Here are some natural preventative methods to help boost your immunity against the flu, without the risks of getting a vaccine.
1.) Get out in the sunshine. The body synthesizes vitamin D when direct sunlight hits the skin (it doesn’t work through glass). Having optimal vitamin D levels affects the body’s immune system. You only need about 10 minutes a day (without any sunscreen), so take a quick outdoor lunch break. Having the sun shine on only your hands and face is sufficient. If you can’t get out in the sun, full-spectrum UV lights or supplemental vitamin D are other options.
2.) Avoid Refined Sugar. Sugar drops down your white blood cell (WBC’c) count. WBC’s are your “fighting” cells (microphages) that literally consume viruses and bacteria in order to keep you from getting sick.
3.) Take Vitamin C. Vitamin C does the opposite of sugar. It boosts your WBC count. Do not drink pasteurized juice in order to get your vitamin C since the sugar is detrimental, as explained above. 1000 mg a day is good. However, if you are sick or are getting sick, you need more.
4.) Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables. Especially Dark Green Veggies. They are full of vitamin C, antioxidants, bio-flavinoids, essential minerals and other nutrients to help maintain healthy cell function. They are also very alkalizing when metabolized, which fights inflammation, cancer and calcium depletion.
5.) Exercise. Exercise increases circulation, detoxification, metabolism, and elimination. In short, the “good” stuff is circulated throughout your body more efficiently (such as nutrients, immunity builders and oxygen), and the “bad” stuff gets out of your body quicker (cell waste, toxins). NOTE: If you are just starting to exercise, DO NOT OVERDUE IT, as it will have the opposite effect on your immune system due to too much physical stress. Ease into it. Trust me. I’m one of those that ends up sick because I lost myself in my music and worked out too hard on my first day back to the gym. But I rarely get sick if I’m exercising regularly.
6.) Get Plenty of Good Sleep. When we sleep, we recharge and repair our bodies. We assimilate nutrients (use the foods we eat for cell function, replication, and repair) and our immune system fights off any invaders that can potentially make us sick. If you constantly suffer from sleep deprivation, you will most likely get sick, among other things.
7.) Eat Garlic. Now you don’t have to go out and munch whole raw cloves of garlic, but eat foods with garlic in it. Garlic has natural anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Some ways to get garlic is to sprinkle some garlic powder on your food to season it, use fresh garlic in salad dressings or in salsa, roast garlic cloves, or just add garlic to whatever you are cooking, whether it’s sauteing, baking, or stir frying, or using it in your sauce or cooking it with whatever you are making. There are many delicious ways to use garlic. If you are one of those rare people that don’t like garlic, you can also buy odor free supplements.
8.) Drink Plenty of Water and Don’t “Dry Out.” Keep hydrated. If you are in a dry heated environment, you are losing more moisture than normal and you need to drink extra water. If your nasal passages are dry, you are more susceptible to germs invading because your mucus membranes are not working to their full potential. Drinking water, using a humidifier, and as a quick fix, using saline nasal spray, will help. Don’t let your skin dry out either. Water helps circulate nutrients and flush out toxins.
9.) Wash Your Hands and Don’t Touch Your Face. Most germs are passed via direct contact. For example: Someone coughs into their hand, opens the door, then you touch the same door handle, then rub your eye. Bam! Enter the germs. Eyes and nasal passages are the most common entry places for germs.
10.) Avoid Crowded Enclosed Places, If Possible. A la subways, elevators, airplanes, etc. This may not be possible, but if you can, make a concerted effort to avoid these places during flu season. Besides the obvious risk of close contact, you also have to deal with recirculated air.
11.) Keep Your Stress Levels Down. Stress knocks down your immunities. Eliminate the stress that you have control over to eliminate. From there, you just need to deal with the remaining stress. Relax. Go for a walk or some other form of exercise. Breathe. Stretch. Plan ahead. Don’t worry about things that you have no control over. ‘Cause guess what? If you get sick, that’s even MORE stress, and you don’t need that.
Flu Season. Holiday Season… one and the same?
No, I’m not “Bah Humbugging,” but I started thinking about everything that changes in the Fall: school starts, the weather gets cooler, the days get shorter, and we start a three month season of holidays that involves eating too much sugar, traveling, being in close quarters with people and recirculated dry air, and stress (shopping malls, airports, dealing with family, missing family, financial worries). Do you think it is coincidence that flu season coincides with our holiday season?