5 Immune Boosting Tips You Need to Know This Flu Season
Your immune system is going to need an artillery this winter to fight against the illnesses going around, especially the swine flu and seasonal flu. You may not find it in the media hype, but the most effective way to fight against the flu this season is to boost your immune system.
You should focus on boosting your immune system because it protects you from disease and is designed to defend the body against millions of toxins, parasites, bacteria and microbes that want to invade your body and call it home.
Your immune system needs to be healthy and highly functioning if you want to enjoy the protection if offers. When the immune system becomes weak and begins to break down, it's easy for germs to attack and can cause you to become ill. The immune system needs to be cared for, especially at this time of the year, to defend against these microbial invaders. Eating the right foods is the first step to strengthening and protecting your immune system.
The molecules in our bodies that fight disease are made of protein, so start by introducing lean proteins such as turkey, fish and lentils. Good fats should be a focus in your diet, and can be found in healthy wild-caught fish as well. Certain fats improve cellular function and the ability to fight disease. When people eat natural liquid oils like olive oil and coconut oil, the fats end up in the cell walls and enable the cells to become more flexible, have better cell communication, and improve ability to fight disease.
Fruits and vegetables are always important in a balanced diet, as they contain important antioxidants that fight free radicals and help to prevent cancer, and keep your blood levels high in disease-fighting nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and vitamin B complex. It is best to get nutrients through the foods that you eat, so focus on fresh raw foods that haven't been sprayed or processed.
Some people may need to take a multivitamin pill or powder with minerals to get their full nutritional needs met; make sure to find one that is all-natural. Be sure to get plenty of fluids, specifically pure water, all year long. A ratio of one half ounce of water for each pound of body weight is a good amount to aim for.
Though nutrition is extremely important for a healthy immune system, exercise is equally important and is the second step to boosting your immune system this flu season. Countless studies show that moderate, regular exercise has many benefits, including boosting the immune system. When you exercise, it gets your blood pumping, which increases circulation and helps the heart, circulatory system, and the muscles and organs to work better. Don't overdo it! Increase your exercise a little each day if you are not currently active, start by walking twenty minutes daily and you can build from there.
The third way to boost your immune system this flu season is to get plenty of rest. Mom was right - sleep is a critical factor in your health, weight and energy levels, and adequate sleep cuts down on stress. Long term chronic stress can create negative changes at the cellular level of the body, which can severely damage the immune system, so be sure to make positive changes that minimize your stress levels. Try yoga, pet your cat or dog, go for a walk, or practice deep breathing in meditation to further minimize stress and calm the soul.
Last but certainly not least, don't forget about your immune system's strongest ally: Vitamin D. The human body naturally creates vitamin D simply from daily sunlight exposure, but in the winter, this can prove quite a challenge. Even in the summer, with more people working indoors, vitamin D deficiencies are rampant. Get your vitamin D by going outside for 15 minutes a day, or visit a UV therapy salon (also known as tanning) a couple times a week. Cut down on cancer risk by patronizing tanning beds that use electronic, rather than magnetic light ballasts.
More allies for the immune system include probiotics - certain strains have been shown to help fight viral and bacterial invaders.
Follow these tips this flu season, and stay confident that you are doing all you can to naturally help your immune system fight that flu!