Lots of things can affect your immune system– the type of foods we eat (or don’t eat); how much water we drink,
sleep we get, stress we’re under – these are just a few of the areas that we can positively affect. If you pick just three of the suggestions from the immune-boosting tips below and stick with them, you can strengthen your immune system and increase your ability to stay healthy through the dreaded cold and flu season.
1. SLEEP If you are overly fatigued or constantly sleep-deprived, it will be harder for your immune system to fight off disease. On the other hand, regular rest and restorative sleep will support your immune system, so your body has the strength to fight off any potential invaders. (By the way, did you know my programs include helping people who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Contact me if you’re tired of being tired!)
2. SUGAR If you do just ONE thing to boost your immune system, reduce the amount of sugar you consume – especially if you are already feeling under the weather. Sugar (which comes in many forms and has many different names) contributes to inflammation and runs down the immune system. Leaders in the health, wellness and nutrition fields, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Joel Furhman, also suggest eating organic whenever possible and reducing processed foods (food that comes in a package with a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce etc.) Sign up for my group or private grocery store tour. I will show you what to buy and what to avoid so you can be a savvy, healthy shopper!
3. ALKALINE VS. ACIDIC Did you know that many diseases cannot exist in an alkaline state? And yet, they can thrive an acidic state. So, the key is to help your body maintain an alkaline state and keep your immune system in peak performance! This is a simple matter of choosing to “eat that not this.”
Eating alkaline foods can: • Detoxify the body • Boost your Immune function • Prevent disease by making it hard for germs and disease to survive • Reduce inflammation • Increase energy • Increase your longevity
What foods are the most alkaline in the body? You guessed it, veggies, especially leafy greens and fruit. (Citrus fruits that are generally considered acidic are actually alkaline producing in the body.) Start your day with hot lemon water and be sure to include a big leafy green salad for lunch or dinner.
What “foods” are acidic in the body? • Sugar • Refined and processed foods • Meat • Dairy • Alcohol • Coffee • Soda
4. DAIRY Nutritional studies show that avoiding dairy can be helpful to avoiding disease, particularly during cold and flu season. Dairy can create inflammation and “mucous glue,” where bacteria and viruses can grow. It can also contribute to allergy symptoms, sinus and ear infections. And as you read above, dairy is one of the acidic foods.
5. HYDRATE Water is essential for ensuring that your body eliminates waste and toxins – and that can help shorten the length of your illness. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your weight in ounces of water every day.
So, a person who weighs 130 pounds needs approximately 65 ounces of water – more if you exercise regularly. Start as soon as you wake up, by drinking 8 ounces of water before you do anything else! And here’s a proven tip: Hot water actually penetrates your cells faster than cold or room temperature water!
I’ve listed six actions for boosting your immune system. Try choosing just three to incorporate into your daily living, and give yourself the best chance of staying healthy this season.
Top Immune-Boosting Foods and Herbs
1. Vitamin C
If you want to help support your immune system, include plenty of natural Vitamin C, and choose organic whenever possible. This powerful antioxidant helps in the repair and regeneration of tissues, and protects cells throughout the body. Good food sources of vitamin C include:
2. Garlic Used for centuries as powerful “food medicine.” It has antiviral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory benefits. See soup recipe below.
3. Omega 3 Found in flax, hempseed, chia seed, salmon, mackerel, krill, cod liver oil, avocado, and almonds, just to name a few. Omega 3s boost the immune system by increasing the activity of white blood cells that eliminate bacteria and protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. Omega 3s also lessen the severity of infection.
4. Zinc Found in broccoli, kale, mushrooms, sesame seeds (Tahini), pumpkin seeds, beans, cashews, eggs, wheat germ, and oysters, to name a few. Zinc helps prevent illness and can lessen the severity and length of colds and flu symptoms.
5. Selenium Found in Brazil nuts, what germ, whole grains, eggs, sunflower seeds, garlic.
6. Elderberry Found in cherries, red grapes, black rice, and also in natural extract, juice and pill form (at health food stores)
Wellness Formula Herbal Defense Complex is designed to support the immune system. The Wellness Formula contains a powerful combination of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including Vitamin D3, Zinc, Selenium, Echinacea, Elderberry and Astragalus, formulated to boost your well-being. Get it online or at Whole Foods.