Strengthen Your Immune System This Rainy Season
August 17, 2017
The best way to build up against infections is through natural remedies that boost the immune system and help your body cleanse toxins. Strengthen your immune system. And if you already have the cold and flu, a good resistance level can prevent it from worsening.
Taking probiotics—foods or supplements containing bacteria that are good for your health—that include Lactobacillus, can reduce the risk of both respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. And people taking probiotics were 42% less likely to get a cold, according to a 2011 meta-analysis of 10 studies.
This pungent root is a powerful antihistamine and decongestant that delivers a one-two punch against cold symptoms. Add it to stir-fried dishes or boil it to make a cup of Turmeric tea with some added lemon and honey for a pleasant and healing hot drink.
Eat More Garlic
Garlic is a powerful antioxidant with antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. Allicin, a substance in crushed garlic, helps fight viruses. In a British study, volunteers who took a daily 180 mg allicin supplement caught 63% fewer colds over 12. It’s also a natural decongestant! The sky really is the limit with this flavorful ingredient, and you can work it into pretty much any meal.
Cut Back on Sweets
Refined sugar dramatically decreases immune function. Many scientists and nutritionists consider added sugar in any form to be a drug because of its negative impact on the human body. After people in a study at Loma Linda University consumed six tablespoons of sugar, their infection-fighting white blood cells lost the ability to fend off bacteria and viruses. Your immune system stays depressed for several hours after you eat or drink sugar.
Eat More Fruits
People who ate three or more servings daily had 25% fewer days with respiratory symptoms during cold-and-flu season than those who ate one or fewer. The vitamin C content may provide part of the punch, but fruit also contains polyphenols, which have antiviral properties.
Drink Enough Water
If you come down with a virus, your doctor may tell you to drink plenty of fluids to reduce your symptoms. Your mucous membranes and the immune cells in their secretions defend against cold viruses, and they can’t work as well if you’re dehydrated. Fluids not only transport nutrients to the illness site, but also take toxins away for disposal.
People who exercise five or more days a week spend 43% fewer days with upper-respiratory infections, make sure to exercise to stay healthy. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes daily. It boosts blood flow so that the immune cells circulate throughout the body.
Get Some Sun
Spending some time in natural light is one of the key ways our bodies manufacture vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a role in helping our immune systems produce antibodies; low levels of vitamin D, on the other hand, have been correlated with a higher risk of respiratory infection. A number of recent medical trials have demonstrated that individuals with the lowest levels of vitamin D had the highest rates of serious illness and infections.
Stress, especially when chronic and long-term, wreaks havoc on the immune system. Chronic stress increases the release of cortisol, which increases inflammation, and can lead to an overactive immune system, which can worsen allergies and cause autoimmune diseases.
Meditation, even for 10 minutes a day, reduces stress and can literally rewire your brain for a more optimistic outlook on life. Recent studies suggest that meditation can also increase the amount of infection-fighting antibodies while stimulating the region of the brain associated with immunity.
Get Enough Sleep
Your immune system needs rest to keep you healthy. Without enough sleep, the body activates the same mechanisms as when under stress. This depresses the immune system, opening the door to colds, upper-respiratory infections, and other nagging ills. Also consider your caffeine intake, and don’t let it keep you from getting a good night’s sleep.
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