Boost Your Immune System

Posted by on Oct 22, 2014 in Health | 2 comments

 

Man with flu

7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System During Cold/Flu Season

 

1.     Cut Back on Sugar

While this is especially difficult during the holiday season (Halloween candy, pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies…) one of the best things you can do is limit your sugar consumption. Sugar promotes inflammation in the body and leads to suboptimal immune system performance. Get creative this year and look for healthier versions of holiday treats. Think less “processed” ingredients, and more “whole food” ingredients.

2.     Physical Activity

Daily physical activity/exercise has many obvious benefits – it helps regulate blood sugar, promotes healthy weight and fights depression. It also makes for a strong immune system. Don’t fret – marathon training is not necessary. Research shows that even short bouts of exercise stimulate immune-functioning cells. Shoot for 25-30 minutes of physical activity daily.

3.     Get Adequate Sleep

Believe it or not – lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get sufficient amounts of sleep are more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus, such as the common cold or flu. Do yourself a favor and make sleep a priority – your immune system will thank you, and you’ll decrease your chances of catching that dreaded bug.

4.     Reduce Stress

Easier said than done, especially during the holiday season!  Stress suppresses immune function – so discovering ways to find your Zen is crucial for maintaining a strong immune system.  Consider meditation, deep breathing and yoga to help you deal with crazy kids and “well-meaning” mother in laws this holiday season.

5.     Vitamin D

We hear a lot about vitamin D these days, and for good reason. Research is revealing multiple benefits of having sufficient amounts of vitamin D, one of them being a strong and properly functioning immune system. At Prairie Health & Wellness, we recommend having your vitamin D level checked at least once per year.  We then can recommend specific dosing based on your needs in a safe and effective manner.

6.     Vitamin C

Another super vitamin for supporting those immune-fighting cells!  Studies show that by taking vitamin C at the onset of cold or flu symptoms, the number of days you’ll be under the weather may be shortened.

7.     Probiotics – Beneficial Bugs

Another fascinating area of research – did you know that our human cells are outnumbered by bacteria almost 10-to-1…trillion!!!??? We’re starting to learn more about these omnipresent microbes, and while some types of bacteria can certainly make us sick, many “beneficial bugs” can help keep us well.   Maintaining a proper balance of favorable bacteria is key to a happy and healthy immune system.

 

Kristen Marvin, ND is a graduate of National University of Health Sciences with a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a guest blogger at Prairie Health and Wellness.

2 Comments

  1. Do you have training in the use of essential oils?

    • We don’t, but are hoping to have a blog post up soon.