Feeling the winter blues? Tired of catching colds that go around? Rather than taking something to simply cover up the symptoms, how about some advice on avoiding them in the first place? The best treatment is often prevention. Here we show you how to boost your immune system through natural means like exercise, nutrition and more, so you can get through winter unscathed.
Look To Nature
The great thing about herbs is that they improve your immune system, rather than attack a bug. Naturopathy focuses on the natural herbs nature has to offer.
A Positive Outlook
A positive outlook on life can help ward off colds, flu and infections. People with an optimistic outlook on life tend to have higher levels of immune-system weaponry (T-cells and natural killer cells) than pessimistic people. You may not be able to change your situation at a certain moment, but you can change your attitude.
Foods and Fluids
If your body is lacking in certain nutrients, your immune system will certainly suffer. So eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, which contain antioxidants.
Immune-boosting properties from carotenoids are found in yellow and orange fruit and vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, oranges and apricots as well as green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli.
Increase the garlic and onion in your meals. Eat raw, freshly-crushed garlic – it has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It is a natural immune booster.
Vitamin C found in citrus fruits and berries may help improve resistance to infection.
Include plenty of zinc and iron, found in lean red meat, poultry, seafood, wholegrains and nuts, in your diet. They’re not antioxidants, but they are also thought to keep the immune system healthy.
Drink plenty of water and/or herbal teas; eliminate caffeine-containing fluids like coffee and soft drinks.
Avoid sugar – as it can decrease the immune system’s activity.
Curb your stress levels – Some Stress is Good
People tend to talk about stress as if it’s all bad. It’s not.
Some stress is good for you. Public speakers, for example have to get their stress response to a certain optimal level so that they can perform in front of an audience. Otherwise, it may come across as lethargic and listless.
However, while some stress is good, too much is not. If you’re too stressed, your performance can diminish. The objective should be not to get rid of stress completely because you can’t get rid of stress — stress is life, life is stress. Rather, you need to be able to use your stress response optimally.”
The key is to learn to move yourself to that optimal peak point so that you’re not underperforming but you’re also not so stressed that you’re unable to perform. The challenge is knowing our limits – how much we’re actually able to handle.
The goal should be to try to learn to control your stress to make it work for you. Don’t just think of getting rid of your stress; think of turning it to your advantage.
Let Your Emotions Out
Expressing your emotions can be good for your health. Repressing emotions after a traumatic event can lower the function of the immune system compared to those who share their feelings.
Receiving a therapeutic massage can boost the immune system and promote lymph flow. It can aid in removing toxins, lead to less anxiety and improve the function of the immune system.
Regular exercise supports general health and immune function. It promotes healthy blood circulation and drives the lymphatic system.
While professional athletes and those who train intensely have weakened immune systems, studies show that moderate exercise strengthens the immune system.
People who exercise regularly have about 25 percent fewer colds than those who seldom or never exercised.
We need adequate rest to allow the body to repair itself.
Rest and Relaxation
A good night’s sleep can also significantly boost the immune system. There are potent immune enhancing compounds released during sleep and immune functions are increased significantly by an adequate night’s rest.
Doing things you enjoy helps to decrease stress levels, especially if we are inspired to do something, rather than doing things because we have to.
A well-rested person’s immune system may respond more strongly that of a sleep-deprived person’s.
Your body requires more sleep during the winter months – so get to bed a bit earlier!
Chiropractic Maintenance Care
A regular visit to the chiropractor may greatly enhance your body’s immune system in combination with the abovementioned topics. By aligning your spine, the nervous system (which also affects the immune system) can function optimally.