6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System for Cold and Flu “Season”
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With the cold and flu “season” upon us, I’m sure you’ve been wondering about how you can boost your immune system to avoid getting sick at all costs. We’re exposed to so many things that could cause the flu on a daily basis. Do you ever wonder why some people are always getting sick and then other NEVER even get a case of the sniffles?
It’s all on a count of how good or bad their immune system really is. There are many factors that can lead to a poor immune system and we’re about to talk about a few of them and then dive into how you can boost your overall immunity.
So what is your immune system?
Your immune system is your body’s defense against infection and illness. It is an interactive network of organs, cells, and proteins that protect the body from viruses and bacteria and any foreign substances.
When our immune system is working properly, we don’t even notice it. But when we have an under- or over-active immune system, we are at a greater risk of developing infections and other health conditions. So how do we boost our immune system to make sure it is working properly?
How to Boost Your Immune System
Check Your Gut
Yep, a huge part of your immune system is located in your gut and the number of GOOD bacteria in there can help keep your immune system in check. I recommend a GOOD probiotic in order to keep the gut healthy and balance our the good and bad bacteria. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help reduce inflammation and prevent infection; they may also reduce the severity of a cold or flu. 70% of your immune system is located in your gut.
It might be wise to do a little cleaning of the gut with a gentle detox to make sure your gut is up to par with its bacteria. Another suggestion is to lay off the processed foods, sugary snacks, and hydrogenated oils. Eating foods high in antioxidants, such as vegetables and fruits, will boost your overall health and help protect you from the flu and other viruses and infections all year.
Zinc affects multiple aspects of the immune system. It can affect multiple aspects of the immune system, from the barrier of the skin to gene regulation within lymphocytes. Zinc is crucial for normal development and function of cells mediating nonspecific immunity such as neutrophils and natural killer cells. (1)
Zinc protects our cells from virus destruction. It can be found in foods including pumpkin seeds, spinach, oysters, nuts, and beans. Taking zinc before or even when you feel a cold coming on can tremendously help fight off the flu. It’s one of the HIGHLY recommended supplements in my immunity package I recommend to my clients to help boost their immune systems.
Lower Your Stress Levels
I know this may sound easier than it seems but reducing your stress levels can greatly improve your immune system. Yoga and meditation may help alleviate some of your stress. It helps to relax you and in turn, doesn’t stress out you STRESS HORMONE!!
When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. High stress levels also can cause depression and anxiety leading to higher levels of inflammation. In the long-term, sustained, high levels of inflammation point to an overworked, over-tired immune system that can’t properly protect you.
Get Your Sweat On
Go on and get your workout on and get a good sweat sesh! I don’t mean go workout for a billion hours, I mean get in a little workout that makes you break a sweat. Torching some calories can also reduce your risk of catching a cold. Research shows that people who exercise in moderation report fewer colds. (2)
Get a Good Nights Rest
Be sure you are getting a full 6-8 hours of sleep each night in order to let your body rest and recharge. This again can keep those hormones in check. It’s been shown that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus.
During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. So be sure to get yourself a good night of ZZZ’s.
Use Immune Boosting Adaptogens
Adaptogens are our first line defense and stimulating this aspect of our immune system protects us from colds, flu and other types of infection. They boost immunity by supporting and balancing the endocrine (glandular) system.
Some of the adaptogens that I use with my clients in the Immunity Package are Yerba Mate, Banaba Leaf, Astragalus, Schizandra, Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola. These are just a few in the package but they tremendously help boost immunity. they have anti-microbial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties that help to protect our cells from virus destruction.
So this season, you may want to think twice about how you go about protecting yourself from the flu. Notice I did not mention a vaccination nor did I mention antibacterial soaps or lotions as they may actually compromise the immune system by taking out the good bacteria in our system.
If you’re looking to boost your immune system in a more natural way and want to know more about how you can do it, feel free to message me. I’d love t chat more about it all.
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