Monday, November 8, 2010

10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

1: Drink your lemons. Lemon is the ideal food for restoring acid-alkali balance. Drink freshly squeezed lemon juice in water, or add salad dressings (in place of vinegar), baking or cooking, helps maintain the body's internal "climate" at a pH which supports healthy bacteria instead of the viruses and harmful bacteria which thrive in more acidic environments. Apple cider vinegar is an alternative

2: Give your body an herbal boost. Hundreds of herbal supplements and tinctures exist to give the immune system additional support during the winter. Essential oils, fresh herbs and whole food remedies are always preferable over packaged herbs or supplements, since they have a much higher potency and frequency and your body absorbs more of their value.

3: Get a full night's sleep. Everybody's different. Whatever your personal sleep requirement is, get it! Sleep has been linked to balanced hormone levels, keeping weight down, clear thinking and reasoning, improved mood, and vibrant, healthy skin.

4: Eat plenty of protein. Protein is a building block for a healthy body, mind, and immune system. Diets that are low in protein tend to be high in carbs which convert readily to glucose, spiking blood sugar and stressing the pancreas and the immune system.

5: Drink plenty of water. You should be drinking, in daily ounces, half your body weight in pounds. (i.e. Body weight in pounds, divided by 2 = number of ounces of water per day.)

6: Stop drinking coffee. Caffeine robs your body of minerals and vitamins, and it dehydrates you. A mineral supplement helps to offset caffeine's damage.

7: If you do only one thing to boost your immune system, eliminate white sugar. You will see noticeable results in your energy levels, weight distribution, immunity and your ability to think clearly. Many holistic nutritionists consider sugar a drug for its impact on the human body; some practitioners are known to prioritize eliminating sugar from the diet over recommending that people quit smoking. Healthier sugars such as agave and stevia do exist, but avoid artificial sweeteners; they are even worse than cane sugar.

8: Stock up on raw fruits and vegetables for their antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes. Dark-colored produce (berries, kale, and broccoli) tends to be higher in flavonoids, polyphenols and other antioxidants.

9: Spend some time out in the cold. Exercise can make a noticeable difference to your health and happiness by releasing endorphins. Most of us spend 90% of our lives indoors, inhaling dubiously filtered air and other people's germs, so take every opportunity to get outside. Time spent outdoors in the cold also stimulates the thyroid gland.

10: Nurture yourself. Make sure you take time to yourself, spend some time with friends, and indulge yourself in a massage, a hot bath, or an energy work session when you want one. Our bodies respond to our emotions - if you're feeling harassed and anxious, it can manifest in a sore throat or a cold. Create a space within yourself and your living environment for harmony, self-love and joy (giving thanks, prayer and blessing the abundance in your life and of the world around you helps). Pay attention to warning signs of sore throat or exhaustion so you can keep them from getting worse. Take a "mental health day" every few months to make sure your emotional needs are met. When you're happy, you're far less likely to get sick.


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