Get enough sleep
To help us avoid getting the flu it's always good to get enough sleep which is essential for a healthy immune system because when we sleep the immune system is reinforced and replenished. Even one night loss of sleep can significantly suppress the immune system.
Wash your hands
Many micro-organisms that can help us catch the flu are passed via skin contact from infected individuals or objects. Washing our hands before rubbing our eyes or touching our mouth or ears can greatly reduce our exposure of harmful microbes in the environment. This may help take some of the stress off of our internal immune system and thereby also lessen our chance of getting the flu.
Eat nutritious foods
We should make sure our body receives the necessary wholesome nutrition that is essential for optimum immune function. Foods that help keep the immune system strong are organically grown fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, beans and other legums. And also natural oils such as expeller-pressed olive oil, hemp oil, walnut oil, flax oil and coconut butter. And even Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium that are particularly good for the immune system. And I should also mention fresh kiwis, red peppers and to a lesser extent oranges, which are a rich source of vitamin C that is required by the immune cells to enable optimal functioning.
Avoid "unhealthy" foods
Sugar and overly processed foods make it easy for us to get the flu because they are foes of a healthy immune system. Sugar (including honey) suppresses many immune cells, particularly macrophages and NK cells. Other unhealthy foods include those containing hydrogenated oils, (trans-fats) fried items, processed meats, baked goods made with white flour and foods that contain moulds.
Stay as stress-free as possible
Keeping stress under control is essential for a healthy immune system. Our adrenal glands secrete a hormone known as cortisol when we are stressed. It's true cortisol in many ways is good for our bodies, but too much of it on an ongoing basis can lead to inflammation and cause calcium to leave the bones.
Get enough exercise
Exercise is good for virtually every part of our body which includes a wonderful way to help keep our immune system strong. A program of regular moderate exercise relieves stress and also makes it easier for us to sleep at night.
Avoid alcohol along with caffeine and cigarettes
Alcohol intake interferes with a variety of immune defenses and causes dehydration in the body. Research indicates that alcohol consumption is linked with certain types of cancers and infections. Caffeine also has a dehydrating effect and should be consumed in moderation followed by a generous amount of water. Cigarette smoke (inhaled or second hand) is saturated with toxic chemicals, most of which negatively impact the immune response.
Avoid excessive sun exposure
Yes it's true that a few minutes in the sun will help our body produce vitamin D. However, unprotected sun exposure for long periods of time is considered by many to have an immune suppression on the human body. This is why cold sores often appear following to much time spent in the sun.
Copyright 2008 - All Rights Reserved.