Monday, December 22, 2014

10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

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By Jade Rich

Communicative diseases such as the flu and colds can quickly spread throughout your household. Because they have no known cure, you also have to let them run their course. The best way of preventing illness is to strengthen your immune system. The following 10 easy tips will help keep you on the road to better health and wellness.

Probiotic Foods
 
Whether it’s viral, bacterial or fungal, a low immune system can make you more susceptible to illnesses. Natural methods such as consuming probiotic foods can allow your body to better fight disease. Since the majority of your immune system is located in your stomach, you want to keep it strong by eating probiotic foods. Kimchee, sauerkraut, yogurt and kefir are just a few options. In addition to the growing list of probiotic foods on the market today, you can also ferment your own veggies.

Eat a Healthy Diet
 
In America, 280,000 People Die in the US Each Year from Obesity—heck, even 34% of our dogs are fat! It’s creating an epidemic of obesity that costs about $254 Billion USD annually. For the sake of individuals and America as a whole, it’s time to stop being the “land of plenty” when it comes to food.
Individuals who diet and fail to get the required calories per day are more vulnerable to illnesses, too. To form the right antibodies in order to keep your immune system strong, you need to consume the required calories for your body type. However, this doesn’t mean eating junk food. A balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains and low-fat milk can keep your blood sugar even throughout your busy day.

Get Some Rest
 
The number of hours of sleep that your body requires each night can vary and be dependent on the person. Insufficient amounts of sleep can put your immune system in a depressed state and leave it vulnerable to illness. To get a full nights rest, you want to turn off your electronics, relax and restrict your caffeine intake right before bed.

Nourishing Glutamine

 A healthy immune system relies on an important amino acid called glutamine. If you’re not consuming enough of it, your body will take what it needs from your muscles, especially if you exercise. Beef and chicken stocks are both great sources of glutamine.

Vitamin D

 Many of the adults and children in the U.S. are at a greater risk of infection because they lack sufficient amounts of vitamin D. In order to keep a healthy body and mind, you want to expose your face to the sun each day for about 20-25 minutes. However, this can be challenging to do in the winter months. You can swap your day in the sun by consuming egg yolks, beef liver, chicken, salmon and cod liver oil.

Incorporate Mushrooms

 Mushrooms of all varieties are a great source of beta glucans. Whether you enjoy button, shitake, morel, portabella or chanterelle, incorporating the fungal delicacies has been shown to prevent infections and will boost your immune system. To gain the most benefits, you want to try consuming them in their natural and raw state.

Castor Oil
 
Castor oil has been used to fight illnesses and prevent sickness since ancient times. The fatty content in castor oil is made up of ricinoleic acid. Because of its high concentration of this fatty substance, the healing properties in castor oil are far reaching. In addition to fighting infections and viruses, castor oil is also great for ailments such as skin inflammations, ring worm, acne, keratosis and fungal toe infections.
Eat Avocados 
Eating avocados are good for your adrenals. Incorporating them in your diet helps keep them in a healthy condition, which in turn keeps you immune system functioning properly. According to Dr. Oz, “Avocados contain essential amino acids, antioxidants and some healthy fats to help balance hormone production.” Aim to have about a half a cup a day to reap the benefits they have to offer.
Ditch Sugar 
If you want to boost your immune system, eliminating your consumption of sugar can prove most beneficial. Refined sugar can be toxic to the body. It can also decrease the way your immune system functions properly. Try replacing sugar with other natural-friendly sweeteners such as agave or honey.
  
Steamed Oysters
Zinc is an essential mineral that can help strengthen and support your body’s immune system. Steamed oysters are a great source of zinc. However, if you’re not fond of oysters, and are not vegetarian, you can substitute them for a buffalo or beef burger. If you are a vegetarian/vegan you can also find zinc in pumpkin seeds, wild rice, cashews, lentils and chick peas.

Your body’s immune system holds the key to your health and wellness. With the cold and flu season right around the corner, you want to do everything you can to boost its strength. The above tips are a great place to start.


List Resources
[1] 4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease.
http://draxe.com/4-steps-to-heal-leaky-gut-and-autoimmune-disease/
[2] Obesity Facts.
http://interesting-facts.com/
[3] Stress.
http://www.pearsonhighered.com/donatelle1einfo/myhealth/assets/images/other/Donatelle_Ch03.pdf
[4] Ziegler TR, Benfell K, Smith RJ, et al. Safety and metabolic effects of L-glutamine administration in humans. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1990 Jul;14 (4 Suppl):137S-46S.
[5] 12 Ways to Get Your Daily Vitamin D.
http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20504538,00.html
[6] Shiitake Mushroom.
http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/dietandnutrition/shiitake-mushroom
[7] Castor Oil.
http://castor-oil.com/
[8] Dr. Oz’s 14 Natural Immunity Boosters.
http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/boost-your-immunity-naturally?gallery=true&page=5
[9] Natural vs. refined sugars: What’s the difference?
http://www.cancercenter.com/discussions/blog/natural-vs-refined-sugars-whats-the-difference/
[10] How to boost your immune system.
http://www.health.harvard.edu/flu-resource-center/how-to-boost-your-immune-system.htm

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