Guest Author - Aimee Wood
The fall season ushers in more cases of colds and flus than the summer months. People aren't outside as much with school starting and the colder weather. Getting sick isn't a forgone conclusion, boost your immunity with these simple tips and never set foot in your doctor's office this winter.
Staying Positive. The shorter days and darkness can cause depression. Depression of the mood can lead to depression of the immune system. Finding happiness and joy everyday is a must. Practicing gratitude at the end of each day leads us into a calm night and restful sleep.
Practice Healthy Sleeping Habits. Go to bed each night at the same time and try not to stay up too late. Getting to bed by 10pm is recommended. Turn off all electronics and keep your room like a cave, very dark.
Exercise. Regular exercise, at least 30 minutes daily has been shown to sharpen the immune system. Movement moves the lymphatic system to clean out the germs.
Eat Healthy. Avoid processed foods. Eat mostly fruits and vegetables. To support your liver, make sure to consume cruciferous veggies such as kale, broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage. Japanese mushrooms are full of antioxidants. Berries and black currants contain anthocyanosides, which contains huge amounts of vitamin C. Fermented vegetables have probiotics which strengthen the immune system. Miso, pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir are some examples of fermented foods. If you eat meat, be sure to pick organic grass-fed beef or free-range chickens. These animals are higher in vitamins and are not given antibiotics. Keep the sugar intake low as it wrecks havoc on the immune system.
Consider these supplements. Always consult your healthcare practitioner, but these herbs and supplements have been known to support the immune system. Take ginger to cleanse the lymphatic system and lungs. Ginger tea, fresh ginger root, or capsules can be helpful. Sage eases coughs and acts as an expectorant. Garlic is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. Consuming fresh garlic each day is very beneficial. Ginseng and eleuthero are tonic herbs that can be taken over the course of several months and can help ward off viruses that harm the upper respiratory system. Echinacea is best taken frequently when a cold starts. It has been shown to stimulate the production of immune cells. Elderberry is a common syrup rich in compounds which boost the immune system. It can be taken preventatively or when in the midst of an illness. And, astragalus root has been shown to boost the immune system. It is common to add some of the root to veggie broths, and it is found in capsule form.
Following these five tips can do wonders to bolster your immune system this winter. Keep it natural and simple by remaining positive, sleeping, exercising, eating well, and taking supplements. Enjoy a happy and healthy winter!