white carbohydrates: these leach nutrients & are nutrient poor themselves (including high fructose corn syrup & artificial sweeteners commonly used in food today)
  • Processed foods especially those containing additives like color, preservatives and MSG.
  • Limit mucus-forming foods — dairy, wheat, egg white for some people
  • Avoid foods that you know you are allergic/intolerant to as they can trigger unfavorable immune system activity
  • Limit alcohol, especially at the onset of a cold

Avoid The Germs: Keep Yourself Away from Sick People, wash your hands often! I may sound like your 1st grade school teacher, but they do work!

Avoid exposure to others who are unwell whenever possible. However, if you have fallen victim to a cold or influenza, you can avoid passing it on to other family members, friends and associates by:

  • Avoiding cross-contamination of viral and bacterial infections by sanitizing hands often, particularly when handling food
  • Covering the nose and mouth with tissues when sneezing or coughing and dispose of used tissues hygienically
  • Coughing and sneezing into the elbow rather than the hands when there are no tissues close by.

Nutrients and Vitamins That May Help

  • Vitamins: A, C , E , B’s
  • Minerals: zinc, selenium and magnesium
  • Herbs: garlic, Echinacea, ginger
  • Saline/Bicarbonate rinse helps to deal with sinus infections.