Our defence against the flu
“Germs are nothing by themselves, their environment is everything,” said Louis Pasteur.
Why? Because the environment – our immune system, and our antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defences – are generally much stronger than any virus or bacteria. Winter is the time to remember this essential message, which Pasteur, who discovered the existence of viruses and bacteria and then invented the first vaccine against them, apparently uttered on his deathbed.
During the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, some people proved to be far more resistant to the virus than others. In his book on the subject, Thierry Souccar recounts the experiments carried out at the time. An American doctor, Milton Roseneau, deliberately infected more than 100 young US naval recruits with germs secreted from flu-infected patients, injecting secretions directly into their nostrils, throats and eyes. Ten days later, not one recruit showed any flu-related symptoms. Their defences had blocked the virus. Many recent studies confirm the importance of several factors that help to protect us against viral infections.
* Sleep: At least eight hours per night significantly reduces the risk of catching a cold after exposure to the virus (compared with people getting seven hours of sleep or less). Whenever possible, use your sleeping time as an antiviral defence. (Maomee’s Note: Exactly! Whenever I feel the flu bug crawling up on me, I just take a good rest, and it’s gone right next day! What’s more, try to go to bed before 10pm, no later than 11. Our liver works from 10pm to 2am. We need the full-on detoxification for our health.)
* Physical exercise: Moderate physical activity (30 minutes’ walking five days a week, for instance) stimulates the immune system and considerably increases our resistance to infection. (Maomee’s Note: Guess that’s why the three of us don’t get sick often. We walk almost everywhere and every time ~)
* Daily diet: Cut back on sugar and white flour, and reduce your overall fat intake. Use olive and rapeseed oil when possible, and increase your daily portions of fruit and vegetables. Eat garlic, onions and shallots – during World War I, French soldiers ate two or three raw garlic cloves a day as protection against flu. (Maomee’s Note: There’s a lot to learn about different kinds of oil. The key is the smoking point.)
You should also eat lots of broccoli, cabbage and mushrooms, which are used in Japanese hospitals to boost immune system. (Maomee’s Note: Luckily, Beam eats broccoli ~)
Drink three to six cups of green tea a day, preferably not at mealtimes (it can impair iron absorption). It contains EGCG, a catechin that works actively against cancer and is also a powerful anti-viral. A US study showed that it reduced the risk of catching flu by a third. (Maomee’s Note: Green tea is my favourite. But at night, I drink self-made wolfberry water instead as it and green tea neutralise each other’s nutrients. In addition to strengthen the immune system, wolfberry gives you a good night’s sleep.)
Use herbs and spices, such as oregano, thyme and turmeric, in your daily cooking – at least in one meal – for their anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s encouraging to know that those things that strengthen our systems work indiscriminately against all sorts of illnesses we’d like to keep at bay, from flu to cancer. Pasteur’s intuition was one of genius: the environment our body offers is what counts.
~ By David Servan-Shreiber, [Psychologies Magazine], December 2010.
聖誕節的氣氛越來越濃，我們 Field End 也擺上迷你型的聖誕樹應景。想起過往，每年都是爸爸把聖誕樹拿出來細心組合好，再掛上呤呤琅琅光彩絢爛的吊飾。。。實在很感傷。
之前讀到萌萌感冒時，就想起了 Psychologies 雜誌裡的這篇文章，不過忙東忙西，草稿夾也有待整理，竟然今天才排上。也算是為這三個月生活畫下句點吧，周一晚間的航班回台灣，屆時會忙著跟媽媽到處趴趴走，大概沒什麼機會更新。