Germophobe? You're Probably Making These 5 Mistakes
The term "germophobe" is bandied about with some fanfare nowadays. We've all encountered the friend or loved one bent on meticulously wiping down everything the light touches, from airline trays to desktop keyboards. While we're far from decrying anyone's desire to keep things spotlessly neat and gloriously germ-free, there exist a few tropes and tendencies germophobes have embraced that, simply put, have far more effective counterparts. If you're using hand sanitizer in the hopes of attaining immune system nirvana, we've got some bad news: You're going about things all wrong.
When it comes to warding off germs and dangerous bacteria, disinfecting your personal space is just the tip of the iceberg. The truly best offense is a strong defense. Staying germ-free is all about building up the body's internal ability to effectively neutralize whatever threat arises on the fly. This means a proper routine and all the right tools. Enter our list of five mistakes every germophobe makes. We're going to break it down for you and coach you into cleaner pastures. The germs won't know what hit 'em.
Hand sanitizers tend to be the de facto personal arsenal for many a germophobe. That said, they are not all created equal. Many hand sanitizers contain dangerous chemicals and additives, from phthalates and parabens to the antibiotic compound triclosan. Used regularly, these additives disrupt the body's natural functions, offsetting everything from proper hormone function to good bacteria.
As an additive, triclosan (or triclocarban) is often found in products labeled as antibacterial, antimicrobial, or antiseptic. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration admits triclosan may carry a list of potential health risks, including hormone disruption. The additive contributes to antibiotic resistance being that it eradicates all good bacteria in the body along with the bad. A study at University of Michigan School of Public Health suggests triclosan may also have a negative effect on human immune function.
In short, using the wrong hand sanitizer could potentially weaken your immune system altogether. The good news is all-natural alternatives exist and are every bit as powerful. Instead of reaching for your usual drugstore brand, go for our personal favorite—thieves oil. This legendary blend of essential oils contains powerful natural ingredients that defend and protect. The combination of clove, rosemary, cinnamon bark, and Eucalyptus radiata will actually boost your immune system rather than suppress it. Go natural.
Think of boosting your immune system as creating a firewall for disease and germs. With the proper defense, your body will be strong enough to neutralize any threat. For example, when traveling by air, disinfecting your airline seat for germs isn't enough, since you'll still be breathing recycled air for the duration of the flight. Stock up on probiotics to ensure healthy internal gut flora, drink plenty of water, and pack a high-potency vitamin D in your carry-on.
"Most people also think vitamin D is really a vitamin, but in reality, the active form of vitamin D is one of the most potent hormones in your body, and regulates more genes and bodily functions than any other hormone yet discovered," says Dr. Joseph Mercola.
According to one German study, vitamin D was even found to boost the body's immune function by a factor of three to five while simultaneously stimulating the production of key antimicrobial peptides. Stock up.
Your body needs the proper vitamins and minerals to properly assimilate nutrition. Give your immune system extra support with a supplement routine that keeps you in top form. If you're starting to feel run-down, take a strategic approach. If you're in need of a memory boost or means to effectively fight off fatigue, try a sublingual vitamin B supplement. We recommend taking a blend of plant-derived minerals with vitamins and amino acids as a daily routine. Integrating antioxidant-rich foods and foods that naturally reduce inflammation in the body will keep your immune system in fighting shape.
We know it's easy to skimp on water, given the frenetic pace of daily life. Being dehydrated, however, even in small doses, poses a serious threat to your health. When it comes to fending off germs, the solution is dilution. When your body is properly hydrated, it has the ability to naturally flush toxins and harmful substances right out of your system, from your cells to your vital organs. Especially while traveling, it's imperative to drink enough water. The Mayo Clinic recommends nine cups of water daily for women on average and 14 cups a day for men. To calculate the exact number of ounces you should consume on a daily basis, multiply your body weight by 67%. Imbibe accordingly.
The struggle for getting enough sleep is real. Skimping on valuable Z's can lead to a slew of health problems down the line, including the disruption of your body's natural circadian rhythms to slower metabolism and hormone function. Pay attention to how dark your bedroom should be to get proper rest. Turn off all your devices well before bedtime, and check out our favorite five habits for a better bedtime routine. As for the daytime ritual, we're strong proponents for reinstating nap time. The compelling health benefits of naps might surprise you. Einstein was a fan, and that's good enough for us.
Have a favorite all-natural hack for staying germ-free? Fill us in.