Maintaining a hardy immune system can be a challenge in today’s world, especially during cold and flu season. With hectic schedules, eating on the run, constant and unavoidable exposure to toxins, and the stresses of everyday life, it’s no wonder so many of us constantly feel run down and vulnerable to catching every cold or flu that goes around. As we age, it becomes even more critical that we keep our immune system strong and healthy.
The world around us is nearing a complete panic as alarming numbers are mounting of those who are infected with one virus or another. Can anything be done to protect ourselves from falling victim to these “superbugs”? The good news is, our immune system is wonderfully effective when it’s working the way it was designed to, but it often needs a little boost to keep it functioning optimally.
There is a lot that can be done by each of us to prevent further spread of any communicable disease. Here are a few natural tips for us to practice as we weather the storm clouds of germs around us.
• Frequent old-fashioned handwashing – grab a bar of soap and lather up! Handwashing continues to be the most effective way of washing germs down the sink and away from hands that touch others. Hand sanitizer is NOT a replacement for handwashing and is not proven to protect the spread of some of the more serious viruses.
• Drink plenty of clean, filtered water – water provides our body a flushing mechanism and can dilute and wash away toxins that have built up in our bodies.
• Increase Vitamin D3 intake – by optimizing our Vitamin D levels during the winter months, when sunshine is not as plentiful, will help to provide a sort of “armor” around us and shield our immune system from battle. Vitamin D levels range from 30-100. Aim to keep levels between 80-90 for best protection and always add Vitamin K2 to help drive calcium away from the bloodstream and back into bones and teeth where it belongs. Doses of K2/D3 can range from 5,000 IU to 15 or 20,000 IU to reach this desired level.
• Limit sugar intake – Sugar decreases our immune system’s ability to function almost immediately by inhibiting the activity of important immune cells. The results of one study showed that the amount of sugar found in two sweetened beverages lowers immune response by 50% for up to five hours!
• Go to bed earlier – Aim to get at least 6-8 hours of restorative sleep each day. During the day, the stress hormone cortisol circulates at high levels in the body, suppressing our immune function. At night, cortisol levels drop, triggering the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which increases immune function.
• When sick, stay home – prevent the spread to your family, friends and co-workers by staying home to get the necessary rest we need to recover. Heed the warnings to self-quarantine or limit social interaction.
• Get moderate exercise daily – Exercise increases circulation, which promotes the elimination of toxins and helps to move immune cells throughout our bloodstream more quickly. It can also help reduce stress, which is important in optimizing our immune system’s ability to fight off infection.
• Helpful virus fighting supplements- There are several excellent supplements that can be taken preventatively to ward off viruses from making their home in our throats, sinuses or chest. Whole-food concentrates, Probiotics, Vitamin C, Beta-glucan, Herbal preparations, and homeopathic remedies are at our disposal. Some of my favorites include: Juice Plus Orchard, Garden and Vineyard Blend, ProbioMax Daily DF and Xcellent C from Xymogen, Viracid and Wholemune, High dose Vitamin D3 pack from Ortho Molecular, Oscillococcinum flu remedy from Bioron, and Asea Redox- Signaling drink.
• Fortify with a Natural Defense IV Drip – LiquiVida IV Nutrition is a perfect way to either prevent or recover from a cold, flu or virus. Call and schedule an IV drip in our office whenever you feel under the weather or are about to experience air travel or large crowds.
• Wear a mask – If we are personally sick or know someone is sick in our presence, we can protect ourselves and others by wearing a breathable mask. Coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose are all ways that virus is spread. Coughing into a sleeve or tissue it preferred over coughing into a hand. Disposing of old used tissues is imperative as virus can live in the trash can for months.
• Stay focused on the positive – studies show that happy people are healthier people. Laughter, comic relief, joyful interactions and loving hugs are all ways to bolster our happiness and spread the vibration of wellness. Take supplements with plenty of water, stay away from sugar, and get some rest! We can all work together to make our homes and our communities healthier places to live.