How to Boost Your Immune System Against Flu Epidemic
With the A(H1N1) pandemic, what can be done to avoid getting sick? Actually, there is a lot that can be done! Read on and learn how to stay well.
The World Health Organization has recently determined that the A(H1N1) is capable of becoming the next world-wide deadly disease, or pandemic. The media have been giving this virus a lot of attention lately and many people are alarmed at the possibility of becoming infected.
Surgical Masks and Vaccines
News coverage has plastered newspapers, the Internet and television with photos of citizens wearing surgical masks to avoid breathing in contaminated air. Many people are considering being vaccinated against the virus just as soon as a vaccine becomes available.
Is Flu Vaccine a Safe Option?
While surgical masks may help to prevent the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses, there is a lot of debate about the efficacy and safety of flu vaccines. One proponent of the natural prevention of disease, Zoltan Rona in Natural Alternatives to Vaccination (Alive Books; 2000) says, “Outbreaks of the flu still occur despite widespread use of the recommended flu vaccine.” So what is a person to do?
What to Do?
There are several things that one can do to strengthen the immune system against infection from the swine flu, bird flu, or common cold, for that matter. Here are a few tips for fortifying the body’s defenses against disease.
* Drink Plenty of Water
This is such a simple strategy that it is often overlooked. In fact, adequate hydration is probably the most important thing a person can do to ward off illness and bolster immunity. The body’s cells must have adequate hydration in order to function optimally and to quickly mobilize fighter cells against enemy invaders. The average person needs to drink 8 - 10 glasses of pure water daily, much more when exercising. Unfortunately, most people are chronically dehydrated and ill-equipped to fight infections of any kind.
Getting plenty of exercise, especially in fresh outdoor air, strengthens the entire body, improving respiratory and cardiac function. Exercise is also a great stress reducer.
* Control Stress
Stress is an immune system suppressor. According to Brendan Brezier, author of The Thrive Diet (Da Capo Press, 2007), “The severity by which the immune system is suppressed is directly linked to the duration and intensity of the stress.” Pray, go for a walk, find a sympathetic listening ear, have a soak in a hot bath, breathe deeply. Find a way to unwind because stress is toxic to the body and hurts the immune system.
* Choose Foods for Optimal Nutrition
A diet of processed foods is not what the body demands for a strong immune system. Choose nutrient-dense, colourful, whole foods for immune system vitality. Full of anti-oxidants, enzymes, and vital nutrients, raw foods are a body’s best fuel source and immune system enhancer.
Some foods high in anti-oxidants: garlic, darkly coloured berries, broccoli sprouts and all cruciferous vegetables, dates, raisins. Choose organic fruits and vegetables to avoid adding to the burden of toxic chemicals the immune system is already dealing with from foods and the environment.
* Adequate Rest
A well-rested body is a strong body. Inadequate rest weakens a person’s immune system over time.
* Improve Elimination
Ensure good elimination by eating fibre-rich whole foods. The body must get rid of toxins and does this through bowel and kidney elimination, sweating, and exhalation. Improve the function of these exit routes for adequate elimination. Some Examples of Fibre-rich foods are: Cereals, Broccoli, Whole-meal bread, Nuts, Fruits, etc. Dark colored vegetables like broccoli, kai lan, and tomatoes are some examples too.
* Add Supplements
According to Dr. Mercola in a recent article (Critical Alert: The Swine Flu Pandemic – Fact or Fiction?), "Optimizing your vitamin D levels is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of all kinds."
Other supplements that strengthen the immune system: flax seed oil, probiotics, vitamins B (6, 12, and folic acid), C, E, and CoEnzyme Q10.
Improving immune system function is really the best defense against illness of any kind. Putting these tips into practice is health insurance against disease.
* Drink your LEMONS.
Lemon is the ideal food for restoring acid-alkali balance. Drinking freshly squeezed lemon juice in water, or adding it to tea, salad dressings (in place of vinegar), baking or cooking, helps maintain the body's internal "climate" at a pH which supports healthy bacteria instead of the viruses and harmful bacteria which thrive in more acidic environments. Apple cider vinegar is another great way to improve your body's alkalinity, but the taste of lemons is much more pleasant!
* STOP drinking COFFEE!
Contrary to recent marketing as a source of antioxidants, chocolate and coffee are two of the worst things you can do for your immune system and your health. Caffeine robs your body of minerals and vitamins, and it dehydrates you. If you drink coffee, make sure you add an additional two glasses to your water intake per cup of coffee. A mineral supplement helps to offset caffeine's damage, too.
* LESS SUGAR!!
Worse yet is the impact of refined white sugar. If you do only one thing to boost your immune system, eliminating sugar will do the trick. You will see noticeable results in your energy levels, weight distribution, immunity and your ability to think clearly when you break the cravings and stop eating refined sugar. Many holistic nutritionists consider sugar a drug for its impact on the human body; I have known practitioners to prioritize eliminating sugar from the diet over recommending that people quitting smoking. Healthier sugars such as agave and stevia do exist, but avoid artificial sweeteners; they are more toxic than cane sugar.