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Give Your Body A Fighting Chance Against Colds And The Flu

Updated on June 6, 2014

Make Your Immune System Stronger

I used to get at least one to two really bad colds every year living here in Japan. But now I'm going on three years without catching a cold. I just turned 59 this year-2008. I firmly believe that "cures" are not always the right answer to colds or any disease for that matter. But for now, the topic on hand is common cold prevention.

Common cold prevention is a process of building up your immune system. If you follow some or any of the advice in this Hub your body will thank you for giving it a fighting chance against colds and the flu.

Before we move on with this process of building up a strong immune system, let's go over what a cold is and how we catch one.

Common colds are often caused by a virus. There are over 200 types of viruses that causes colds, the "rhinovirus" is the most common virus associated with the common cold. In the United States, the "cold catching season" occurs between September and May. School has started and people spend more time indoors in crowded places, giving the virus a place to flourish and spread.

One of the easiest places for catching colds is on public transportation, especially the subways or any kind of mass transit. Crowded with people, the virus is easily spread just from holding on to a rail that an infected person touched earlier. In addition, people coughing or sneezing in confined places will spread the virus increasing the chances of others catching a cold.

From this knowledge here are a few prevention strategies you can start using right now.

1. Keep your hands away from your face at all times during the cold season (September to May in the US).

2. As soon as you get to where you are going wash your hands thoroughly. (note: Here in Japan, it's custom after coming home from work to first wash your hands as soon as you return home.)

3. As much as possible, try to avoid crowded areas, especially the public transportation. I know this maybe impossible for many readers. These are just suggestions I want to make sure you're aware of.

4. Wear a mask. In Japan people who are infected with a cold usually wear a special type mask designed to prevent the spreading of the virus. During the "cold" season some people choose to wear a mask to prevent catching a cold while riding on a crowded subway or train. Unfortunately, this idea may not work so well in the US. It's not part of the custom. But the good news is it is custom for people to cover their mouths and nose when they cough or sneeze. Hopefully they use a tissue, kleenex, their sleeve or arm and not there hand. If they use their hand, when they touch anything they will be transmitting the virus to the next person that touches that infected area.

Japanese love affair with the cold and flu mask

Japanese use masks to protect not only against colds and the flu, but hay fever as well.
Japanese use masks to protect not only against colds and the flu, but hay fever as well.

The Common Cold Prevention Process Of Building A Strong Immune System

The common cold prevention process of building a strong healthy immune system will take time for some people to build up. But it's easy and well worth it.

The following suggestions interact with each other. So doing anyone will help the other.

1. Making your thoughts and self-image stronger.

2. Detoxifying your body including cleansing your colon. (note: This should be done under consultation of an approved doctor)

3. Boosting your metabolism.

4. Building healthy habits. (ex. Deep cleaning of teeth and maintaining a daily routine using good dental hygiene.)

5. Having a sincere feeling of Gratefulness.

Let's take a look at the "big picture".

The body is designed to have a strong immune system. How you think, how you eat, how you physically move about determines your chances of catching a cold. A body that lives off of fresh air, healthy wholesome food, clean water, positive or up-beat thoughts, healthy types of stress, physical movement and a spiritual feeling of gratitude has a far more fighting chance than a body that has been stressed out from over use of alcohol, smoking, eating greasy trans-fat foods, negative thinking and not exercising.

There are a lot of evil viruses and bacteria out there in the world. Sadly, they seem to be on the rise. But there's good news. Our immune system is designed to become stronger with each infection. Children get colds and get sick much more often than adults. But each time they pull through with a stronger immunity.

One Of The Quickest And Most Effective Ways To Build A Healthy Self-Image.

Beefing Up Your Immune System With Your Thoughts

A good place to start building a stronger immune system is with your thinking. Your self-image.

You need to start filling your mind with "can do" thinking. If you think, "I'm not going to catch a cold." Guess what, there's a good chance that you'll catch a cold. On the other hand, if your thoughts are, "Yes! I feel great. The air is so fresh and nice today." You're body is going to start "acting" like nothing can affect it...including colds.

Building your self-image is on on-going process. Especially in the beginning of this common cold prevention process. You need to make it a habit.

Cleaning Out The Toxins--Giving Your Body A Fighting Chance

Detoxing your body by therapeutic fasting will also help strengthen your self-image because you realize that you are hitting the "reset" button to get your body and your immune system back to its original strong healthy state--the body's ability to self-heal its self.

But more important, doing a therapeutic fast will help clean out the toxins that your body is having to combat. This alone will let your body use more of it's resources to keep colds at bay than having to deal with toxins in your body.

There are many ways a person can do a therapeutic fast, from two days (Friday night to Sunday night) to twenty-one days. It's best to work with a doctor who is knowledgeable about fasting and can help and guide you in fasting in a safe and beneficial way.

