Worried about getting the flu?
Here are some natural ways to boost your immune system.
Rest, Relax, & Hygiene
Basics to strengthening your immune system includes:
- Obtaining 6-8hrs of sleep
- Minimizing stress
- Practicing good hygiene (wash hands frequently).
Diet & Nutrition:
- Consume whole foods (vegetables and fruits) that are filled with nutrients to support your immune system.
- Incorporate coconut oil into your cooking; it is a great antimicrobial [read my article on coconut oil for more details].
- Stay hydrated with water by drinking at least ½ of your body weight in ounces.
- Add a little zest to your water by adding a slice of lemon/lime (excellent Vitamin C source).
- Avoid sugar: 100g of refined sugar will suppress the immune system for up to 6 hours.
- Tired of spitting out phlegm? Stop consuming dairy products and bananas—these foods will thicken the mucous.
~75% of immune system cells are found in the gastrointestinal system. Therefore, it’s essential to protect your intestinal flora by nourishing your gut with “good” bacteria known as probiotics. Studies have shown the important role Vitamin D has on supporting the immune system. In order for your body to fight infection, like the flu, your blood Vitamin D level needs to be between 50–60 ng/mL. Don’t forget Vitamin C with bioflavinoids and Echinacea—they top the list of immune supporting supplements. Some studies have documented that elderberry can be effective against the H1N1 flu virus (Swine Flu) when dosed properly.
Helpful Tips for the Influenza Vaccination (Flu Shot):
If you decided to get the influenza vaccination, make sure your immune system is healthy and strong. Postpone getting the flu shot if you have any symptoms of cold/flu and wait until you feel better. Taking probiotics and vitamin D at least a week prior to your appointment for the flu shot will help minimize side effects from the influenza vaccine.
Consult with your doctor before taking supplements.