Boosting your immune system with... prevention

Updated: Dec 15, 2019


Prevention is the best cure so let's be about it this winter as cold and flu season is upon us.

Sleep

  • This is the time cells repair/regenerate and the immune system is most active.

  • Newborns and young children require 12-14 hrs; Adolescents need 10-12 hours; Adults need at least 6-9 hours of sleep within a 24 hour period to maintain optimal immune function.

Stress Management

  • Stress hormones inhibit immune cell function so be sure to regularly take breaks, pray, meditate, go outside, breath deeply and do things you enjoy!

Exercise and Fresh Air

  • Great for the respiratory and circulatory system;

  • Helps relieve stress

  • Increases lean muscle mass which serves as a reservoir for antibody production to fight infections

Water

  • Drink plenty - 60-100 oz daily until urine is clear

  • Dehydration causes cracks in mucus membranes where viruses and bacteria can enter the body and cause infection

Diet

  • Balanced diet of complex carbs, healthy fats, lean protein can be therapeutic as it includes vitamins, minerals and immune boosters

  • Examples: whole fruits, berries, greens and vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry, grass fed beef, wild meats, fish (especially cold water fish high in omega 3's), legumes, eggs, onions, garlic, mushrooms (especially shiitake and reishi varieties that stimulate the immune cells), probiotic dairy (eg kefir, plain probiotic dairy which balances beneficial bacteria in the body and reduces vulnerability to infection)

  • AVOID: sugar - inhibits immune function for 2 or more hours; processed foods, alcohol and hydrogenated oils which damage cells

Here is a list of the "Dirty Dozen" - foods that are high in pesticides and you should consider buying organic.

If you or someone close to you is sick:

Hygiene

  • Cover mouth when yawning, sneezing or coughing

  • Don't share dishes, towels etc with others

  • Use a alcohol-based hand sanitizer or plain soap and hot water to wash hands; Avoid antimicrobial soaps as they contribute to antibiotic resistance and development of "Superbugs" that are difficult to treat

  • Throw used tissues away immediately

  • Disinfect work surfaces: keyboards, phones, remote controls, computer mice, toys etc

  • STAY AT HOME... please :)

Flu vaccine

  • Offers protection against several of the active flu virus strains of the season but does not cover all strains and does not kick in for two weeks; may also cause mild-moderate flu symptoms after administration

7 Natural Immune Boosters:

  • Eat chicken soup - packed with nutrients you need to fight infections and it's easy to digest.

  • Antioxidants: Vitamins A, C, E, Selenium and Zn

  • Vitamin D

  • Single Herbs: Elderberry and Elderberry syrup; Astragalus - great antivirals and the syrups or glycerites are great for kids!

  • Herbal Combinations: Wish Garden Herbs brand Kick Ass Immune or Herb Pharm brand Echinacea Goldenseal Compound

  • Probiotics: I prefer refrigerated products to maintain optimal potency.

  • You can also try the "Warming socks" treatment: A cotton sock is soaked in cool/cold water, wrung out, and worn under wool socks before bedtime and left on until warmed, usually about 20 minutes to ½ hour. In the process of responding to the cool temperatures, the immune system and circulation will be stimulated, killing infectious agents and relieving head, sinus and chest congestion. Begin on the first night of illness and repeat for 3 nights in a row.

Here's to a healthy winter!

Here's to your health,

Dr Mead

#immuneboosting

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