IT’S Back – Strengthen Your Immune System to Fight Off
Viruses & the Flu – How to Better Prepare Yourself by Strengthening Your Immune System, NOW!
We’ve all heard the key precautions for avoiding the coronavirus, flu and viruses in general. These include avoiding those who have been exposed, and washing our hands frequently. BUT, we really need to take these warnings More Seriously…
by Greg Montoya
Numerous studies have shown that strengthening your immune system can help you stay healthy. And, a strong immune system also helps minimize the impact of exposure to viruses that can lead to the flu and other health challenges.
A University of Michigan study found that when 17 healthy individuals were infected with the flu, only half got sick. Meanwhile, the other half felt fine. The study further found that changes in blood occurred 36 hours prior to flu symptoms showing up; and all study participants had an immune response, whether or not they felt sick.
The following are suggested good practice steps to help you strengthen your immune system, starting NOW!
Let’s Start With Exercise to Strengthen Your Immune System
Exercising is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your immune system. It causes the body’s white blood cells and antibodies to circulate faster. This means they can detect and zero in on virus bugs a lot faster. Exercise also helps reduce stress hormones thus decreasing your odds of getting sick.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found people that exercised a minimum of five days a week had approximately half the risk of getting the flu than those who were less active. They surveyed 1,002 participants; if they did get sick, they noted less severe symptoms. Also, sweating during exercise has protective benefits – studies show that raising your body temperature can help kill viruses and bacteria.
Exercising 30-60 minutes 3-5 days a week, moderately or vigorously, helps strengthen the immune system. If you don’t have access to a gym, head outdoors for a vigorous walk, work out with free weights, or use weight bands at home; or join an online streaming exercise program, etc.
For those limited to staying inside, consider yoga-type stretching which works on strength & flexibility, helps calm the mind and gives you superb balance. Learn more about the benefits of yoga stretching here.
All of this will help!
Next, Pay Attention to What You’re Eating
80% of the immune system is in the gut. This means that when it’s healthy, you can fight off infections faster and easier. Poor gut health leads to a weak immune system, leaving you susceptible to infection. More importantly, eating a lot of processed foods has the potential to cause many health issues. These include increased inflammation, elevated cancer rates, the risk of auto-inflammatory and allergy-related diseases.
Many medical professionals advocate the Mediterranean eating style. It’s loaded with vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (found in olive oil, nuts, and fish) and whole grains. This style of eating is high in important nutrients and has an abundance of antioxidants. These include Vitamin C and Zinc which fight infections and reduce inflammation.
A 2018 study published in the Frontiers in Physiology journal found that seniors between 65-79 years of age following a Mediterranean style diet exhibited an increase in disease-fighting cells, including T cells. Also, they took a 400 IU Vitamin D supplement daily for a year.
Fermented foods are also highly recommended, including raw sauerkraut, kefir, miso, beet kvass and yogurt. These all help promote good bacteria in the gut. Thus, supporting a healthy immune system.
Start Eating More Protein
The amino acids in proteins help build B cells, T cells, and antibodies. These are key players in the immune system. Most importantly, creating germ-fighting compounds that identify and eliminate harmful cells that enter the body before they cause an infection. Research on protein (plant-based) shows that protein can decrease LDL (bad cholesterol levels). Also, lower the risk of heart disease.
There are several sources of proteins, some not as healthy as others. Avoid highly processed choices. Choose organic proteins that include nuts like almonds, vegetables like broccoli, eggs, lean meat, fish (Alaskan wild salmon and sardines are the best), oats, etc.
Next, Pay Attention to Your Supplements
While it would be great if you could get all your needed vitamins and minerals from your daily food intake, realistically most of today’s commercial food is nutrient deficient making it almost impossible to get all of your needed nutrition from food alone. Here are some of the supplement categories we recommend as a best practice to consider:
Avoid Stress to Strengthen Your Immune System
There is an astonishing link between mental health and the immune system. When dealing with chronic anxiety or stress, the body generates stress hormones, in particular cortisol, that end up suppressing the immune system. Studies at Carnegie Mellon University discovered that individuals dealing with stress were more vulnerable to developing colds or the flu.
