Colds and flus don't get us because of germs...
This time of year we eat more sugar (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day) and we are more stressed. Also, we aren't outside getting our hormone D3 (sunshine). To top things off, it's not as hot outside so we usually cut back on our water intake.
Washing hands is great but you can wash your hands all day long yet if you are a weak "host", colds and flus are going to magically show up with you and not with someone who has prevented them from the inside out.
Here are some steps for some Natural ways to boost immunity.
1) Cut back on the sugar intake and if you do start to feel something coming on, make sure you have no sugar and no dairy at all. Starting right about now, many of us are grazing on candy from October until the end of February and we don't even realize it. It's not bad to have "some" but the problem is that many of us aren't doing the other steps listed below and so having extra sugar has a **huge** effect on our immune system. I notice this with kids - especially after high sugar events.
2) Drink water! It may not be hot outside but drink just as much water as you were drinking over the summer. Shoot for half your body weight in ounces of water. If you start to feel sick- drink MORE. I use 3 L as a general rule for most people.
3) SLEEP. SLEEP. SLEEP. 7-8 hours a night.
4) Add a good probiotic (NOT YOGURT. Activia? NO WAY!! Activia is actually no longer allowed to advertise with their false claims that it promotes a healthy intestine. Why? Because the good bacteria found in yogurt only are effective while they are passing through the intestinal track. After that nothing, and perhaps most important is the fact that dairy is inflammatory to the lining of the intestine which contradicts the whole point of adding a probiotic to our diet. (70% of our immune system lives there!) Most yogurts are FULL of sugar and that defeats the purpose as well. Food source probiotics and kombucha are a great choice. Both are easy and affordable to make.
5) Add a good D3. Nearly all of us (especially anyone with darker skin) are extremely deficient in this "vitamin". Some pediatricians and family doctors will caution you about vitamin D because it is fat soluble and you can get too much they say… If you feel better, get blood work done first but any expert in the field who knows nutrition will tell you that you are so deficient it would take a long long time for you to ever come up to the recommended level or surpass that. Most of us, especially in Alberta, could use Vitamin D.
6) Eat your veggies. Eat fruit. (although this is natural sugar it's fine. Avoid fruit juices) Eat the fruit. Seriously just eat your veggies. You don't need more bread and you don't need more starch and you don't need more meat. What you need is more plants! 9-11 servings is recommended as a minimum. Add some olive oil and spices to make them taste amazing. Be open minded to try new veggies.
7) Get moving. Do something....walk, jump rope, dance, yoga, just MOVE. Besides all the obvious health benefits of this, it's amazing for immune function and it will also help to lower cortisol levels (this hormone is actually released when we are stressed even when it is "happy" stress… It does bad things to us but the way it shows up is abdominal fat) and exercise counteracts other effects of "good stress" during the holiday season. Walking is amazing for your stress levels.
8) Choose to be happy. Pray. Meditate. Start a gratitude journal. Breathe deeply several times a day....belly breathing.
These natural methods will definitely boost immune function for the whole family. I am sure you want to be fit, healthy and energetic through this whole winter. Start with one or 2 of the steps and go from there. Let me know how you feel.