Martha Stewart Living Radio: The Radio Blog

Ten Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick

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Today on "Whole Living" we got some sound advice on how to beat colds and flu from Gene Stone, New York Times betselling author of The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick. Here are ten of his scientifically-sound tips that can help keep you well if you make them a habit.

  • Take a cold shower. Sounds crazy, but they are proven to raise your white blood cell count.
  • Eat raw garlic. Smelly, we know, but studies show that it boosts immunity. The wise ancient Egyptians ate it so routinely that there's graffiti on the pyramids complaining about lack of garlic rations.
  • Drink hot water with brewer's yeast. It's been shown to fight flu, diarrhea, and respiratory infections.
  • Drink hot liquids or eat soup, because the heat really does help break up congestion.
  • Wash your hands!
  • Get a little dirty though, because excessive cleaning and using antibacterials can reduce your natural defenses to germs.
  • Drink red wine in moderation for a healthy heart.
  • Drink it with friends: People with active social lives and many friends are healthier than homebodies.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Duh. It obviously helps to get a balance of nutrients, and eating them is better than just taking supplements.
  • Believe that whatever you are doing works. Studies show that the placebo effect is strong when it comes to preventing colds.

Comments (5)

  • I really feel a difference in my well being when I lack sleep. Most people need at least 7 hours sleep, but you may need more. Seems obvious, but most of us really don't get the sleep we need.

  • Good addition to the list, Samantha. Getting enough sleep definitely made it into Gene's book, as it not only improves physical health but mood as well...and having a positive outlook was yet another factor in staying healthy!

  • Gargling with salt water two to three time a day is a great way to stave off colds. It's also a wonderful treatment for sore throats and allergy sufferers. In fact, The New York Times recently had a terrific article discussing its benefits: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html

    It's nice to know that the simplest and most easily accessible cold remedies can be found right your kitchen!

  • I happen to be one of these lucky bastards who never get sick. I’m 40 years old and I cannot remember when I’ve been ill last; it must be at least 25 years. The only thing I get maybe once every other year is a 24-hour head-cold with the sniffles. That’s it.
    I have no explanation except for the fact that I am NOT a Germophobe: hubby and I (who also gets sick very rarely) live with two big/hairy dogs, who sleep on our beds and are fed a raw diet of meats & bones. I do not use antibacterial soap and don’t go overboard with cleaning the germy mess.
    Personally, I eat kinda healthy, but I’m not a health nut, I exercise in moderation and my weight is normal. And I have a full-time office job.
    Could it be a result of how I grew up? My family and I lived in a small village, and us kids spent our days outside, getting dirty, playing in the woods, and being exposed to nature all day long. Minor cuts and injuries were treated with rubbing alcohol and a band-aid; no Neosporine and such. When we had a cold, we drank Camomile tea (yuck!) and stayed in bed until we got better; no Theraflu, etc.
    Knock on wood! I am very very grateful for this. But I’m still very curious when I don’t sick.

  • Like Barbara, I'm also very curious why I never get sick. I don't take vitamins, I don't wash my hands incessantly, I don't eat particularly healthy, I'm not a clean freak, I don't like wine...and I don't do any of the other silly things on this list. I'm just inherently healthy.

    I do, however, AVOID antibacterial soap--I'm convinced that one day we're going to find out that it has an unintended effect on people's immune systems. Plain soap and water are fine for me!

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