The winter months are notorious for heralding the cold and flu season: more viruses are floating around, we spend time with other people who are sick, and there’s a big push for people to get the flu shot (of which I am not a fan). This is why it’s a great time of year to talk about what’s needed to build a healthy immune system.
The flu shot is not your only option to avoid contracting a virus this season. There are some fantastic and very powerful natural and healthy ways to boost your immune system so you don’t have to do any of the things that are pushed on us by the medical and pharmaceutical industry.
Follow these tips to stay really healthy and vibrant during this busy season!
Tip #1: Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands with anti-bacterial soap and water for 10-15 seconds – not using hand sanitizer – is the best thing you can do to prevent getting a cold or the flu.
Along these lines, avoid touching your mouth, eyes or any other place where a virus can enter your system easily before you have washed your hands well.
Even if you already wash your hands frequently, make a point to do it more often, and be sure to wash hard-to-reach places, like below the fingernails, where bacteria thrive.
Tip #2: Take Zinc with Vitamin C
Zinc is a trace mineral found in every tissue of the body and important for cell division. When most people have their Zinc levels tested they find out that they are low. I suggest a combination of Zinc and Vitamin C to keep the body working at an optimum level.
Another way to keep Zinc levels healthy is to add a multi-vitamin to your daily routine. Doctors don’t necessarily endorse vitamins, though they know how important they are (doctors often would rather push a pharmaceutical drug).
Tip #3: Take a Multi-Vitamin
A multi-vitamin is a really great option because even if you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, it can be difficult to get all the nutrients you need. Choose a good multi-vitamin that contains Vitamins C, A and all the B complexes. Add a bit of Magnesium and an Omega-3 supplement as well to give your body a complete boost.
Tip #4: Add Some Good Bacteria
The bacteria in the tummy are very important in order for your immune system to function properly. It’s natural to have good bacteria inhabit the stomach, and in fact, you want the “good” bacteria to outnumber the “bad” bacteria.
Add yogurt to your diet to increase the bacteria in your stomach. I also recommend a drink called Yakult, which contains good bacteria. The drink has live cultures in it, the bits of goodness that your body really likes.
Tip #5: Take in More Fiber
I can’t say enough about fiber! Fiber is so beneficial for the overall health of the immune system that we should all be eating more of it. It’s easy to do: just increase the leafy greens you consume on a day-to-day basis. You’ll get the extra vitamins and minerals from the vegetables and you’ll receive detoxifying benefits as well.
When you eat more fiber, you keep your colon cleansed so dangerous toxins don’t build up and get into your bloodstream.
Tip #6: Clean the Air
Essential oils like Wintergreen, Peppermint or Cedar wood will actually act as an air purifier when you diffuse them into the air, potentially eliminating the bacteria that may be floating in your home (say, from someone who sneezed without covering his or her mouth and nose).
Tip #7: Good a Good Night’s Rest Every Night
Americans in particular tend to underestimate how important it is for the body to get a good night of rest, every single night. Even losing a few hours once a week will affect how your immune system functions.
This season, if you take on these seven tips you will see great improvement of your immune system and very likely avoid contracting any viruses that may be floating around your space!
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Rochel Marie Lawson, RN, AHP, CMS
The Queen of Feeling Fabulous and The Wellness Architect