Cold and Flu season is in full swing. So how to you keep from getting sick and staying well throughout the year?
The safest way to stay well starts with practicing healthy lifestyle habits. Your immune system works hard to keep you well. There are bacteria and viruses everywhere, not to mention helminths (worms) and tiny mites that carry infection and your immune system continuously fights all types of bacteria, viruses and various parasites.
Your immune system is also working to fight and kill cancerous cells that can pop up in your system. It is therefore of great importance to be sure and take care of your immune system health.
To help maximize the effectiveness of your immune system, here are 10 ways to help you stay as healthy as possible:
- Eat well. This means getting enough nutrition through fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds. There are nutrients in these foods that act as antioxidants, scavenging your body for oxygen free radicals that can damage cellular systems.
- Cut down on alcohol. Those who excessively drink alcohol have an increased risk of getting infections due to a weakened immune system. Pulmonary infections are particularly likely to happen in heavy drinkers.
- Eat probiotics. Probiotics are one of the best things to reach mainstream medicine. Probiotics are found in some yogurts as well as in capsule form. They consist of living spores of healthy bacteria or living organisms themselves. They colonize the gut and displace the “bad bacteria” that can make you sick. With probiotics, you can have a healthier gut immune system and can avoid gastrointestinal upset from bacteria or fungi in the gut.
- Get vitamin D. Many people in the Northern Hemisphere are deficient in vitamin D and this can negatively affect immunity, particularly in the winter months. You can get vitamin D with exposure to the sun or you can take a vitamin D3 supplement. In the summertime, just ten to fifteen minutes of sunlight per day can be a big benefit to your immune system.
- Eat shitake and Maitake mushrooms. Studies have shown that really concentrated extracts of these types of medicinal mushrooms have enhanced the immune system of women who have breast cancer. While eating the mushroom alone hasn’t been studied, it may have a beneficial effect on the immune system of otherwise healthy people.
- Eat garlic. Garlic is an antimicrobial agent in and of itself. It boosts the immune system in a general way but is inactivated by heat. For this reason, you should add garlic to foods just before serving the food.
- Immune Supporting Herbs. There are tons of immune-supportive herbs out there and probably yet to be developed. Some important ones are eleuthero, Asian ginseng, astragalus, and American ginseng. These have been used in Chinese medicine for millennia to prevent infection and keep the body healthy. They can be found at health food stores everywhere and even at certain pharmacies.
- Echinacea tincture. Echinacea is good for respiratory infections, especially when taken early in the course of the infection. Make a tincture yourself or get one from a reputable herbalist.
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- Detox Your Body and Mind. There are many detox programs out there, but many are too complicated, expensive and don’t lead to long term results. In order to stay healthy, your body has to be detoxing and your mind need to find calm in the eye of the hurricane of life. Taking a step-by-step approach can lead to long term success to improving both your body and mind. To help get you start, start my Detox Your Body and Mind in 30 Days Program. Click Here to learn more.