It’s the small things in life that count. The all-day every-day behaviours that define who we are and what we believe. Part of my plan to combat my Chronic Fatigue is to have a very healthy lifestyle. I am trying to support those systems that are compromised (mainly the immune and gut) and reduce my overall allostatic load (any stress/toxin or contributor to ill-health) so that my body can return to good health faster. Here are a few small things I do daily to support my health. Some of these are very important for anyone with CFS to do, but all of them will support good health no matter who you are.
Lemon juice in warm water Every morning I start the day with the juice of half a lemon in warm water. This is a soothing habit that eases me into my morning routine. The main benefits for me are that it;
- Aids Digestion; its atomic composition is similar to saliva and the hydrochloric acid of digestive juices. It also encourages the liver to produce bile which is an acid that is required for digestion.
- Is a Diuretic; this helps to flush out toxins from the body.
- Boosts your immune system; Lemons are high in Vitamin C, potassium and saponins, and help to increase iron absorption, all of which are important to healthy immune function.
In addition to this, lemon juice in warm water balances ph levels, clears skin, energises and enhances mood, promotes healing, freshens breath, is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, hydrates your lymph system and even aids in weight loss. For more information, click here; http://tasty-yummies.com/2013/03/18/10-benefits-to-drinking-warm-lemon-water-every-morning/
Neti Pot I often get swollen and bleeding nasal passages and have a constant thick mucus drip from my sinuses. When this gets particularly bad I find that a neti pot soothes my nasal passages and relieves these symptoms. It’s also amazing for when you feel a cold coming on. To use a neti pot (that’s mine on the left but they come in all shapes and sizes), fill it with body-temperature saline water – and then pour the whole thing up your nose. There is a trick to this; turn your head to the side so that the water flows in one nostril and out the other. This gently thins any mucus and flushes out the sinus passages.
Green shake Nearly everyone has heard about green shakes – they are a great way to pack more raw vegetables and fruit into your diet and reap the benefits of all those vitamins and minerals. I have found that I feel so much better when I have my green shake in the morning – more vital and clear-headed. These take some time to prepare and clean up after, but you can make some up in advance so that you always have some on hand. Generally Guy will whizz up a large jug which will last 2-3 days. If you are doing this, it’s important to include a lemon which will act as a preservative. Lately I’ve been following the recipe below to fight off all the colds that came at the end of winter, but you can blend anything you like depending on your tastes and nutritional needs.
Vitamin D My allergist insists I take a Vitamin D supplement every day. It is thought that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome could be some sort of autoimmune disease – it certainly comes with a severe immune system dysfunction. Vitamin D is known to be an immune system regulator, and aids the immune system. Also of interest to CFS patients are studies that show that Vitamin D can help maintain cognitive function and improve brain plasticity. Possibly this could help reduce brain fog. Most people should take a good Vitamin D supplement (liquid D3 is the best) as it is difficult to get enough Vitamin D from food sources and most of us do not get enough daily direct sun exposure due to our inside lifestyles and protective clothing. The other health benefits of taking Vitamin D are many and worth looking into. Read more about it here; http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/
Filtered Water Melbourne has the best tap water in the world; clean, safe and tasty. But even so, I have begun to filter my water. I am doing this to avoid chlorine (used to kill bugs), fluoride (added to fortify our teeth) and aluminium (used in flocculation, which makes the water clearer) among other chemicals that leach into the water or are used in the treatment process. These chemicals are potential carcinogens and could alter the balance of microflora in the gut.
Fermented Veggies I recently wrote about my experience with fermented vegetables. I eat a tablespoon a day as they are packed full of probiotics. “Probiotics can improve intestinal function and maintain the integrity of the lining of the intestines” which is important for people with CFS as many report uncomfortable bowel symptoms and some are also diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome. Also importantly for CFS patients, probiotics have been shown to improve the immune system. Read more about this here; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19442167
If you’ve got any tiny tips to share, please comment or link to your own blog below, I’d love to hear what you do!