My partner recently got a severe super bug infection in his elbow after knocking (or rather stabbing) a rusty nail at work. The last 5 days have been spent in and out of hospital, with minimal sleep, not the usual nutritious food and plenty of processed sugars… sorry body!
For someone who is healthy and active like myself, being in a hospital all day and around sick patients can have its toll. I want to make sure that I am giving myself the best chance of health and keep my immune system strong to prevent getting sick. Two sick patients doesn’t make a healthy one. There are the obvious things to reduce the risk of illness such as stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, wash your hands and eat a nutritious diet. But what if you already do these things? Antibiotics can cause digestive problems and an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the body. Here are a few things that I have tried to keep up to ensure we are both protected against further infection/germs and are thriving with the best health we can;
FERMENTED FOODS; fermented foods are great for the gut bacteria and digestive health. When you are on antibiotics yours body rids itself of all bacteria, including the good stuff so you have to make sure you are giving back what is lost. Examples of fermented foods high in good bacteria include yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha tea and kefir.
PRUNES; when you are on strong medication, pain killers and antibiotics there is no surprise that constipation is coming knocking for you whether you like it or not. Being less active (or completely inactive), eating things out of the ordinary ie white bread and rice all day and indulging in hospital food (have you seen their dessert menu?.. ) Maintaining digestive health starts with fibre. Prunes or dates are great sources of dietary fibre to keep things moving as well as psyllium husks or flax seeds.
H2O; get your guzzle on. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water throughout your time in hospital. Always have a water bottle or jug on hand and sip away. Keeping hydrated is very important especially when you are in hospital air conditioning all day. Water will flush out any unwanted toxins, prevent cramps, boost kidney and liver function and regulate body temperature.
MAGNESIUM; Magnesium supplements are great for activating vitamins B and D, relaxing muscles, regulating calcium levels and is required for the secretion of insulin. It will also ensure you get a good nights sleep and we all know hospital beds aren’t the most comfortable going around.
VITAMIN C POWDER; I went to the health food store to chat to the herbalist about what we should be taking whilst in hospital. The first thing she suggested was Vitamin C. Although we all probably get enough vitamin C in our daily diets a strong dose when in hospital is highly recommended. Your body can only digest 2gms of Vit C at a time so 1tsp of powder in some water or juice daily will support your good bacteria and boost your immune system.
BANANAS; an apple a day keeps the doctor away but a banana a day keeps your health at bay AND makes you HAPPY!! The lovely nurse said to us yesterday “happiness creates health” so what better way to boost your happiness levels with a banana. Bananas are high in serotonin which is the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. They build strong bones, regulate blood sugar levels, prevent muscle cramps, stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel and help restore lost electrolytes. Need any more reasons? Didn’t think so!
PROBIOTICS; Yoghurt, Yoghurt and more Yoghurt. Yoghurt WILL reduce your chances of getting sick. Why? Because it is packed with good bacteria in the form of live and active cultures that stimulate your immune system and fight disease. Make sure you find a yoghurt that has live cultures in it (you know the big words like acidophilus that you cant pronounce?)
ACAI / BERRIES; Hawked as a “super food” along with produce like blueberries, the little acai berry’s dark color signals that it is high in antioxidants called anthocyanins. These antioxidants do wonders for our bodies inside and out. So why not make a little yoghurt and berry snack? With some almonds too of course…
ALMONDS; A handful of almonds will give you your daily vitamin E requirement which helps boost the immune system. They are also packed with B vitamins, riboflavin and niacin which help your body fight stress.
TURMERIC; an Indian spice that is a natural anti inflammatory and may work just as well as other medications without the side effects. Turmeric has been around for centuries and most commonly used in curries. The main ingredient Curcumin has a powerful antioxidant and targets pathogens like bacteria that can easily harm our bodies.
HONEY; Honey is natures main anti-bacterial and anti-fungal source. It’s healing properties help fight of disease and infection and promotes healing of cuts and wounds.
So if you are near a sick patient, fighting infection or visiting hospitals regularly and need to give your body that extra health kick – follow one or all of the above to get your health back on track. There is no substitute for good health and it starts with YOU!!!