As the seasons change, we are entering into the time of year where many people unfortunately develop colds & flu’s.
Colds and flu’s can make you miserable, drain your energy and greatly affect your quality of life.
And for those of you who are already afflicted with compromised health, colds and flu’s can be devastating and even deadly.
Fortunately, there are many things that you can do to prevent colds or flu’s and their effects.
1) Reduce Stress:
Stress can have dangerous effects on your immune system. There arenumerous studies showing the link between high levels of stress and lowered immune function.
Learn to relax. Use slow, deep, rhythmic breathing throughout the day to stay calm and focused.
Studies show that deep, diaphragmatic breathing actually stimulates the Lymphatic System in our bodies, which in turn, stimulates the immune system.
2) Get Quality Sleep:
Sleep too little or sleep poorly and your immune function will suffer. Research indicates that sleep deprivation adversely affects the white blood cell count as well as the body’s ability to fight infections. Make sleep a priority — try to get at least 6 — 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
Listen to your body and see what the best amount is for you. Make sure that the room you sleep in is as dark as possible — this will help to ensure that DHEA, Melatonin and other powerful healing and regulatory chemicals in your body are being properly and sufficiently produced.
If you have trouble falling asleep, dim the lights and take a warm bath with relaxing essential oils or listen to soothing music or read a great book while you’re comfortable under the covers. Let your mind go and relax.
3) Exercise Regularly:
You absolutely need to perform aerobic and anaerobic exercise several times per week. This will bolster your immune system, help detoxify your body, flood your body with beneficial natural chemicals, increase your energy, reduce stress and enhance your self-esteem — all of which will help to keep you healthy, strong and vibrant in every season.
4) Enjoy Life:
Take time to enjoy the gift of life every day. Laugh as much as possible. Smile. Breathe Deeply. Experience Love. Be Grateful. Live Passionately and Courageously. Live In The Moment.
Powerfully Achieve Your Goals & Desires. See Beauty in Everything. All of these things will help to bolster your immune system and enable you to enjoy a happier, healthier, more meaningful life.
5) Fruits & Vegetables:
Consume a rainbow of (preferably organic) fruits and vegetables every day. In addition to the vitamins, minerals and fiber that your body needs, there are numerous pytonutrients in fruits and vegetables that nourish and strengthen your immune system.
The best fruits to enhance your immune system are: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, grapes (blue, black or red are best), oranges, lemons, limes, prunes, cantaloupe and kiwis.
The best immune-enhancing vegetables to include in your diet are: dark leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, yams, squash, tomatoes, red peppers, yellow peppers, garlic, onions, ginger, shitake mushrooms and sea vegetables. Raw, lightly steamed or sautéed is best.
Also, make sure that you thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables with a quality fruit/veggie wash and rinse until completely clean.
6) Nuts & Seeds:
Raw pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential fatty acids and protein — all of which support the immune system.
High quality protein is essential for maintaining a rapid production of cells to support the immune system.
Protein also helps prevent the loss of lean muscle mass and boosts energy. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, tempeh and fish are all great sources of protein.
Vegetarian protein powders from rice or soy can also help you make sure that you’re getting the protein you need to stay healthy.
8) Consume Plenty Of Water:
Quality water is absolutely essential for regulating all of the body’s systems. Water helps the kidneys and liver to process and eliminate toxins from the blood.
Another crucial function of water – especially in the cold, dry seasons – is to help keep your mucous membranes moist, which combats viruses. Ideally the water you drink should not be ice cold.
Your body uses of a lot of energy to warm up cold water – energy that could otherwise be used to fuel your immune system. Aim for at least 6 – 8 glasses of high quality water every day.
9) Wash Your Hands:
You need to wash your hands thoroughly and often. Lather up your favorite soap and wash the entire hand – front and back and all fingers.
Take your time and use warm to hot water, but just be careful with hot water in the winter as you may burn yourself if your hands are too cold.
10) Do Not Touch Your Face:
Unless your hands are freshly and thoroughly washed as described above, then whatever you do – Do Not Touch Your Face – especially your eyes, nose & mouth as this can easily introduce the cold or flu virus into your system.
11) Limit Exposure To People Who Have A Cold Or Flu:
Don’t get too close to people who are sick. If they are coughing or sneezing, try to leave the immediate area that they are in, as coughs and sneezes can easily spread germs. Now, of course, this will not always be possible, especially if someone in your home or office is sick.
So, if it is not possible to avoid the person, then at least be sure to sanitize all shared surfaces, such as: doorknobs, remote controls and any other frequently used surfaces with isopropyl alcohol.
12) Avoid Sugar:
There is strong evidence that sugar has a detrimental effect on the function of the immune system.
White blood cells exposed to high levels of sugar in the blood have a decreased ability to destroy bacteria and have a weakened systemic resistance to all infections.
The immune-suppressing effects of sugar starts approximately thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for several hours.
13) Avoid Alcohol:
Alcohol is toxic to virtually every system of your body. It depresses the bone marrow’s ability to regenerate blood cells, reduces the ability of white blood cells to kill germs, adversely affects the nervous system, overloads the liver, destroys vitamins and minerals and dehydrates the body tissues.
14) Avoid Caffeine:
A potent diuretic, caffeine can quickly dehydrate your body and cause the mucous membranes to dry out and become ineffective in their defense against bacteria and viruses.
Caffeine also contributes to the body’s loss of key minerals necessary for proper immune function and has adverse effects on the nervous system.
15) Avoid Dangerous Raw Foods:
Raw foods, such as sushi, oysters, clams, undercooked meat, poultry & eggs can carry dangerous bacteria and parasites that can wreck the immune system and cause severe illness and death.