Your immune system works hard to protect you from germs, viruses, and chronic illness. It could use your help. Here are some ways to provide your immune system with a well deserved boost and be healthy during this winter season.
1. Get adequate sleep.
You’re more likely to catch a cold or other infection when you’re not getting enough sleep as the following lab experiment demonstrates: When students at the University of Chicago were limited to only 4 hours of sleep a night for 6 nights and then given a flu vaccine, their immune systems made only half the normal number of antibodies.
Lack of sleep can also lead to higher levels of a stress hormone and may also lead to more inflammation in your body.
2. Exercise regularly.
Even a daily 30-minute walk can help your immune system fight infection better. Exercise can also boost your body's feel-good chemicals (endorphins) and help you sleep better. Both of which improve your immune system.
3. Eat a healthy diet.
Consumption of sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria which can last for at least a few hours. Instead, eat more brightly colored fruits and vegetables including berries, citrus fruits, apples, red grapes, kale onions, spinach, garlic, sweet potatoes and carrots. These are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc. Consider making a green smoothie drink. A good one is found on GreenSmoothieGirl.com1.
Some botanicals have shown historically to provide immune boosting properties. Echinacea for example, encourages white blood cells and lymphocytes to attack invading organisms, thus increasing the number and activity of immune system cells. Elderberry (Sambucus) is high in a type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which can help alleviate bothersome cold/flu symptoms. It also contains a property that stimulates the body's own defenses by producing anti-inflammatory molecules called cytokines.
A study2 published in the Journal of International Medical Research shows that the majority of flu patients given Elderberry (Sambucus) were completely symptom-free after just two days.
4. Relax, smile and laugh.
Stress can make you more vulnerable to illness. Chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system. Do something you enjoy and that is relaxing. Click here for some relaxing tips.
Laughing is good for you. It curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection.
Having strong relationships and a good social network is healthy. Studies show that people who feel connected to family and friends – whether it’s a few close friends or a large group – have stronger immunity than those who feel alone.
Incorporating these suggestions can help boost your immune system and prepare you for a healthier wintertime season.
Related Products: NutriRain’s Defense Immune contains fresh echinacea, elderberry, astragalus, eleuthero, yarrow and goldenseal in a convenient, fast acting, extract spray that you can take with you anywhere for immediate use.
2 U.S. National Library of Medicine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15080016