Saturday, November 27, 2010

Avoid Colds and Flu: Strengthen Your Immune System Naturally

Clean food, exercise, sunshine, pure water, rest and natural remedies will strengthen your immune system better than any chemical/synthetic products you'll find at the drug store. Over-the-counter (OTC) and pharmaceutical products were created to suppress cold and flu symptoms, and will not boost immune function to allow the body to heal itself naturally.

Chemical and synthetic products are not nutrition-based, and therefore unable to nourish the body what it needs to engage it's own healing mechanisms. What you consume is crucial to healing your body and boosting it's immune function. The body was not designed to metabolize chemicals, food additives and processed food products, and it will eventually respond by getting sick and/or shutting down.

Smoking substantially suppresses the immune and healing function. There are no health benefits to smoking, and one way to greatly improve immune function is to stop -- immediately.

Sugar is a major immune function suppressor. Avoid processed foods and drinks, sodas, etc., as most of them contain large quantities of processed sugars and other chemical food additives that your body doesn't register or know how to metabolize. Avoid processed dairy products, and farm-raised animal and fish products, as they are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.

So what can you do to improve your immune function?
Optimize your lifestyle choices and boost your health by consuming fresh, organic produce, antibiotic/hormone-free, free-range meats, wild caught fish and raw nuts into your diet. Garlic, onions and horseradish are excellent immune boosters, as well as vitamins C, D3 and zinc. Herbs such as goldenseal, echinacea, chamomile, stinging nettle, etc., can also boost immune function. Consult your naturopath or master herbalist for specifics.

More tips:
• Feeling alternating cold and sweats is your body's way of reaching homeostasis (balance) -- sweats kill off pathogens.
• Use your juicer! Check out the LNH archives for the detox juice recipe -- carrots, beet, lemon, garlic, celery, cucumber and apple. Tastes great and detoxes the body naturally.
• Soak in a bathtub of mint, Himalayan salts, or homeopathic(s) as suggested by your homeopath, for 20 minutes.
• Oregano, cinnamon, frankincense, lemon, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oil can be used in a massage oil blended with a carrier oil (a popular base is grapeseed oil with a little vitamin E oil as a natural preservative).
• Drink hot water with lemon throughout the day (like a tea).
• Rest/sleep. Allow your body recharge itself.

As simple as it sounds, be sure to wash your hands frequently. If you're not in the habit yet, start by washing your hands the minute you get in the house.

If all of this sounds very simple, it's because it is. Optimizing health isn't rocket science, and it is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and those around you. If you've ever been sick you know that your health IS your wealth, and we are reminded of this every time our health becomes compromised.

Enjoy a happy, healthy, cold-and-flu-free holiday season!

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