With all the headlines about the H1N1 flu and the excitement over the vaccine, you would think that there is nothing you can do except get your shot and pray not to get sick this year. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Considering that communicable diseases like colds and flu are highly contagious, your best bet is to prevent becoming infected in the first place.
Even if you do get sick this season, the severity and longevity of illness is highly dependent on the strength of your immune system and your body’s ability to fight off the invading virus. And if you DO choose to get the flu shot or swine flu shot, a strong immune system is a MUST to help prevent potentially serious side effects.
Low Immunity Sets the Stage for Sickness
1. Eat Probiotic Foods
Replenish your gut daily by incorporating wholesome fermented foods and drinks into your diet. Fermenting your own vegetables is far more effective than buying probiotic supplements or other mass-marked products that only claim to boost your immunity. Not only will keeping your gut flora healthy help protect you from disease, but it can also give you better digestion. And from yogurt to sauerkraut, there are so many ways to enjoy probiotic foods at least once a day.
2. Eat Enough Good Food
3. Get Enough Sleep
4. Consume More Glutamine
Bone broths made from grassfed beef or chicken are an outstanding source of natural glutamine, and adding a cup a day to your diet can really boost your immune health. But if you are an athlete, you may need to supplement with more. After exercising, try taking 5 to 15 grams of L-Glutamine. Your white blood cells and your muscles will thank you. When German researchers analyzed a series of muscle biopsies, they discovered that levels of glutamine decreased as the donor’s age increased, suggesting that supplementing with the amino acid now may help slow the steady muscle loss that usually occurs along with aging.
5. Get Plenty of Vitamin D
You can get Vitamin D naturally by daily exposing your arms and face for 20 minutes in the sun, but most people need even more than this. Good sources include good old fashioned cod liver oil (my favorite brand here ), grassfed beef liver, egg yolks from pasture-raised chickens, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon. You can also buy liquid Vitamin D supplements which are very effective and easy to take.
6. Eat Mushrooms
7. Use Thieves’ Oil Generously
Thieves blend has been clinically tested and proven to be more than 99% effective against airborne bacteria (study conducted at Weber State University, 1997). It has been used to treat everything from candida and bacterial infections to toxic mold to colds and flu. I often take a drop and rub it into my hands after I use a public restroom. You can also mix several drops into a spray bottle of water, and use the spray to help disinfect surfaces around your home.
Because essential oils are made of light molecules, they are easily absorbed by the respiratory system and can be highly effective in treating sinus and respiratory disorders. I slather Thieves on my throat and chest to treat a cold, or on the bottoms of my feet to keep well, and boost my immunity all winter long. Sometimes I’ll take a drop in a cup of hot water or tea to clear my sinuses and soothe my throat.
Please note: Thieves’ oil should only be made with therapeutic-grade, organic essential oils. Please be aware that the source of the oils is important, and labeling can be misleading. Some brands of essential oil can be very toxic! DO NOT use essential oils internally or on your body unless you’re sure of their quality and safety. (Here is the reliable, quality source I use.)
8. Drink Plenty of Water
When you wake up, drink water to replenish all the systems that have been active during the night. Green, black, or white (not herbal) tea is another immune-friendly vehicle for consuming water. 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.)
9.Drink your Lemons
You can also use apple cider vinegar to improve your body’s alkalinity, but the taste of lemons is much more pleasant! Make a quick homemade lemonade by squeezing the juice of one lemon into a glass of ice water or iced soda water, and adding a packet (about 1 tsp.) of stevia powder. Stir and enjoy!
10. Quit the Sugar
Most importantly, if you are feeling “like your fighting a bug,” avoid sugar and sweet foods at all costs. Sugar is enough of an immune depressant that eating it might tip the scales against you and bring that cold or flu on full strength.
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