The best time to do a fast is outside the cold season, during a time when the weather is comfortable and when you can have time to not worry about other things in life. When fasting your metabolism will become lower. It's just a temporary way the body is adapting to the absence of nutrition and the detoxing of waste.

In addition to fasting, or if you have no time to do a fast, colonics can help build a stronger immune system. The lower intestine is "caked" with mucus that seals waste to your intestinal lining. Your body's immune system is being challenged in two ways. One, the body is trying to rid itself of toxins that have built up. And second, the efficiency for absorbing nutrients has decreased making it hard for the body to absorb nutrients properly.

If you're unable to do colonics, a simple change in the diet would help clean the intestine. Eating more raw vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, lettuce and cabbage will go a long way to help clean out toxic waste from the intestine. Any food that is high in soluble fiber.

A Healthy Metabolism Keeps Your Body In Peak Condition

A healthy immune system has a heathy metabolism. Drinking a glass of cold water in the morning will help kick-start your metabolism. Staying active by taking the stairs and playing with your kids, your pet, or just dancing to music keeps your metabolism healthy.

Doing some Cardio-exercises for short intervals will get your metabolism up and running and make your immune system stronger.

When taking a shower gradually make it cooler. You want to feel the coolness but not to the point where you're shocking yourself or gasping to breath. It doesn't have to be for long. But finishing your shower on a cool note your body will make more white blood cells than normal giving your immune system more germ fighting artillery.

Japanese Green Tea-A Strong Immune Booster Against Colds And The Flu

The Author's Dental Hygiene Tools For Maintaining Healthy Teeth-click to enlarge in new window

The Author's Dental Routine

From the above picture I start from left to right.

  • First clean the tongue.

  • Then use various sized inter-dental brushes to gently clean in between the teeth and the gums.

  • Next I brush with a very soft tooth brush.

  • Finally, I use a tapered brush to gentle clean and massage along the gum line, front and back. I'll do this while watching tv for about 20 minutes.

  • The result: A very clean healthy mouth and teeth that will not be so inviting to colds.

Healthy Habits With Healthy Food--Easy Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System Against Colds

Drinking green tea. Not the green tea you find in tea bags, you need to go to a Asian food store or order online and get yourself some good Organic Japanese Green Loose Leaf Tea. This is the tea that I use. I drink about 750mls (25oz or a little over a pint-and-half) every morning.

Some time ago on a Japanese TV science show, I saw how the effects of Japanese Green Tea can knock the cold virus germs right into oblivion.

The TV show presented a culture sample from a persons throat that's infected with a cold virus. The person gargaled with warm Japanese Green Tea and the throat culture showed that nearly all of the cold virus germs had disappeared.

Another interesting point the show brought out was that people don't wash their hands long enough. It takes almost a full minute of "scrubbing" with warm soap and water to get your hands clean. The next problem was after the house wife cleaned her hands, she reinfected her hands with the cold virus using a hand towel that's normally used for drying hands.

The best way to dry your hands is to shake them dry, use a paper towel, or use a fresh clean cloth towel only once.

One of the best healthy habits you can start working on right away is to get a deep dental cleaning at the dentist. Brush and floss or use an inter-dental brush at least twice a day, morning and night. Our mouths are a perfect breeding ground for colds. Making the practice of clean dental hygiene a daily habit could be that one barrier to stop a cold.

I love milk. I mean raw milk, or goats milk. When I come and visit my family and friends in the US, I go to this website to find the nearest place I can get raw milk or goats milk. The butterfat of raw milk will help boost your immune system.

And finally, treat yourself to a night out eating Thai food. Spicy food can really give your lungs and sinuses a work out. I add a little cayenne pepper to my winter dishes.

One Of The Best Sources To Learn The Power Of Gratitude

Shift Your Life To Better And Happier Days

CNN On Laughter Yoga And Laughing For Good Health

4 Babies Boost Your Immune System

The Best Medicine Against Colds Is A Good Laugh

When your are happy your body's immune system is at it's peak. Don't underestimate the power of love, laughter and having great sex. Good feelings gives your immune system an added layer of strength.

Here's one of the easiest ways to laugh. Look in the mirror. Raise your hands high above your head and from your stomach give a "Ha". Repeat a few times. You should start feeling good. In fact you may find yourself having a really good belly laugh. Laughter is truly one of life's best medicines.

Along with feeling good comes a feeling of gratitude. An appreciation for your own uniqueness and for life around you. Take time to smell the flowers and enjoy nature. It all works together in creating a stronger immunity that will give your body a fighting chance against colds and the flu.


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    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi, I am suffering from cold. It normally catch me more than 12 times in a year and my age is 28years.

      I am from India so how can I get organic Japanese green tea.

