4 Natural Immune Boosting Tips

Whether you are a parent with kids going back to school, or you work in a large office environment with lots of handshakes or door knobs to grab, September to November months are often when people begin the cycle of cough and colds, earaches, strep throats and sinus symptoms.  Some more prone to it than others.

Here are some simple tools to boost your immune system so you can avoid being out from work, or avoid frequent visits to the doctors.

1. Pay attention to Diet

Remove inflammatory foods can make a huge difference in boosting your immune system, and we now know that foods with high phytonutrients can fight disease too.

  • Remove most sugar, including artificial sugar, processed sugar, fruit juices and sodas.
  • Remove cow and goat dairy like cheese, yoghurt, milk.  It is known to cause more phlegm and mucus in our body.
  • Eat 8 servings (a small fist/serving) of fruits, especially berries and vegetables like dark leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cauliflower)
  • Use food as medicine and eat lots of onions, garlic and ginger to benefit from their anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory
  • Eat high quality protein (fish, lean meats) and fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado)

2. Get enough Sleep

It’s easy to extend the summer fun and push for late night social events or watch one too many TV series.  Instead, give yourself more time to sleep by going to bed early, and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep. 

Our body fights inflammation better with melatonin from our body during our sleep, and we make better at repairing our body with protein and cells when we have enough sleep.

3. Use a Nasal Saline Rinse daily

Using a nasal rinse using saline can help reduce respiratory infections significantly.  You can use a neti pot, my favorite is the Neil Med Sinus Rinse Bottle that you can get in major pharmacies.  And use the pre-packaged pH balanced saline packets so it’s soothing to the nasal cavities.

4. Take these 3 vitamins every day

  • Vitamin C –
    • Study shows cold symptoms decrease by 13% with taking 1 gram daily of Vitamin C for prevention.
    • Take 500mg buffered ascorbic acid twice a day, or 1000mg daily.
  • Vitamin D –
    • Vitamin D is essential fat soluble vitamin that acts like a hormone in our body, important for immune functioning, decreasing inflammation, control of cell growth.
    • Get 10 -15 minutes of mid-day sun exposure to your skin (Adjust base on your location and how close you are to the equator and also the time of year. )
    • Take 2000 IU (international units) per day
  • Zinc –
    • Zinc is an essential mineral for keeping a healthy immune system, building proteins, triggering enzymes and creating DNA.  If you take it daily for up to 5 months, zinc reduces chances of you getting a viral infection such as colds.
    • Food sources of proteins includes oysters, crabs, nuts, spinach, seeds: sesame, pumpkin, sunflowers, chia and flaxseeds, dark chocolate, and mushrooms.
    • Take 25mg per day.

 

Brown R, Pang G, Husband AJ, King MG. Suppression of immunity to influenza virus infection in the respiratory tract following sleep disturbance. Reg Immunol. 1989;2:321–325

Pratter MR. Cough and the common cold: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest. 2006;129(1 suppl):72S-74S.

Singh M, Das RR. Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011;(2):CD001364

Slapak I, Skoupá J, Strnad P, Horník P. Efficacy of isotonic nasal wash (seawater) in the treatment and prevention of rhinitis in children. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 20 08 ;134 (1) : 67-74.

 

 

 

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