It happens every year. The cold, flu and now even the coronavirus are running rampant, and if it hasn’t hit you or your family…consider yourself fortunate. But here’s the key, there are things that you can do to jump start your immunity and decrease your chances or completely avoid getting sick.
YES! It’s true.
And I’m not talking about using sanitizer or avoiding crowded spaces. This is the stuff that should have been taught in health class. But guess what, you’re not going to get it there. Unfortunately, if you want to be truly healthy beyond having a good blood pressure and healthy HbA1c, you have to do more than what’s recommended at your doctor’s visit.
So if you’re ready to really take control of your health and get your immunity moving in the right direction, I’m here to help. Here are some things you can do jump start your immunity and avoid getting sick.
Clean Up Your Diet
Yep. I said it. Eating the right foods is not all about dropping dress sizes and reducing cancer risk. Although, those are nice perks too. Certain foods rev up your immunity while other foods will slow it way down. During the colder months, people steer away from salads and fruits in favor of more bread and richer comforting meals.
Besides gaining a few extra pounds in the process, do you want to know what else suffers?
About 70% of your immune system is inside the gut. As a result, eating the wrong foods will have a tremendous negative impact on immunity while good food choices will have a positive impact.
If you are not working on your immunity like it’s your job, then you are working against it. For a quick a look at some immune boosting foods, look at my segment on Good Morning Washington called, “Immune Boosting Foods“.
On the other hand, bad food choices will wreak havoc on your immune system. Even without having an underlying disease or illness, why do you think that with every passing virus or bug, some people always get sick and while others remain unscathed.
It’s not luck.
As you can imagine, this is such a robust topic with a wealth of information. If you are interested in learning more, I recommend reading this series called Wheat and the Immune System.
Kimchi, saurkraut, komboucha are all tauted for good gut health. That’s because eating fermented food introduces good bacteria into the gut and helps balance the ratio of good bacteria to bad stuff.
Similar to adding fermented foods into the diet, probiotics directly introduce live active bacteria into the gut to promote good health and work for you. My favorites right now are from Dr. Formulated Probiotics. There are different formulations to suit varying needs.
Yes, it true. Getting enough sleep is not all about beauty rest. Quality sleep has a direct impact on one’s immunity. According to Dr. Eric Olson, “Infection reducing cytokines are reduced when you don’t get enough sleep“. Unfortunately, in today’s society, lack of sleep is celebrated like a badge of honor.
Getting to bed early, will not only help your skin look flawless but will make it easier to fight off pesky germs and viruses too.
Seems like folks are starting to catch on that drinking the broth is more than drinking a bowl of soup. It turns out that bones cooked for usually at least 12 hours with a bit of apple cider vinegar helps to release collagen and minerals which are an integral part of repairing junctions in the gut and a healthy immune system. You can make bone broth yourself but, sometimes cooking broth for 48 hours is not just in the cards.
In that case, here is a bone broth that’s ready-to-go:
Elderberry is a fruit that is made into a syrup and used as a treatment for colds and flu, as well as a way to build immunity. If you’re interesting in boosting your immunity and improving overall health, elderberry should definitely be in your home. Besides being known as a natural immune booster, elderberry has been know to soothe inflammation and aid in recovery from everything from a sore throat to the flu.
There is even a standardized kids elderberry for kids too.
So if you’ve found yourself getting hit with the cold, flu and other bugs more often than not, the reason may be a weakened immune system. Don’t buy into the hype that everyone gets sick during the cold and flu season. You don’t have to.
And even if you do get sick, it will take a few days versus a few weeks to recover. Illness will be less frequent and there will be less visits to the doctor’s office. Now isn’t that something that you can use?
Work on building your immune system right now and limit the amount of sick days on the calendar every year.
The only person that can do it is you.
Shop my recommendations for jump starting your immunity and other picks from Amazon Shop
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Original: March 12, 2018. Updated: March 12, 2020