Many are skeptical to getting the flu shot (rightfully so) and would rather avoid the flu, or at least lessen the symptoms and longevity of the flu, by boosting their immune system. There are numerous natural ways to do this, but we are going to focus on 8 tried and true methods that you can easily implement into your lives to prevent the flu naturally.
Some of these suggestions might seem like no-brainers, but many of us need to be reminded of what our mothers always said (I know I do). I submit that following these tried and true methods will not only help us prevent the flu naturally, but will build a foundation for overall good health.
- Wash your hands regularly
Hopefully we all do this after using “the facilities”, but how many of us put our hands to our face throughout the day without thinking about it. At the very least, wash your hands before you eat, and for at least 15 seconds. Boring to count seconds? Sing the Alphabet song (preferably in your head) and by the time you get to “…next time won’t you sing with me”, you’ll be done.
- Vitamin D
Not just for bones anymore, Vitamin D has been shown to impact the immune system. I advocate getting this as safe sun exposure when possible, but with today’s indoor lifestyle, especially in the winter season, taking a quality Vitamin D supplement is a must.
I know. I know. It seems like exercise is a component of every healthy to-do list out there, but it’s not without reason. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your health and keep healthy throughout the flu season. If exercise isn’t something you do regularly, start small. Taking a walk in the great outdoors will do wonders for your body and your mood. And you can catch a few Vitamin D rays at the same time!
Surviving on little sleep and trying to catch up with a Sunday nap won’t cut it. You need good quality sleep every night to keep your immune system strong. Have a hard time winding down after a long day? Avoid screen time on the TV, computer, and smartphone a couple of hours before bedtime. The light emitted from these screens prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.
How often have we gotten sick right around the time of that big presentation, meeting, or (dare I say it) the holidays? These can all be stressful situations, and stress is a major contributor to our health issues. What is your “chill pill” – taking a hot bath, yoga, reading a good book, knitting, shooting some hoops, lunch with the girls? What ever gives you peace and joy, prioritize it and even mark it in your calendar. Don’t try and “fit” it in your schedule because chances are you will find other things to do.
- Eat Food
And by food, I mean the real stuff, as nature intended (or at least a close resemblance). I strive to eat organic whenever I can and always keep an eye out for special deals (yes, eating right can cost more). Look for foods that are minimally processed and that don’t contain a long list of unpronounceable words. And remember, just because it is advertized with healthy buzz- words, doesn’t necessarily make it is healthy choice, so read those labels.
- Avoid sugar
I know this is a tough one for a lot of people. We love anything sweet. Even our mother’s milk is on the sweet side. But sugar is a culprit in many of our health issues and it also weakens our immune system. Unfortunately, our food is laden with sugars, especially refined white sugar and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. Try and avoid these sugars at all costs and opt for natural choices (not artificial sugars) like fresh fruit, stevia, raw honey, and even then, in moderation.
- Whole food supplements
It is very difficult to get everything we need from our food. This was the basis for the vitamin revolution. But not all multivitamins are created equal. Some contain synthetics, unrecognizable as food to our bodies and are virtually indigestible.These are often the cheap, over the counter types. Many “super vitamins”, even natural ones, contain too much of a good thing. We don’t necessarily need 200% of a certain nutrient, especially if that nutrient is stored in our organs and not flushed out of our systems. This can actually make us ill. Getting a good whole food supplement that gives you what you need, in the right proportions, that our bodies recognize as food, will not only boost your immune system, but is foundational for your overall health and wellbeing.
Following these 8 methods for boosting our immune system will go a long way in preventing the flu naturally this cold and flu season, but even more than that, it has the added benefit of building a foundation to ward off serious health issues that could creep up in your future.
There are also immune boosting elements in nature that can kick us on the right direction. For instance, check out these two articles: