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10 Ways to Boost Immune Health, Stop cold, flu & depression in their tracks - before you get sick

What if, this winter, you discovered a simple way to boost your immune
system so you won't get sick? What if there were ten?

The weather changes in autumn, cold temperatures set in, and runny noses
and sniffles start to seem like an epidemic. Around Hallowe'en, the first
snowfall combines with the sugar rush of October 31 to set most of us up
for a spate of colds and flu that come and go through the winter. What if,
this winter, you discovered a simple way to boost your immune system so
you won't get sick? What if there were ten?

People who pick three or more of the suggestions from this list - and
stick to them - will substantially improve their immune strength, increase
their ability to stay sane and healthy through dreaded cold and flu
season, and keep their health and happiness up through the darkest months
of the year!

1. Drink your lemons. Lemon is the ideal food for restoring acid-alkali
balance. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice in water, or adding it to
tea, salad dressings (in place of vinegar), baking or cooking, helps
maintain the body's internal "climate" at a pH which supports healthy
bacteria instead of the viruses and harmful bacteria which thrive in more
acidic environments. Apple cider vinegar is another great way to improve
your body's alkalinity, but the taste of lemons is much more pleasant!

2. Give your body an herbal boost. Hundreds of herbal supplements and
tinctures exist to give the immune system additional support during the
winter. I recommend essential oils (especially my favourite winter blend,
Thieves) as an excellent source of immune-stimulating compounds, and the
rawest and most natural form of any medicinal plant, but there are other
supplements which can be effective. Fresh herbs and whole food remedies
are always preferable over packaged herbs or supplements, since they have
a much higher potency and frequency and your body absorbs more of their
value. See also Essential Oils Fight Cold and Flu.

3. Get a full night's sleep. Everybody's different: your body may need
anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Whatever your personal
sleep requirement is, get it! Sleep has been linked to balanced hormone
levels (including human growth hormone and the stress hormone, cortisol),
keeping weight down, clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and
vibrant, healthy skin.

4. Eat plenty of protein. Protein is a building block for a healthy body,
mind, and immune system. Diets low in protein tend to be high in carbs
which convert readily to glucose, spiking blood sugar and stressing the
pancreas and the immune system.

5. Drink plenty of water. This is almost, but not quite, a given; most
headaches occur because despite the number of reminders, people still
aren't getting enough water! Headaches and thirst are both signs of
dehydration. You should be drinking, in daily ounces, half your body
weight in pounds. (i.e. Body weight in pounds, divided by 2 = number of
ounces of water per day.) Click here for detailed guidelines - how much
water do you need daily?

6. Stop drinking coffee. Contrary to recent marketing as a source of
antioxidants, chocolate and coffee are two of the worst things you can do
for your immune system and your health. Caffeine robs your body of
minerals and vitamins, and it dehydrates you. If you drink coffee, make
sure you add an additional two glasses to your water intake per cup of
coffee. A mineral supplement helps to offset caffeine's damage, too.

7. Worse yet is the impact of refined white sugar. If you do only one
thing to boost your immune system, eliminating sugar will do the trick.
You will see noticeable results in your energy levels, weight
distribution, immunity and your ability to think clearly when you break
the cravings and stop eating refined sugar. Many holistic nutritionists
consider sugar a drug for its impact on the human body; I have known
practitioners to prioritize eliminating sugar from the diet over
recommending that people quitting smoking. Healthier sugars such as agave
and stevia do exist, but I avoid artificial sweeteners; they are more
toxic than cane sugar.

8. Stock up on raw fruits and vegetables for their antioxidants, vitamins,
minerals, fibre and enzymes. The nutritional content that you receive from
raw fruits and veggies is unparalleled. Many vitamins, including C, are
antioxidants and will protect cells - including those of your immune
system - from damage by toxins in the environment. Dark-coloured produce
(berries, kale, broccoli) tends to be higher in flavonoids, polyphenols
and other antioxidants. The perfect source of minerals is seaweed, which
is sold dried, but can often be found raw (dried at low temperatures to
maintain most of the enzymes and nutrients) in health food stores.

9. Spend some time out in the cold. Snowball fight, anyone? Exercise can
make a noticeable difference to your health and happiness by releasing
endorphins. Most of us spend 90% of our lives indoors, inhaling dubiously
filtered air and other people's germs, so I take any opportunity I can to
get outside. Time spent outdoors in the cold also stimulates the thyroid


10. Nurture yourself. Make sure you take time to yourself, spend some time
with friends, and indulge yourself in a massage, a hot bath, or an energy
work session when you want one. Our bodies respond to our emotions - if
you're feeling harassed and anxious, it can manifest in a sore throat or a
cold. Create a space within yourself and your living environment for
harmony, self-love and joy (giving thanks, prayer and blessing the
abundance in your life and of the world around you helps). Pay attention
to warning signs of sore throat or exhaustion so you can keep them from
getting worse. I advise taking a "mental health day" every few months to
make sure your emotional needs are met. When you're happy, you're far less
likely to get sick.

The copyright of the article 10 Ways to Boost Immune Health in Natural
Medicine is owned by Victoria Anisman-Reiner. Permission to republish 10
Ways to Boost Immune Health in print or online must be granted by the
author in writing.

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