There seems to be a lot of viruses and flu’s around this winter, however this does not mean you will succumb.
Having a strong Immune system means that you can laugh in the face of a virus and send it on it’s way. How can you achieve this? Well the following suggestions may help you stay on top of the bugs.
If however, you are already ill, they may help shorten the duration of your illness.
Ensure you get a good night’s sleep. This may seem fairly obvious but your cells rejuvenate during the night. Lack of sleep depresses the immune system and the production of infection fighting antibodies and anti-inflammatory agents. This increases the likelihood of succumbing to illness, so try to avoid those late nights, especially on a consistent basis.
Putting YOU first. This may seem like a strange strategy to prevent the flu but if you listen to your own needs and those of your body, you will remain a lot healthier. If you’re tired, rest! Don’t just do one more thing because your boss, partner or child has asked you. Listen to what you really want and how you feel. Consider your own needs before those of everyone else.
Vitamin C. Certain cells in the body that fight infection need Vitamin C to function. It certainly is necessary for the healthy function of the immune system and also facilitates the absorption of Iron, strengthening the body’s resistance to infection. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli.
Vitamin D. This important vitamin has been found to be deficient in much of the population due to diet, insufficient exercise and not enough sunshine. A lack of Vitamin D can increase your susceptibility to infection and can lead to increased autoimmunity. It is known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ because it is produced in our skin when it is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D2 comes from fortified foods, plant foods, and supplements. Vitamin D3 is found in fortified foods, fatty fish, cod liver oil, eggs, liver, supplements and can be made internally when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.
Zinc. This mineral is very important for your body to help fight infection, strengthen your immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and assists in the growth of healthy cells. Many people have been found to have a mild zinc deficiency due to poor diet, mineral-deficient soils and the effects of drugs. Zinc can be found in oysters, meat, poultry, nuts and seeds and unsweetened chocolate e.g. cacao.
Probiotics. These are good bacteria that help in the digestion of nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon. They also support your immune system because they have a direct affect on your gut. Remember, 70-80% of your immune system lies in your gut. Leaky gut, a condition whereby the gut is damaged and allows through previously filtered proteins, is a major cause of various conditions. These include food sensitivities, autoimmune disease and a weakened immune system. Probiotic foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, yogurt, apple cider vinegar and miso.
Herbs and plants such as Astragalus root, ginger, echinacea, elderberry, garlic, ginseng and oregano all stimulate the immune system, treat the symptoms of flu’s and colds, may be anti-microbial and reduce inflammation.
Exercise. There are so many benefits to regular exercise but one main one is that it reduces stress. As stress increase inflammation in your body, reducing the stress response may help protect you against viruses. Exercise also increases circulation and causes changes in white blood cells that may boost your immune response.
Essential oils. These are nature’s wonders in fighting infection. Many of them are anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal so are an important part of your immune boosting strategies. The best ones to fight infection are Clove, Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Myrrh, Oregano, Peppermint and Tea Tree oil. Essential oils can be inhaled via a diffuser, massaged into the skin with a carrier oil or added to a warming bath. If I have a sore throat, I gargle with some warm water with a one or two drops of Tea-tree oil, making sure I don’t swallow the oil.
Reflexology. This is a powerful therapy for preventing infections, or if they have occurred, shortening their duration. Reflexology strengthens the immune system, increases circulation, reduces stress and help removes toxins from the body. I have seen clients who after regular treatments, have less colds, flu’s, infections or viruses.
Below you will find a Facial chart of Reflexology points that you might find helpful if you do get a virus this winter. These will help to boost your immune system and fight a sore throat if you have one. You can work these points up to three times a day. Click on the chart to see it magnified.
Let me know how you go and please comment below if you have any questions.
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References: www.draxe.com/probiotic-foods, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia, www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov, www.organicfacts.net, www.articles.mercola.com, www.medicinenet.com/vitamin-d-deficiency, www.medlineplus.gov, www.draxe.com/essential-oils-guide, www.draxe.com/how-to-boost-your-immune-system, Multireflexology Dien Chan by Patrick Aguilar & Anna Rosa.
Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.