Back to articles Supporting Your Immune System: The Natural Perspective

Categories: Parenting Health & Wellness

Well the other season is here, cold and flu season that is. In an effort to help everyone stay as healthy as can be this season I have put together a few quick tips to consider. Hope it helps keep you and your family healthy this winter.
To do:
Sleep– rest is important for immune health, your body needs the time to repair, restore and rejuvenate.  If you are feeling particularly tired or stressed this becomes even more important
Drink – plenty of liquids: water, herbal teas (ginger, peppermint, nettle), keep in mind caffeine and alcohol dehydrate your body and weaken your immune system
Eat real food– eat a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and so on, your body needs quality nutrition from real food to support health and well being
Avoid sugar– sugar suppresses the immune system for up to six hours after ingestion making you more vulnerable to pathogens
Include garlic–it has anti bacterial, anti viral, anti parasitic and anti fungal properties, eat it raw for best results, and include it as much as you can when cooking
Be positive– your thoughts play a role in your health and well being, be positive, think positive, know that your body has the amazing potential to support and defend itself against the many pathogens you come in contact with on a daily basis
Be hygienic- the only portals of entry for pathogens (the flu virus or cold germ) are the mucous membranes (mainly nostrils and mouth/throat). It’s almost impossible to avoid coming into contact with a pathogen in spite of all precautions. Contact with pathogens is not as much of an issue as proliferation is.  While you are still healthy and not showing any symptoms of infection, in order to prevent proliferation, aggravation of symptoms and development of secondary infections, there are some very simple steps you can practice:
  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Hands-off-the-face approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face.
  • Gargle twice a day with warm salt water. Pathogens can take 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents proliferation. Don¹t underestimate this simple, inexpensive, age-old yet powerful preventative method.
  • Similar to 3 above, clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water, try a nasal irrigation device, found at most drug stores or try blowing your nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with Q-Tips dipped in warm salt water, this is very effective in bringing down viral population.
  • Drink warm or hot liquids. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off proliferating viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, proliferate or do any harm.
Winter Supplements for Your Family
Your immune system needs particular support during the winter, it is under constant attack from the many pathogens in our environment; you can provide some of this support through the use of a few supplements.

Vitamin D3 liquid: Supports the immune system as well as important in bone health. Research is showing vitamin D to be better at preventing the flu than the flu shot.
Vitamin C: Support immune health, is a potent anti-oxidant, is used in the detoxification and destruction of “bad cells” and waste and is essential during times of stress and anxiety.
Fish or algae oil: Supports immune health, controls inflammation in the body, supports the brain and nervous system, forms membranes around every cell in our name just a few things this healthy fat does for us.  
Probiotics: Good bugs for your gut that support immune health.  With up to 80% of the immune system in your gut it is imperative we support it to ensure optimum functioning of the immune system.
Written by Kim Corrigan-Oliver CNP, ROHP
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