Other effects of stress included the production of cytokines, molecules that induce inflammation. It’s known that people dealing with stress and anxiety are less likely to follow healthy lifestyle habits. These include getting enough sleep and eating right which definitely affects immunity. While we may not be able to avoid ALL stress in our lives; however, we can adopt strategies to help manage it like exercising, prayer and meditation.
Add Antiviral Herbs
Antiviral herbs are natural flu remedies that do a great job of fighting off viral infections and strengthening your immune system. These herbs have several other health benefits, including offering digestive, cardiovascular, and anti-inflammatory support. Top antiviral herbs include Echinacea, Calendula, Garlic, Astragalus root, Cat’s claw, Licorice root, Olive leaf, Ginger and Oregano. Also, herbal teas are a great way to receive the benefits of antiviral herbs every day.
Important! Get PLENTY of Sleep
Getting plenty of sleep is one of the best ways to strengthen your immune system. When the body is sleep-deprived, it ends up causing stress hormones like cortisol. This makes it even more difficult to sleep. Thus, suppressing your immune system.
A 2015 study published in the Sleep Journal found that people who slept a minimum of 7 hours a night were 4 times less likely to get a cold. This is compared to those who got 6 or less. In addition, people that got 8 hours of sleep had higher levels of T cells than those who didn’t.
If you’re having trouble getting quality sleep, like millions of other Americans, consider supplementing with melatonin. Studies now show melatonin is a powerful viral inhibitor. Also, melatonin works synergistically with Vitamin D to help strengthen the immune system and fight off infection.
Avoid Environmental Toxicity
Indoor Air Quality
A powerful NASA-inspired technology, called AcitvePure, has been shown by US military and CDC to destroy some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens, including viral, bacteriological, fungal, and mold-based variants.
Test results show rapid 4-6 log reductions (99.9999%) of airborne and surface pathogens in as little as 3 minutes, including SARS CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID 19). Currently, ActivePure technology proactively protects indoor occupied spaces, including government buildings, schools, hospitals, restaurants, gyms, and private homes. ActivePure technology installations have grown over 1800% in North America since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. For more information on indoor air quality click here.
The ancient thousand-year-old wisdom behind smudging (burning) high-quality sage (California white sage is the best), may also be a time-tested way of helping reduce the impact of both airborne and surface pathogens.
At a minimum, having lots of indoor plants rid the air of common toxins, indoor pollutants and boosts mental well being. Also, it makes your home look amazing by bringing nature inside!
Consider Lymphatic Massages to Strengthen Your Immune System
Lymphatic drainage is a procedure that stimulates the flow of lymph. This is a fluid that carries oxygen, white blood cells, and important nutrients to tissues and organs throughout the body. A lymphatic massage (aka lymphatic drainage) can help sustain a healthy immune system. The lymphatic system functions as a key part of the immune system. The system includes the liver, spleen, thymus gland, lymph node and tonsils. It helps transfer the metabolic waste out of the body.
Cannabis – Another Surprising Immune Enhancer
Some studies suggest that cannabis is an immuno-suppressant, which can explain the relief experienced by some users with autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammation. Other studies show that regular cannabis use can increase white blood cell counts. Especially in immunodeficiency disorders such as HIV. Thus, suggesting an immune-boosting effect against viral-induced infections.
Strengthening and maintaining a healthy immune system using these “best practice” steps listed above is the best defense against the flu, viruses and other infectious diseases.
If you are interested in covering many of the nutritional needs discussed in this article regarding supplementing to build your immune system, consider Ageless Impact’s Personal Protection Pack which includes:
- E3 – Loaded with therapeutic amounts of many of the immune building nutrients discussed in this article.
- SunD – Formula starts with a whopping 8,000 IU’s per day of Vitamin D.
- Zinc Defender – Essential trace mineral that helps keep the body’s antibody responses active and alert.