måndag 18 augusti 2014

Do you catch a cold every second year? FAIL.

If you catch a cold or get a sore throat as often as every second year, you are obviously doing something wrong. Some people even accept missing school, workdays or workouts every single year due to falling ill.

If you are one of those, listen up. You have failed, you are doing it wrong. Change! (well, unless you want to keep going as before, of course).

Before 2006 I used to catch a cold about twice (!) a year. I thought that was they way life was supposed to be. "no cure for the common cold", as they say, new viruses every season etc...

I have only had a cold once in 8 years (and counting), since I started paying attention to anti-inflammatory food

About 2006 I decided to eat "better", which to me meant more fish, fatty fish, and less red meat. After that, i.e., the last 8 years, I have only had a sore throat at two occasions, of which only one time counted as a cold, missing a total of two workdays and two workouts in 8 years.

  • In October 2006 I had my last real cold, with a sore throat and six days without going to the gym.
  • My next "episode" was in early spring 2009. My notes from February 2009 say "a sore throat after partying hard, but no missed workouts or workdays".
  • In January 2013 I stayed home from work for two days (24th and 25th) with fever ("feeling cold") and a sore throat (maybe, just maybe, my two weeks in Costa Rica in early January had something to do with that; poor hygiene at times, no Omega3 oil for two weeks)
So, what changed apart from increasing my intake of salmon and reducing the number of medium-rare steaks?

I started focusing on minimizing inflammation. It began with pills with Lactobacillus Reuteri from BioGaia and soon after Omega3 oil from Oil4Life and later from ArcticMed.

The Omega3 oil made the biggest difference. It not only eliminated more or less all my seasonal colds and other ailments, it also made me recover more quickly from heavy workouts. In 2010, I was just about to cut the number of weekly gym sessions from 3 to 2 when I started drinking Omega3 my supplement every day. Within 3-4 months I recovered from a workout so much more quickly that I increased my number of workouts to 4/week instead of cutting back to 2/week.

Earlier, I often fell ill after a period of tough workouts or period of partying, or both. With Omega3 oil, even though I often feared falling ill or catching a cold I just never did.

Later on, I have understood more about the process of inflammation, of the importance of supple cell walls with the right Omega6/Omega3 balance, what foods work best toward minimizing inflammation. That means I nowadays eat just as much read meat as before 2006 but compensate by doing the following:

  1. Drink one table spoon of ArcticMed's Omega3 oil every day with my post workout meal
  2. Eat one pill of Lactobacillus Reuteri from BioGaia every day with my food
  3. Eat 2000-6000 IE Vitamin D every day, except if I got a full day of summer sun within the last 7 days

In addition, I simply like adding a variety of "power foods" in my diet, that seem to help the body naturally instead of taking artificial vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants etc that go in and out of style among researchers and dietists:

  • Salmon, often raw or just lightly cooked
  • Honey
  • Garlic
  • Chili
  • Cinnamon
  • Curcumin
  • Whole flaxseeds
  • Raw carrots, tomatoes, apples
  • Ginger
  • Rocket
  • Broccoli
  • Lemon
  • Berries (blackberries, blueberries)
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Nuts
  • Red wine
Also, check out this blog post about 10 recommended supplements for health and strength. I like to keep it simple so I only recommend one; Omega 3 oil.

However, if I only get to recommend one change, to anybody catching colds as often as every second year, that would be to eat as much fatty fish you can lay your hands on or start drinking high quality Omega3 oil.

I takes about three to six months for your cell membranes to replace your stuffy, inflexible Omega6 molecules with supple Omega3 instead, depending on how big a change to your diet you do.

This is the first article about Omega 6/3-ratio I found when I made a quick search on the internet right now. It states that ratios above 10 are clearly bad, the typical western ratio is above 15 and that there are a lot of beneficial effects of going below 5, including breast cancer, rectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases etc. My ratio is 2.

And here is a lot more about Omega 3 from Rogue Health and Fitness.

Nota bene: There is no cure for the common cold, and nothing of the above helps once you are already ill. Further, it is not certain you will get the same dramatically positive effects I did.

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