Ways to Boost Your Immune System

November 12, 2010 at 2:54 pm Leave a comment

As the cold and flu season approaches, there are several things you can do to build your immunity naturally. Here are some powerful ways to boost your immune system and prepare for the flu season:

Get Some Sunshine
Vitamin D, which is produced when the body gets adequate levels of sunshine, plays an important role in strengthening your defense system to better fight any invading viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, it’s also the No. 1 vitamin deficiency in Americans. And with less sunshine in the winter months, this could be one major reason for the increase in cold and flu cases during the winter. Great sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, eggs, milk, orange juice and cod liver oil.

Keep Moving
Exercise is one of the most powerful ways to boost the immune system. Not only does it improve the circulation of white blood cells throughout the body, but it’s also been shown to increase the production of natural killer T cells, essential for maintaining an optimum immune response. Twenty minutes of brisk walking four to five times a week has been shown to significantly improve the body’s immune response. This is also a good opportunity to get a little bit of sunshine to stimulate Vitamin D production.

Dump the Sugar
When it comes to fighting colds and flu, it’s essential to decrease your sugar intake. Sugar has devastating effects on the immune system, and the fact that Americans consume an average of two to three pounds of sugar per person annually spells bad news this time of year. Not only does sugar increase the production of hormones that suppress the immune system, but refined sugar also needs micronutrients to be metabolized. This requires your body to use stored vitamins and minerals, further harming your defenses.

Eat Your Veggies
Eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will make sure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals essential to fighting off colds and flu. Fruits and vegetables are packed with thousands of phytochemicals. No supplement could ever match the power of eating a whole food. Regardless of what vitamin and mineral you take, it should always be as a supplement to a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

Manage Stress
When we experience stress, the natural balance of the body is affected in ways we could never imagine. In fact, stress takes an enormous toll on the immune system. For this reason, it’s important to find ways to bring the body back into balance. Meditation, prayer, exercise and yoga are all great ways of taking care of yourself and keeping stress levels low.

As fall and winter approach, get proactive. By implementing these simple techniques, you can dramatically increase your ability to make it through the season without ever having to miss a day from work or school.

Source: Adapted from NaturallySavvy.com via Healthnet.com

Entry filed under: Alternative, Managing your health.

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