Many of us who are tired of being subject to the season’s worst viruses may turn to our local pharmacy when we need relief. But more people than ever are starting to wonder whether there is a better way to prevent these seasonal assaults.
Our immune system is what protects our bodies from the onslaught of bacteria and viruses that can cause sickness and disease. But many say that pharmaceuticals don’t do our immune systems any favors, and that we should be turning to natural remedies.
Foods That Boost the Immune System
Protein serves to keep cell production growth at optimum speed. The better the cell production, the stronger our immune systems. Protein also helps to boost energy levels and prevents lean muscle mass from being lost. Experts suggest getting protein from organic meat and poultry sources, as well as from fish having high Omega-3 content, such as tuna and mackerel.
Whole grains help to keep the immune system healthy by cleaning toxins from the colon that can cause infection. But many people confuse whole grains with flour, which is made from them. The best things to consume are what are known as intact whole grains, which include barley and quinoa.
Vegetables contain the most concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients which protect not only the immune system, but the entire body from disease. Vegetables that are dark green and leafy, such as collard greens and spinach, as well as yellow and orange vegetables will give the body the disease-fighting nutrients it needs. Fruit does the same thing, although experts warn against ingesting large quantities, as fruits contain sugar, which works against the immune system.
Other Nutrients That Benefit the Body
Zinc is one nutrient that has been getting a lot of buzz as a cold and flu fighter. This is because it interferes with viruses, blocking their way to our cells. But it should be noted here that blockage can still mean that viruses can still get part way through. While there may be no one-and-only cold or flu cure, eating foods which contain zinc like wheat germ and oysters can help boost your immune system.
One reason why cold and flu season may be so hard on so many of us is because it occurs at a time of year when we’re drawing water out of the air with heat. Water is likely one of the most important things a body can use to fight off infection. The liver and kidneys, our body’s waste treatment systems need plenty of water in order to perform efficiently. Did you know dehydration is the primary cause for kidney stones? See home remedies for kidney stones here. And when the body is well-hydrated, everything performs better. So in addition to drinking plenty of water during cold and flu season, getting much-needed moisture with a humidifier may also be a big help.
Simple Things We Can Do For Better Immunity
Stress is a number one cause of many of the diseases and illnesses our bodies struggle with. That’s because it causes a body to react the same as if it were being threatened in a physical manner. Keeping ourselves in a state of constant stress means our bodies, and ultimately our immune systems, get no time to rest and replenish, leaving us wide open to infection. A big component of stress reduction is sleep. Sleep is essential for the rebuilding and repairing of all of the body’s systems. Experts recommend getting between seven and eight hours of sleep per night.
Exercise can also help to boost our immunity. Even moderate exercise was shown to boost the immune system. Physical activity better equips the immune system to fight infection as well as helps to circulate immune cells throughout the body. But watching the intensity and length of exercise sessions is important, as too intense and too-long workouts can actually cause stress.
Although the jury is still out about why it works, massage can help improve overall health as well. Not only does it help the body to reduce stress, but it also increases circulation, which helps every process to work more efficiently.
Although changing what we eat and how we handle the difficulties in our lives may not be easy, finding encouragement from others who are making the same changes can certainly help us to maintain immune systems that will take us through many cold and flu seasons.
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Guest author: Ruth Suelemente writes on a variety of topics, but is especially passionate about health and wellness. She helps consumers research and review the best diet plans available in the marketplace to pick the best one for their lifestyle. You can also find Ruth on Google.