When a change in season takes place i.e. winter, many of us develop coughs and colds. However, contrary to popular belief, we don’t just ‘catch’ them randomly.
Blaming the chilli weather is easy; recognising that coughs and colds could actually be the body trying to eliminate unwanted mucus requires a new frame of reference. Fortunately, understanding this can be very simple with the right analogy ,and help us take the right steps to avoid developing them altogether.
We are made of lots of tiny cells – 60 trillion according to Dr Paul Clayton (Clayton, P., 2004. Healthy Defence, 2nd Edition). Each of them is like a little factory, with a Goods-In department, a Processing Plant and a Goods-Out department:
Goods-In – responsible for receiving raw materials needed to stay alive: Oxygen, Water and Nutrients – there are only three!
Processing Plant – responsible for turning these raw materials into Adenosine triphosphate (ATP for short), which is basically our ENERGY!
Goods-out – responsible for passing on our waste, called lymph, created during production of energy, which is carried away by our lymphatic system – a network of conduits and nodes around the body that deliver the waste to our exit points: skin, lungs, urinary tract and bottom! Unlike blood, which has a pump (our heart), it relies on muscle contractions created by our diaphragm when we breathe.
source – BUPA
Like any factory, it’s really important to get both quality and quantity of raw materials right – especially the nutrients! Given that our brains are easily influenced, we often deliver low quality materials to the Goods-in departments (crisps, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, fried and processed food etc.); we also insist on getting all the factory workers high on sugar and caffeine, or completely intoxicated with alcohol.
When this happens, our lymphatic system struggles becomes overloaded, especially in the cold weather when it needs to produce more ATP. Eventually, there’s too much waste inside us, so our extra defence systems kick-in and the body starts to eliminate it via any means possible including: COUGHING, SNEEZING and RUNNY NOSE!
Conclusion, if we don’t want to be coughing and spluttering all day , it’s best to keep the factory workers in good shape by supplying them quality ingredients and letting them work in peace (at least most of the time:) For some great tips on how to do this, download our free Healthy Habits Guide.