Do We Really 'Catch' a Cold?
For the past several years I have heard a lot of conflicting ways to keep ourselves healthy and not ‘catch’ a cold or virus. Most of the advice has to do with once we have ‘caught’ a cold: drink plenty of water, take vitamin C, take cold medications to stop the runny nose, Tylenol to help with the body ache and headache.
Sometimes we read or hear that we should increase zinc and quercetin, sleep more and eat less--all good advice, but still not dealing with why the immune system succumbed to ‘catching’ a cold.
While standing in a grocery checkout line I looked at the items the shopper in front of me placed on the conveyer belt. What I saw were multiple reasons for this person to ‘catch’ a cold: highly processed (or as these foods are now being called, ultra-processed) foods, piled up one after another.
Here are just a few of the culprits:
· Sugary breakfast cereals
· Gluten and sugared cookies
· Cow dairy yogurt and cheeses
· Condiments like mayonnaise, ketchup, and salad dressings loaded with sugar and
high-fructose corn syrup
· Packaged cold-cut meats filled with preservatives and glucose
Every one of these products contains multiple additives that suppress the immune system and damage gut biome. Ultra-processed foods are so removed from the original food that our gut bacteria have a difficult time not only using the food as a source of energy for themselves, but also in breaking these laboratory made chemicals down into nutrient-rich by-products that we require for our own growth and health. In other words, a healthy robust immune system will not be sustained with these chemicals.
We don’t ‘catch’ a cold or virus. Our weakened immune system allows the pathogens to remain. We inadvertently allow colds to develop. We are constantly coming in contact with bacteria and viruses. With every breath we draw in millions of pathogens, with each hand shake we exchange hundreds of thousands. Each hug and each kiss expose us to these pathogens.
These exposures provide a ‘workout’ and help keep our immune systems strong. So many people have had one or several colds this winter, and I think I know why: our immune systems have been on holiday for the past three years as we masked and isolated. As we have gone back out into the world, exposing ourselves to pathogens after an extended hiatus, our immune systems are struggling to rebuild.
One gram of sugar, enough to sit on the pad of your index finger, shuts down your immune system’s ability to protect you for three hours. That’s right, for three hours you have no guards stopping the bacteria, viruses, and parasites from entering into and breeding in the mucus linings of your lungs and digestive tract.
We don’t catch colds, we allow them to stay and breed.
To learn more on this, please watch for the upcoming podcast on Health.Simply titled, “We don’t catch a cold.”
It is always the focus of Health.Simply to offer clear and simple ways to allow you to created choices toward better health, one simple choice at a time.
Cameron Moffatt DOMP