Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System This Fall
There are many things you can do to boost your immune system and bypass the yearly colds that usually seem to begin this time of year. From delicious warming and naturally immune-boosting soups, to taking time to rest when you feel run down, there a number of natural strategies that will have you up and running again in no time.
Fortunately, you can avoid colds, sinus infections and even the flu by following these simple guidelines. When you keep your immune system in optimal working order, you're far less likely to acquire an infection to begin with or, if you do get sick, you are better prepared to move through it without complications and soon return to good health.
1. Optimize your vitamin D levels. Optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of ALL kinds, and vitamin D deficiency is likely the TRUE culprit behind the seasonality of the flu -- not the flu virus itself. This is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take. Regularly monitor your vitamin D levels to confirm your levels are within the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml. Ideally, you'll want to get all your vitamin D from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed, but as a last resort you can take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. According to the latest review by Carole Baggerly (Grassrootshealth.org), adults need about 8,000 IU's a day.
2. Avoid Sugar and Processed Foods. Sugar impairs the function of your immune system almost immediately, and as you likely know, a healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other illness. Be aware that sugar is present in foods you may not suspect, like ketchup and fruit juice.
3. Get Enough Rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you're tired, if your body is overly fatigued it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Learning to rest BEFORE you are sick will go a long way to not getting sick!
4. Have Effective Tools to Address Stress. We all face some stress every day, but if stress becomes overwhelming then your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma. Yoga, gentle stretching, and even getting out for a walk can do wonders to reduce your stress levels.
5. Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads.
6. Take a Good Source of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3 found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. It is also vitally important to avoid damaged omega-6 oils that are trans fats and in processed foods as it will seriously damage your immune response.
7. Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Be sure you don't use antibacterial soap for this -- antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, and they cause far more harm than good. Instead, identify a simple chemical-free soap that you can switch your family to.
8. Use Natural Antibiotics. Examples include colloidal silver, oil of oregano, and garlic. These work like broad-spectrum antibiotics against bacteria, viruses, and protozoa in your body. And unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance. Including natural anti-microbials like garlic and ginger in your soups and dishes is a delicious way to boost your immune system!
9. Avoid Hospitals. I'd recommend you stay away from hospitals unless you're having an emergency or need expert medical care, as hospitals can be prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.