By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Every year the flu makes its way back around, rendering millions of people unable to work and play. If you are sick of being sick, read on to learn natural ways to prevent the flu (or if you’re already sick, shorten the duration of your illness) that really work!
Vitamin C is the tried and true vitamin for a strong immune system. Vitamin C is not only effective at preventing illness, it has also been proven to shorten the duration of a cold and reduce the severity of symptoms.
Elderberry is able to neutralize viruses so that they are unable to enter your cells and replicate. In addition to elderberry’s amazing immune-modulating and antioxidant properties, it also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, quercetin, and various other flavonoids which boost immune function!
High levels of zinc are correlated with better T cell function, which are the white blood cells that work on behalf of your immune system. This antioxidant also helps regulates the production of powerful killer cells which beat off infections.
Echinacea is an anti-inflammatory herb that can fight off fungus and yeast. If you think you might be coming down with something, echinacea is best taken as soon as your symptoms appear. Echinacea is able to treat respiratory infections without causing the resistance that conventional drugs cause.
Immuno Supreme is a blend of elderberry, echinacea, and several other immune boosting super stars such as goldenseal. It also includes medicinal mushrooms which have been used for centuries to keep populations healthy: cordyceps, reishi, maitake, and shiitake.
Curcumin is an antioxidant found in turmeric which supports the liver, allowing for proper detoxification. Curcumin also helps regulate immune cells!
Glutathione, often referred to as “the master antioxidant,” is one of the best immune-enhancers you can take to remain at optimal health. What makes it so special is that it is actually found within your cells, and is essential for healthy immune function.
Vitamin A is also important for T cell function, and also helps keep mucus membranes strong and able to defend against airborne infections.
Herbal and Plant Antibiotics
Oregano oil, garlic, and eucalyptus oil are antiviral and antifungal. They can be taken as a supplement, diffused as essential oils, or raw garlic can be taken orally for an immune-boost.
80% of our immune system is housed in our gut! Since our microbiome is responsible for keeping us healthy, taking high-quality probiotics is an important part of keeping a healthy immune system.
Reduce Alcohol and Sugar Consumption
Alcohol and sugar both impair the body’s ability to fight off infections. Studies show that every time you indulge in something sweet, the immune system is depressed for hours!
Manage and Reduce Stress
Stress has a profound negative effect on more than just our mental health. Feeling stressed, upset, and overwhelmed affects our physical health, too. In order to avoid crumbling our body’s natural defense system, it is imperative that we use meditation, journaling, taking walks, and other methods to reduce stress.
Get Enough Sleep
Our bodies repair themselves while we sleep. If you are sleep-deprived, your immune system is deprived of the time it needs to build itself up!
Getting Sunlight for Vitamin D
A vitamin D deficiency is linked to a wide range of health complications; we are just beginning to discover just how crucial vitamin D is for our health! While getting the full amount of vitamin D that your body requires from the sun is optimal, it is not always possible. During the winter and other times when it isn’t possible to spend time outdoors, taking vitamin D as a supplement is crucial.
Remember, it’s impossible to avoid germs altogether (and research is starting to show that exposure to germs actually helps your immune system to get stronger!). Instead of becoming a germaphobe, focus on keeping yourself healthy from the inside out. Eat your organic veggies, supplement appropriately, get adequate rest, and don’t stress the small stuff!