A friend of mine has been down with the swine flu for eight days. This is a person who never gets sick, and it’s hard to see her suffer. I have two elderly parents that I am caretaking, so I didn’t go over to visit her when she was sick. Even though I feel pretty strong right now, I don’t want to tempt fate.
One good thing about writing in the health field as that you tend to find yourself doing the healthy things you write about. In ayurvedic medicine, the traditional health care system of India, which I write about a lot, good digestion is considered the foundation for strong immunity. And immunity is considered to be the weakest in the fall, when the sun’s strength is waning. So I’ve been eating light, easy-to-digest foods this autumn, to keep my digestion and immunity strong.
Here are a few ayurvedic tips for preventing colds and flu, excerpted from some articles I wrote for the Iowa Source and other publications.
1.Eat smaller quantities of food. By eating less, the digestive fire becomes stronger. This helps digest impurities and strengthen immunity. Even doing this for a few days in fall can help give your digestion a rest and increase its strength.
2. Eat lighter food. This means less cold or heavy food. During autumn the digestion is weaker, so eat less meat and cheese. Avoid leftovers and processed food. Eat fresh, organic vegetables and grains that are freshly cooked and served warm.
3. Get extra rest. As the days grow shorter and darkness falls sooner, it’s important to be attuned to nature and go to bed earlier during fall. For best quality sleep, it’s ideal to go to be in bed before 10 p.m. and rise early.
4. Exercise every day. Exercise keeps your digestion and elimination running smoothly, and helps purify toxins and create overall well-being.
5. Eat your meals at the same time every day. Plan to eat your meals at the same time every day. When your meals are on a regular schedule, your digestion runs more smoothly and efficiently, creating less undigested food and toxins.
6. Eat your main meal at noon. This is when the digestive fire is at its peak and can handle larger quantities of food. Make breakfast and supper lighter meals.