How to Avoid Fall, Winter Colds & Flu with Food

Fall LeafWe are getting out of the heat and fall is starting. For you this might not be a big deal, but for us living in Texas, I am so glad the 100+ degree days are gone!  I even got to open up the house and let some cool air in! Now that I have let off some steam so to speak, lets face some facts. Cold weather means more people fighting colds or the flu. But there are some ways foods to help hedge against this…

Have you ever wondered why people get sick more during the winter? Well, yes the cold does take a toll on the body, weakening it. But another thing happens during the winter; we stay indoors most of the time, just like everyone else is doing. This sure makes it a lot easier to spread the colds and flu around. I don’t want you to become anti-social at your work, home, or play. How about some ways to make that common cold “uncommon” at your home.

Boost Your Immune System

Like it or not your immune system is what is called into action when the body is fighting a virus or bacteria that isn’t welcome. And since 80% of your immune system is part of your digestive tract, then could it be that what you eat can have a large influence? You bet! Add to this that a healthy body has more bacteria in the digestive tract than the total of the rest of the cells in the body and suddenly your immune system sounds important. There are foods that help build your digestive tract, and ones that harm it fast.

Sugar Harmful + No Enzymes + Gluten = A loss

The biggest harmful food to your digestive tract is processed sugar. Here is a nasty fact! Studies have shown that a single soft drink or pop as you may call it, can lower the immune system by 40% for up to 12 hours. Wow! What about all the other sources of sugar? Fast food, processed food, sodas, fruit juices, and drinks. Also, during the winter we have some big holidays that are loaded with sugar, one after another. Another not-so-great fact is that unhealthy bacteria and Candida-like processed sugar also weaken the immune system.

Enzymes cause food to ripen and are needed by the body to digest food. If you are a company that sells packaged foods, you don’t want them ripening in the package; that is called rot! So these food processors figured out how to strip the enzymes out of the processed foods giving them a long shelf-life. The issue now is that your body can only partially digest these foods because of this lack of enzymes. Over time, this helps to over-stress the immune system which is already often weakened by the over use of antibiotics and antacids, fighting the issues of processed sugar.

Gluten in foods also puts a burden on the immune system because of the high levels found in foods today. Gluten is a taste and texture enhancer; it gives breads that “super fluff”, and enhances taste. The food packagers have gone wild with gluten, putting it in meats, most condiments, even lip balms and cosmetics! We are bombarded with gluten; is it any surprise a gluten-free wave is crossing the country?

Processed Sugar, Gluten, & Processed Foods = 3 x Bad News

Foods That Fix

It sure sounds like a healthy immune system is key! And a healthy immune system is full of healthy bacteria, or, as we know them better, probiotics. Did you know there are foods that are so rich in probiotics, that they put the pills they sell to shame?  Lacto-fermented foods to the rescue! I am talking about yogurts with live cultures, and homemade lacto-fermented foods like sauerkraut, pickles, salsa, humus, bean dips, etc. These foods also have balanced sugar levels since the lacto-fermentation process eats these carbohydrates.

Lacto-fermenting eCourse

Boosted enzyme counts are also the norm of lacto-fermented foods along with heightened vitamin levels. No, you can’t by these foods. Remember, enzymes digest foods so shelf-life is shorter. Keep in mind shelf life starts on the production line, and that the foods spend less time in the store than they do in the warehouse. Lacto-fermented foods actually last a long time in the fridge. Yes, sauerkraut will only last about a year in your fridge compared to the 2 to 3 years of the commercial product. I will eat my homemade lacto-fermented foods way before they over-ripen.

What about gluten? Do I have to stay away from all wheat? Well, many in the health fields say wheat is an issue. But how about a wheat product that is very low in gluten (can be gluten free) and has sugars reduced/balanced while boosting nutrition? I think you would be alright with that? Let me introduce you to sourdough. Sourdough is a cultured bread that has all the pluses I just mentioned and more. And this sourdough bread process was how most bread in our country was made until the late 1950’s. Research is now showing that there are factors in sourdough breads that help fight candida.

Sourdough Baking eCourse

How To Apply These Foods

I just wanted to share how I apply these foods in my family’s life. It shows, since over the years of eating these foods, we just about never get sick. We eat lacto-fermented foods daily, eating them with our cooked meals so they can help the enzyme weaker foods to be digested completely. Sourdough foods with their high mineral counts, and balanced sugars, are eaten in moderation a few times a week. It took time to learn that bread did not have to be eaten with every meal. Sourdough can even be used to make a chocolate cake, so birthdays and holidays are fun and healthy.

Sounds like a balanced menu, not one in denial as a way of a cure.

If you are new to these foods, and would like to learn how to make them, let me introduce you to our eCourses. Lacto-fermenting: The Easy and Healthy Way, along with the cookbook, and needed hardware. Our other eCourse is Sourdough Baking Made Easy, along with cookbook, and hardware.

What do you think?

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Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


About Jeff

Jeff Pearce is a board certified Holistic Nutritional Consultant and has coached hundreds of people in the Dallas/Fort Worth to help them achieve their health goals. If you would like more information about his services view the Health Consultations section. For those not in the physical area Distance Coaching is an option. A 15 minute “No Cost” informational consult is available, by phone, to chat and answer questions about services. To schedule your no cost informational consultation please contact us .

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