Boosting Your Immune System
The best way to prevent getting a cold or the flu is by strengthening your immune system. Our immune system is pretty amazing and can ward off infections, bacteria, and viruses without the use of prescription antibiotics. Fun fact: did you know that your immune system can become depressed? If you’re not getting more than five hours of sleep each night, you’re depleting your immune system and this leaves you open to getting sick. Below are some tips and products to help strengthen your immune system and hopefully ward off any sick days.
As mentioned above, sleep is a big part of keeping your immune system up to par. The less you sleep, the less cytokines are made. Cytokines are a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, which serves as your immune response. Since cytokines are both produced and released when you sleep, the more sleep you can get will ensure your body can better defend itself against germs. It is recommended that you get at least eight hours of sleep a night.
If you get less than seven hours of sleep a night, for three nights in a row, that’s the equivalent of pulling an all-nighter.
We all know we are what we eat. Choose healthy food options like vegetables, fruit, and clean proteins like organic grass-fed beef, chicken, and wild-caught fish. Certain foods have better immune booster qualities, like garlic. It has more than 100 active components that promote our health and fight off infections by increasing the production rate of protective cells in our body. Raw vegetables and fruit provide excellent sources of vitamins and minerals to keep the body’s systems running smoothly. Eat the rainbow.
Water is life and the water in our body helps carry oxygen to our body’s cells. Oxygenated body cells mean better functioning systems, including the immune system. Dehydration can lead to poorly functioning systems which can weaken your immune system, making you feel run down and tired. And cold, harsh winters don’t help when you’re stuck indoors with stale, dry air from forced air heat. So follow the 8×8 rule: 8 oz. glass x 8 times a day. Go ahead and add some lemon to your water to increase detoxification.
Traditional Chinese medicine, a system of medicine at least 23 centuries old, aims to prevent or heal disease by maintaining or restoring the yin-yang balance. Yin Chiao is an ancient Chinese herbal remedy first documented in 1798. Source Naturals Wellness combines Yin Chiao with other immune-boosting ingredients like elderberry, echinacea, and bayberry root. It’s a powerhouse blend to not only strengthen your immune system but also good to take if you do feel like you’re coming down with something. You can take Wellness in both pill and liquid form. The liquid form is great for little kids who can’t swallow a pill. Just mix it with some water or juice—and use the alcohol-free version, it has a less intense flavor.
Oregano and Thieves Oil
Both these oils have antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Once in the bloodstream, they act similar to antibiotics—attacking and eliminating bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Oregano has high levels of carvacrol, known for eliminating bacteria, and recently researchers are exploring oregano oil to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Adding 1-2 drops of food-grade oregano oil to your smoothie or in a vegetable capsule can help boost your immune system and ward off any bad bugs you might’ve picked up without knowing. You can also use it in a diffuser as a whole-home immune booster. If you do get sick, you can increase your intake to 4 drops two times a day, just like you’d take antibiotics.
Do not ingest pure oregano oil, it’s very potent and will burn your throat. Best to use in a vegetable capsule.
The Thieves Oil blend was created by four French thieves in 1413, during the bubonic plague. They were captured and charged for stealing from the dead and dying. The judge was intrigued that they were immune to this incurable disease. He offered them their freedom if they shared their secrets. The thieves revealed that they were out-of-work perfume and spice merchants and together they created this essential oil recipe that they rubbed on their hands, ears, temples, feet, and mask over their mouths. The judge took this recipe for himself and hung the thieves for their crimes. From that point on, the doctors who treated the sick used the thieves oil just as the thieves did and never contracted the plague.
Today thieves oil is just as powerful to boost the immune system. It can be rubbed on the neck, behind the ears, soles of the feet, and wrists. You can also drink it by mixing 2 drops with juice or in a vegetable capsule. Add it to the oregano in your diffuser for a mega immune booster. If you do get sick, increase your intake to 4 drops two times a day, just like the oregano.
Wash Your Hands
It may seem silly to mention this as it’s the most obvious one, but many people only think to wash their hands after restroom use. Make it routine to immediately wash your hands when you get home from a public place, like the mall, movie theaters, grocery store, retail store, etc. You may have washed your hands after using the restroom, but think about all the door handles, shopping carts, shelf items, and cashiers you interacted with after washing your hands. By washing your hands when you get home, you keep your home germ-free. Oh, and take off your shoes too!
Detox Your Blood
Regulat® by Dr. Neidermaier Pharma, with cascade-fermented nutrients, enzymatic and probiotic constituents, helps balance and cleanse the body’s system of impurities/toxins and alkalize the body naturally. This liquid essentially cleans your blood which in turn helps your body to function more efficiently—including your immune system. If the blood is dirty, then the system is dirty. Regulat® promotes a healthy blood environment and in addition to keeping your immune system strong, it also improves your energy and vitality—who doesn’t want that. Regulat® works best as a preventative measure, meaning it’s not something you run out and buy if you caught a cold. It’s best taken prior to each season, so four bottles a year is ideal to help detox the body in preparation for seasonal stress.
Vitamin C and Zinc
This workhorse combination is pretty popular but what is sometimes overlooked is how much of each should be taken as a preventative measure against getting sick. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune systems. To help keep your immune system strong, as a preventative measure, take 500 mg every other day. Obviously, eat all the citrus you want. If you do catch a cold or start to feel run down, take 1,000 mg every day until feeling better.
Since the 1970s, researchers have explored the use of high-dose Vitamin C to treat cancer. More recently, Vitamin C given intravenously can reach higher levels in the blood and has prompted renewed interest.
Zinc is a “trace essential element.” That means that our body doesn’t make it naturally, even though we need it to survive. Most people get enough zinc from their food, mainly from animal products and grains, greens, and nuts. To supplement and keep your immune system supported, women can take 8 mg a day and men can take 11 mg a day. If you’re sick, you can boost your intake to 40-45 mg a day. We love these Zinc Lozenges with vitamin C from Whole Foods.
No one likes being sick. Not only don’t we feel good, but it also disrupts our lives. We have to take off work, cancel meetings, or skip the trip to the food store, and God help us if we have little kids to take care of. It’s the worst. So don’t get sick anymore. Say “No thank you” to sick days and bring on the healthy days from now on. Don’t give flu season your energy and attention. Pretend it doesn’t exist. Your body’s immune system is amazing. If those four thieves didn’t get the PLAGUE with some essential oil rubbed on them, the bugs we’re up against today have nothing on us!
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