    • fyxer profile image


      9 years ago from mt vernon

      great hub i will advise my wife to read it she get colds all the time

    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle


      Hey big brother! Thanks for your post. An update. On either NBC or ABC, sorry I can't recall which, they ran a segment on how Macain and Obama stay healthy without getting a cold. Yes they used wipes and lotion, but the biggest facter was they were so pumped up with enthusiasm and dedication their mind just wouldn't allow them to catch a cold.

      So what am I really saying. If you don't want to want to get sick you should run for President. A little family humor here :-)

      @ meteoboy

      Thanks for posting 'meteoboy'. I love your country. Was there in summer of 1972. I'm glad you like the HUB. You reminded me that I do need to make another one.

    • meteoboy profile image


      10 years ago from GREECE


    • profile image

      his big brother 

      10 years ago

      Really! He is my brother. So, yes, I am biased. I liked your thoughtfulness and balance in reporting this. I carry wipes in my car and also use them when they are available in my food store. Laughter. It is the best. And exercise. I might add fellowship with good friends, too

      Thanks & love


    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle


      I hope you too experience the wonderful health I've gotten from drinking Organic Japanese tea. Give it time :)


      Hi David, thank you for your comment. By the way, I'm a big fan of your hub. Anyone reading this should pop on over to David's Hub "Round the world in 80 Ways". Yes I believe reading about other "good" things will also help boost our immune system.

    • David Francis profile image

      David Francis 

      10 years ago from London

      A really interesting and informative hubpage Fillip. Thank you for sharing this.


    • Cellebrate! profile image


      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      The minute I am able, I am gonna grab one box of that Organic Japanese Green Tea. I work in a pharma company, and one of our market leaders are those for cough/cold remedies, thats why I got so interested. But you are right.

      Thanks again. Hope to read more of your blogs soon!

    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle


      Hi Cellebrate! (Wow! I love your pen name. It's what I do everyday of my life...Celebrate! :-)

      Thank you for your spirited comment. I "celebrate" my mornings with a wonderful pot of Organic Japanese Green.

    • Cellebrate! profile image


      10 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      wonderful, wonderful. hub! love every word written in it!

    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle


      Thank you glassvisage. I'm glad you found the hub helpful. I hope to write more too :)

    • glassvisage profile image


      10 years ago from Northern California

      This is the kind of helpful hub I love reading. I hope to see more from you!

    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle


      Hi! Thank you for your comment. A good laugh...nothing like it.

    • Solorya profile image


      10 years ago from Oklahoma

      great hub--very thorough and informative. I like that it gives a step by step way to make your body more immune--including a good laugh. Thanks!

    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle


      Thank you for the encouragement. I'll try to make my next Hub better. Feedback like yours is always nice to hear.


      Thank you for sharing your success and passing on another tip I didn't include in my Hub..."listening to your body." Very important, with lots of side benefits...for example, in addition to feeling a cold coming on, being in tune with yourself can also help you avert negative thoughts from spoiling the moment or the day. Thank you again gjcody :)


      I can't even begin to imagine what N.E. Scotland must be like in the thick of winter. I totally empathize with you on getting multiple colds in one winter. The methods I talk about here take time, but well worth it if you can apply any of them. As I mentioned to another poster, "Odaji ni." (Japanese for "May you get well soon.") I love raw goats milk too. PS: Off the topic..visiting Scotland is one of my "Things I'd like to see & do in my lifetime."

    • tjmum profile image


      10 years ago from Isle of Wight

      Am just suffering my 4th winter cold, along with my two boys. Trouble with N.E Scotland is not enough sunlight. Love goats milk and is better for my IBS too. Great Hub

    • gjcody profile image


      10 years ago

      Excellent hub.  I work with nutrition and I do most of the things you are saying.  I have been blessed to use these methods and be among the people that do believe we can help ourselves and not just take what is handed to us.  I do listen to my body and pay attention to the signs ...we do get signs before we get sick and we can work on cleaning up our system before it is too late.  We don't have to "settle for" !! 

      Thank you for sharing and spreading the word ....great job!

      My best to your health and success!

    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle

      Thank you all for your comments. Really nice to hear what others are doing...


      Glad you liked the Videos. Yes, I used to have a Vitamix. They are wonderful. I agree with cutting out flour and sugar. However some people can't live without it..a quick story. My Mom came to Japan for a visit. When you check into your room at a "Ryokan" (Japanese Inn) they will serve you Japanese Green tea as a way to welcome you. After the tea was poured the kimono-clad hostess would bow and leave the room. Then my sweet mom would proceed to empty a packet of sugar into the tea. My Japanese friends always crackedup laughing over this. So what I'm trying to say here is that getting away from sugar may not be easy for some people.


      Yes, I agree gratefulness and happiness are powerful immune builders and they are so easy to do.


      Wow! What a great breakfast. You sound like a person who loves to enjoy mornings. Are you ready for another breakfast adventure? I do this with Bob's Red Mill "10 Grain Hot Cereal" (I get it at an International food store here in Japan).

