By Dr. Paul Beals
The recent outbreak of swine flu has alarmed people across the nation. What should you do? From a holistic doctor's perspective, you should always be mindful of your health and the actions you take to promote daily healthy living.
Holistic and integrative doctors treat the whole body and therefore take a integrated approach to healthy living and treatment of disease. To live a healthier life and avoid outbreaks such as swine flu, colds, and virus there are some natural health guidelines that can help:
COMMON SENSE HYGIENE
Wash your hands! Use hot water and a simple soap. Flu and cold germs can be transmitted via germs on hands, doorknobs, computer keyboards, etc. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Swine flu is transmitted via respiratory fluids from coughing and sneezing, so wash up if you are exposed to someone.
SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
A healthy immune system is what keeps you from NOT getting the flu to begin with. Support your immune system with a nutritious diet, detoxification, proper supplementation, exercise, and proper sleep.
Nutritious diet- Support the immune system with healthy, nutrient dense foods, good fats, vitamin rich vegetables and fruit, lean meat and fish and other whole foods. Eliminate sugar and chemical products such as soda, sugar substitutes, processed foods, white flour and hydrogenated fats which may have a negative effect on your mood and body.
Detoxify the body- To enhance the immune system you need to detoxify the liver and bowel. This is accomplished by restoring the natural flora of the digestive system with probiotics, taken as supplements or as fortified unsweetened yogurt. Restore omega 3's by taking fish oil, krill, or flaxseed oil, the good fats. Eat garlic regularly, as it works like a natural antibiotic. Detecting and eliminating heavy metals, allergies, food sensitivities, and chronic infections will enhance healing of the gut, which in turn helps support a healthy immune system.
Proper Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation- Deficiencies must first be detected from blood work then corrected with IV or oral supplementation. Vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, magnesium, zinc, folic acid, vitamin D, and B complex will all help to protect us from illness.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO ENHANCE WELLNESS
Holistic medicine embraces the mind, body and spirit approach to wellness. Make positive changes to your lifestyle to stay healthy. Quit smoking and make daily exercise a habit. Reduce stress by getting enough sleep, exercise, meditation, nature walks, and positive family support. Making small steps to embrace wellness can pay off with a stronger immune system and therefore, less illness.