It’s that time of the year again! Christmas is around the corner, but so are bacteria and viruses. Below are some ways to naturally prevent the cold and flu this season.
- Wash Your Hands Frequently and Thoroughly:
The number one way to prevent the flu and other respiratory infections is washing your hands! Scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to kill viruses. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing your hands. Twenty seconds is about how long it takes to sing the ABC’s or say the Our Father one time through.
- Reduce Your Stress: Stress is known to suppress our immune systems. Consider meditation, yoga, acupuncture, running, listening to music, or anything you find therapeutic. Take time out of your day to rewind and remember that these big things that are causing stress, are only little pieces of your life in the grand scheme of things.
- Heal Your Gut: The gut is your gateway to health: 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. So make sure yours is in good shape! High-quality probiotics manage the gut very well, they keep your levels of good gut bacteria up to help fight off the bad bacteria in the gut and infections.
- Reduce Sugar Consumption: Too much sugar can suppress the immune system and make it more difficult for your body to fight off infections like the flu. It also leaves you open to gut infections that can suppress your immune system and cause leaky gut, so limit your sugar intake!
- Get Plenty of Exercise: Exercise can boost your immune system by increasing your circulation and relieving stress. Increased circulation allows antibodies to travel throughout your bloodstream faster, making it easier for your immune system to fight off an illness. Exercise can also enhance your immune system by relieving stress and slowing the release of stress hormones in the body.
- Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep Every Night: Your body relies on sleep to recuperate from daily exposure to toxins. Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly reduce immune function. Aim for 8 hours of sleep a night!
- Reduce Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol consumption in moderate amounts suppresses the central nervous system and your immune system.
- Eat more Antioxidants: Antioxidants are very important for your immune function. Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection and supports immune function. Vitamin D is a powerful immune system modulator, meaning it is key to fighting off infections and regulating autoimmunity. Zinc is another powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in immune health. Within the immune system, zinc is needed for gene regulation and the functioning of neutrophils, natural killer cells, and lymphocytes, which are all types of white blood cells. Curcumin is the orange pigment in turmeric and a potent antioxidant that improves joint health and cardiovascular function. The list goes on and on. Antioxidants are so critical for your immune system!