      I add Cumin and Tumeric to the 10 Grain (I used to add a tbl spoon of brown sugar). Once it's nearly finished cooking, I add chopped walnuts, chopped onion, broccoli. Cover and let sit for a couple of minutes. Then serve it up in my favorite bowl topped with yogurt and a little Soymilk along with my pot of Japanese Green Tea.

      You may find this a little too much. But I love it. The texture of the slightly cooked vegetables with the Indianish flavored Oatmeal...well, I feel like Remy in Ratatouille. Try it. Let me know.

      PS: Thanks for sharing that wonderful quote from the Bible.


      It does taste great. But I don't think everyone would Mom being one of them :)

      You would love it here in Japan. Most drinks in the vending machines (which are all over the place) contain no sugar. You can get various kinds of tea all natural with no sugar. Nice.

      I've given up drinking alcohol, but I can go with my friends to an Izakaya (a Japanese bar), Yakitori, or Karaoke Bar and order Oolong tea, a very delicious Chinese tea. Enjoy your mornings. I sometimes will make a pot of Japanese Green tea in the afternoon..especially during the cold winter months.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      This is a great hub. Lots of information to help avoid the cold. Fillip, you are a great hub contributor. Knowledge like this helps us all. Keep up the great work.

    • monitor profile image


      10 years ago from The world.

      Organic green tea. I was given some just last week. After readinf your article I took it down fromthe cupboard and drank it for breakfast. Tastes great and I am helping my body. Well said Fillip. Thank you. Mon.

    • Caregiver-007 profile image

      Margaret Hampton 

      10 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the many excellent pointers, Fillip! Too many people get tied up in stress and overlook the power of an "attitude of gratitude." And one of my favorite Proverbs has always been 17:22 - "A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." Yes, laughter is very, very good!

      I'll be 61 this year, and it's been some years since I've had a bad cold. I attribute part of that to the heavy addition of raw vegetables and a fabulous blender breakfast of yogurt, apple, banana, strawberries, sometimes other fruit, always with freshly ground flax seed and raw oatmeal. Yummy! But now I need to find the Organic Japanese Green Tea - and throw away all those grocery store tea bags!

    • happyexplorer profile image


      10 years ago from Mostly USA, sometimes elsewhere

      Very interesting! I haven't been sick in years. Now I guess I'll attribute that to gratefulness and laughing a lot -- two habits I'll be happy to keep up! (-:

      Thanks for the great hub! - Deanna.

    • Music Lady profile image

      Music Lady 

      10 years ago from Los Angeles

      Great Hub! I particutlarly enjoyed the laughter videos. I used to get sick every winter holiday because of all the holiday parties and tempting desserts. Now it's very rare. Cutting out sugar and white flour helps. Owning a blender like Vitamix helps too. Then it's easier to get the daily recommended 9 servings of friuts and vegetables.

      I look forward to reading more of you hubs.



    • Fillip profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from atop the grateful castle


      Hi Seige44. I understand how you feel about colonics. But if you choose to eat more Organic Raw Vegies like you mentioned, you're definitely helping your body. Also any soluble fiber like flax would help. You could sprinkle it over your salads.

      I didn't mention this in the article, my best and strongest immune building strategy is drinking a lot of Organic Japanese green tea. And as I mentioned before, it should be, if possible, organic loose leaf Japanese Green tea sealed in a vacuum pouch. I drink a lot for breakfast, 750ml, almost a couple of pints. I love it. I also gave up drinking alcohol last year. Now I'm going through my 3rd Winter. It's a beautiful March day..2008 and I haven't had a sniffle so far.


      Hi Texas-Tutor, sorry to hear about your cold. Try some of the suggestions this hub made for next time..but maybe there won't be a next time if your immune system is stronger.

      As I mentioned to Seige44, I found Organic Japanese loose leaf Green tea (not the tea bags) to be my #1 immune building against colds. Try to find the real McCoy online (from one of the links above) or see if there's an Asian store in your neighborhood. It may not be possible to get organic Japanese Green tea. Shizuoka is famous for it's tea here in Japan, like Idaho is for it's potatoes. So if you see any tea with the name "Shizuoka", most cases it should be the real deal... As we say here in Japan "Odaji-ni". It means may you get well soon :)

    • Texas-Tutor profile image


      10 years ago from Bryan, Texas

      Lots of really good info here, I plan to give some of your suggestions a try.

      It's ironic that I've been down with a cold most of the week, wish I had seen your lens sooner.

    • selge44 profile image


      10 years ago from Toronto - Canada

      This an excellent Hub, informative article, a breath of fresh air. great stuff Fillip. I will do the Organic Raw Vegies but not the Colonics dont like probe! Keep posting more great stuff.


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