Some people hardly ever get sick

Some people hardly ever get sick

The Secrets of People
Who Never Get Sick

Why is it that some people hardly ever get sick?

I wanted to learn their secrets. Some of these secrets, I discovered, are a bit unusual, but they have a basis in scientific fact…

BREWER’S YEAST

Gene Stone health journalist
Gene Stone health journalist. He interviewed more than 100 healthy people for his latest book. [The Secrets of People Who Never Get Sick]

Barbara Pritzkat, age 84, han’t had a cold in decades. In 1983, at age 56, she started her second career as an archaeologist. She’s still surveying archaeological sites, most recently in the Syrian Desert, where temperatures can reach 110 Degree F. She credits her good health to brewer’s yeast, which she takes in powder form dissolved in water every morning.  She first learned about the health benefits of brewer’s yeast in the 1940s when she attended a lecture by Adelle Davis, a pioneering nutritionist.

The science: Most commercially available Brewer’s Yeast is extracted from the yeast that is used to ferment beer or wine. A single tablespoon contains the recommended daily allowance for most of the B vitamins, including folate.

Folate is one of the most important B vitamins because it breaks down and eliminates homocysteine, an amino acid, from the blood. Reducing homocysteine has been linked to a reduction in risk for stroke and heart disease. Folate also is thought to reduce the risk for a variety of cancers, including colon cancer.

Other B vitamins are needed for the maintenance of blood cells, nerves and the immune system.  Brewer’s yeast also contains a variety of minerals, including chromium, a trace mineral that reduces blood sugar and improves glucose tolerance. In addition, a single two-ounce serving provides eight  grams of protein, more than the amount in a large egg.

What to do: Take one to two tablespoons of brewer’s yeast daily. You can dissolve it in water or sprinkle it on your cereal or yogurt. Some people may suffer adverse gastrointestinal reactions at first. Start by taking a small amount and increase it gradually.

Any brand should be fine—even buying from bulk bins. But look for a kind that’s debittered—the taste is more palatable.

They're not very pleasant, but your shivering body may thank you.
They’re not very pleasant, but your shivering body may thank you.

COLD SHOWERS

Nate Halsey, age 38, got hooked on cold-water hydrotherapy a decade ago, when one of his friends explained that he never got sick. Nate, who had been getting sick fairly often, gave it a try—and hated it. He still hates it, but he likes the energy boost. He also appreciates that he never gets sick anymore.

The science: Researchers have found that cold-water submersion increases levels of disease-fighting white blood cells. In one study, scientists found that people who took cold showers daily for six months had fewer colds than those in a control group. In another study, year-round swimmers in Nerlin, who took regular dips in freezing-cold water in the winter, suffered half as many chest infections as other people.

Exposure to cold water also may increase glutathione, one of the body’s main antioxidants—the study of Berlin swimmers found that they had elevated levels of glutathione.

What to do: Ease into it. Turn on the cold water for 30 seconds or so. With the shower running, stick your head in to wet your hair. Turn off the water, shampoo your hair, then turn the water back on to rinse off the lather and get your skin wet. Turn off the water again, soap your body, then turn the water back on to rinse off. The entire event should take about five minutes.

 

 

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