Cold and flu season has finally arrived, and it is very likely your immune system is in battle. Ever-present viral and bacterial agents are constantly waiting to attack healthy cells. There are also many man made germs and chemicals that are major contributors to our illnesses; however, during the winter months many people suffer from flu and allergy symptoms too. Recently flues are more resistant now and have become harder to cure. Admittedly trying to avoid a cold is hard work, but there are ways to combat illness by eating proper foods and utilizing herbs that introduce heat and healing to the system.
The immune system is like a force field which helps prevent illness. Sometimes the immune system becomes overwhelmed and overloaded due to the consumption of excess sugars, starches, over-eating, caffeine, stress, or lack of sleep. This causes an interruption of our immune system without which we become more susceptible to colds and disease. Symptoms of low immune activity are frequent colds, allergies and other illnesses.
Achieving a healthy immune system, is greatly affected by our life-style. Stress level, dietary habits, and general health and fitness all contribute to proper immune function. Following are a few tips that can facilitate a healthier immune system :
- Eat natural foods (no genetically engineered food or processed food). Grow your own vegetables and fruits, or purchase in season from local, organic farmers. Obtain honey locally. It is important to have fresh, live food in your diet. The enzymes in live food are rich in nutrients that help heal your body.
- Limit sugar intake. Large amounts of sugar reduces the ability of white blood cells to engulf and destroy bacteria, and white blood cell impairment leads to depressed or suppressed immune activity.
- Do not consume meat everyday.
- Drink 5 or 6 eight-ounce glasses of water a day.
- Add more fresh and or dried herbs to your diet.
- Exercise daily. Walk, march in place or chair exercises; do whatever is easy for you. Strengthen your body. Just get the body moving, regularly.
- Perform deep breathing exercises. Fresh air removes toxins from the body.
- Make sure you eat enough vegetables or their fresh juice daily.
An immune building juice recipe is:
1 celery stalk
1 Red Delicious apple
handful of parsley
handful of wheat grass
pinch of cayenne pepper
Juice all of the ingredients and add a dash of cayenne. A clove of garlic can also be added. This is a good over all tonic. Home-made yogurt is also good for boosting the immune system. Increasing your vitamin A and C helps prevent colds and flu.
Here are a few beneficial herbs and vegetables to boost your diet:
Dark leafy vegetables, yams, radish, carrots, pumpkin, yellow and orange squash, ginger, garlic, burdock, astragalus, ginseng, echinecea, boneset, red clover, mullein, Pau darco, ginkgo, marshmallow, rose hips, green tea, plantain, green olive leaf. A diet that is less acidic and more alkaline would be best. Eliminate processed junk foods, heavily spiced dishes, excess starch or salt, pies, candy and pizza. Baked or steamed vegetables, carrots, beets, and apples will help ward off disease. And finally, drink plenty of dandelion tea all year long. It is a winter cleanser and a spring tonic.