By Tom, on February 28th, 2013
I haven’t been sick since early 2011, when I had the worst case of the flu I have ever had. I caught the bug on a trip to central Europe. It was two months before I was back to full strength. But, I’ve not been ill since. I believe that bout helped me build up my immune system and that it is my job to keep my immune system built up with a few basic steps.
Embrace the Chill
First I take a cold shower at least once a week. Ice showers prime the immune system. A study done at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic showed that men immersed in cold water (57°F) 3 times a week for 6 weeks increased their white blood cell counts. And a study at Indiana State University showed that mice given a similar therapy were less likely to succumb to an infection. At one point last year I was taking cold showers every day, and after the initial shock I never felt better.
I recommend this method: start warm, not hot, and wash your face and shampoo your hair; then drop the temperature, rinse your hair, and wash the rest of your body. I spend about 4-5 minutes under the cold water.
A warm beverage is nice after that cold shower and if I want to further boost my immune system I would consume turmeric tea. I usually make this as soon as I feel a little scratch in my throat. This tea is a powerful anti-inflammatory it will help against arthritis and sore throats. This is Dr. Weil’s recipe:
- Bring four cups of water to a boil.
- Add one teaspoon of ground turmeric and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea through a fine sieve into a cup, add honey and/or lemon to taste.
I add a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger and a dash of ground cinnamon to add a little more anti-inflammatory goodness. I recommend that you brush your teeth after you drink this, unless you want yellow teeth.
Then I go outside. Sunshine is an incredible immune system booster. Vitamin D has been shown again and again to improve your body’s defenses. And the best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. Get fifteen to thirty minutes of sunshine a day. You can supplement vitamin D, too, but recent studies have shown that you may not be getting what you are paying for when you buy those supplements.
I have been generally eating better, being more active, and being more positive since that monster flu, and I believe these things also have helped empower my immune system. So I can’t name just one thing here that has allowed me to be healthy all this time, but all of them have helped.