Research into probiotics is showing they help strengthen immune systems and help fight off sickness.
Every day, humans carry up to 10 million germs just between their fingers and elbows.
Dawn Von Graff used to get so sick, she was begging the wishing well for help. She had pills for her cough and for sneezing, but nothing worked.
"You try to fix the symptoms,” said Von Graff. ”But you're not addressing the real issue, which is your decimated immune system."
Author and journalist Gene Stone felt the same way, so he sought some new advice.
"I was seeing lots of people who weren't getting sick,” said Stone. “Maybe I was talking to the wrong people, maybe I should be talking to the people who never get sick and find out what their secrets are."
His book, The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick, runs the germ-fighting-gamut.
Doctor Tony Japour wrote a chapter in Stone’s book on probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria found in yogurt, cheese, and bananas.
Studies show they boost immune systems and may slow some cancer tumor growth. Japour attributes them to keeping him flu-free for years.
A new study also found that people who eat garlic reduced their number of sick days by half. It's also been shown to fight off staph infection.
"In a teacup, add three-fourths of a cup of pasteurized egg whites, then add one little bottle of the DanActive yogurt, which is the probiotic,” said Japour.
Moving to one of the Earth’s blue zones or spots with the least sick people, could also help with decreasing sickness. Middle-aged death is lowest in Costa Rica and Okinawa, Japan has the longest disability-free life expectancy.
Dawn improved her diet and added probiotics and has not contracted a cold in three years.
"The difference since I've been doing this has been unbelievable,” said Von Graff. “I'm literally a new person now."
One of the best ways to stay healthy is to limit touching the nose, mouth and eyes with the hands.
Bacteria and pathogens can use your hands to enter your body.
Stay Flu Free Forever
BACKGROUND: A strong immune system is your body's best defense for warding off viruses, and staying flu-free. Your first line of defense should be adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating healthy, not smoking, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. There are several other strategies that may help rev up your immune system. Below are a few natural immune system boosters that may help you fight off the flu and other illnesses. (SOURCE: www.health.harvard.edu)
PROBIOTICS: Probiotics are healthy bacteria that occur naturally within the intestines. They fight off the harmful bacteria that cause illness and diseases. They also help the intestines with digestion and nutrient absorption. A recent study published in Pediatrics shows that a daily supplement of probiotics can cut the incidence of cold and flu-like symptoms in kids by 50 percent. Some food sources loaded with probiotics are probiotic yogurts, buttermilk, sauerkraut and Japanese miso soup.
VITAMINS: A diet rich in antioxidant vitamins can also help your body fight off infection. Your body naturally produces molecules that can damage cells. Antioxidants help neutralize those molecules so they don't do any damage. Some of the best antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc. To get enough of these antioxidants in your diet, experts recommend eating a lot of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and green, black, or even white tea. Daily multi-vitamins can also help do the trick. (SOURCE: www.webmd.com)
FOODS AND HERBS: Other immune-boosting foods include fresh garlic, and old-fashioned chicken soup. A study showed that a bowl of chicken soup can actually boost immunity and help you get well faster. Other helpful foods include berries, citrus fruits, oysters, spinach, cabbage, and carrots. There are also several herbs that can aid in immune system health. One of the strongest herbs is astragalus. According to vitamins-supplements.org, astragalus is known to stimulate the immune system while protecting the body against a number of other toxins. Herbs like cat's claw, ginseng, goldenseal and sage can also provide big benefits.
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Author of The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick