How To Build A Strong Immune System
Everybody needs a strong immune system. You can’t ward off seasonal illnesses, protect yourself against pandemics and outbreaks, or live long without one. Winter, the time of the year when many people become more prone to colds, coughs, fever, flu, and other related infections, will be kicking off next month. It’s better to be ready than be sorry. Condition your immune system to be in fighting form while the winds aren’t harshly blowing yet.
There are two things that you need to do to effectively build your defenses against infections: nourish your body with essential micronutrients and antioxidants, and avoid creating an internal environment that would be hospitable to pathogenic microorganisms.
Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants, such as fresh and organic raw plant foods. Clean raw foods properly by soaking them in pure water mixed food-grade hydrogen peroxide.
Inflammatory foods such as allergenic and chemical-laden foods impair immune system function by weakening, poisoning, and overworking the immune cells. Such foods create an acidic, low-oxygen environment, which enables pathogens to survive and thrive. Limit or completely avoid the following foods that encourage the growth of disease-causing microorganisms:
- Refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners
- Mucus-forming foods such as dairy and other animal sources of protein
- Toxic foods such as those containing artificial ingredients, preservatives, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, MSG, GMOs, food color, oxidized fats, trans fat, and other chemicals flagged by the Environmental Working Group as immunosuppressive and neurotoxic
- Overcooked foods, as these contain toxins that burden the immune system
Ditch the alcohol and nicotine. Smoking and excessive drinking are toxic not just to the immune system but to all other organ systems as well.
Take some helpful supplements. Start taking the following, if you aren’t yet:
- A potent, high-quality multivitamin derived from whole food sources, such as MegaFood or Brand New Day.
- Elderberry, which may help prevent colds, coughs, flu, bronchitis, and bacterial and viral infections. It also has antioxidant and nutritive properties that can protect and restore health to immune cells.
- Multi-strain probiotics. Beneficial bacteria function as the body’s second immune system. They help prevent dysbioisis and yeast overgrowth. Probiotics are heat-sensitive and should be refrigerated to protect the quality of the strains.
- Medicinal mushrooms, a special group of mushrooms known to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties. Host Defense MyCommunity Extract is a great brand to try, containing a unique blend of 17 medicinal mushrooms.
- Garlic, an age-old natural remedy against colds and flus. Black plague thieves knew that the pungent bulb would help them survive high-risk looting from infected corpses long before research validated that garlic does contain antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal substances.
Stock the medicine cabinet with the following supplements, which can help ease and treat several types of infections:
- Oregano, a super spice that belongs to the top 10 foods with the highest ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) scores due to its abundant antioxidant content. It acts as a natural food preservative due to its ability to inhibit bacterial growth. An oregano oil supplement worth checking out is the one from North American Herb & Spice.
- Vitamin C, the antioxidant vitamin that is well-known for its antiviral and immune-boosting benefits, most especially in the prevention and treatment of colds.[viii] A good vitamin C supplement should be wholefood-based. Acerola cherries, camu-camu, citrus fruits, and superberry powders/supplements contain enough bioactive vitamin C, along with bioflavonoids and other phytonutrients that enhance vitamin C’s efficacy.
- Echinacea, a popular North American herb that has been traditionally used for centuries to alleviate cold and flu symptoms. One analytical and comparative study concluded that Echinacea could help prevent and shorten the duration of the common cold.
- Astragalus, an adaptogenic herb that may help prevent colds, flu, and upper respiratory tract infections. Research suggests that astragalus may also help protect the liver, regulate blood sugar, and lower cholesterol levels.
- Consult your doctor before taking any supplement if you’re on medication, as some supplements can affect the efficacy of certain drugs.
Lower your risk of contracting infections by staying home most of the time. Go out of the house only if you really need to. Limit your exposure to bacteria, viruses, and fungi by wearing a mask and a pair of gloves whenever you go out.
Wash your hands with an all-natural antibacterial soap. Look for ingredients like tea tree, lavender, and lemongrass essential oil. Moisturize your skin with coconut oil or aloe vera gel. These natural antimicrobials build a protective barrier on your skin.
Stay hydrated. Water is essential in the transport and absorption of nutrients. The body won’t be able to detoxify itself sufficiently in a dehydrated state. Boost hydration further by adding alkalizing and ionized mineral drops to your water.
Exercise. It increases your body’s oxygen levels, improves the body’s excretory functions (and thus helping with detoxification), and mobilizes antibodies and WBCs to carry out their search and destroy missions more efficiently.
Lastly be a responsible and knowledgeable human being. Seek medical help if you start experiencing symptoms such as joint, muscle, and stomach pain; high fever; sore throat; weakness; loss of appetite; and headaches. Consult a qualified health practitioner to get proper treatment