By Theresa Harding
As we move from the Autumn season and into the winter season, I start preparing for the winter by following the tips I’m sharing in this article. I hope you find these to be effective for your health too.
The wintertime virus season makes us all vulnerable to infections. For some older adults, these infections are life-threatening because of immune decline (immune senescence) that occurs with age, and this leads to a weak immune system.
Flu and pneumonia are responsible for 55,000 deaths every year in the US. In the presence of immune senescence, flu vaccines may not be sufficient to fight off viral infections.
Winter is around the corner and brings along flu, cough, and cold. It is important to take preventive action and “winterize” your immune system naturally. Immune-boosting foods immune supplements, and nutritional supplements can help you stay strong & healthy and avoid infections.
Below are the top natural ways to winterize your Immunity.
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Adding lemon to your water is the ideal food for restoring acid-alkali balance. Lemon helps maintain the body’s internal “climate” at a pH that will support healthy bacteria instead of harmful bacteria and viruses.
Additionally, for those coffee drinkers, decreasing caffeine is another way to boost your immunity. Not only does caffeine promote dehydration, but it robs your body of vitamins and minerals and causing a weak immune system, so switching it for tea can make a significant difference.
Between the holidays, it’s easy to add sugar to your diet – but you’re hindering your ability to fight infections, as sugar causes a weak immune system. Cutting refined white sugar is likely one of the best things you can do for yourself. For a sweet alternative, use honey as it has added immune boosting properties.
If you need more reasons why you should cut back on your sugar intake, read this article from Healthline. Hopefully, this will give you more understanding of the effects sugar has on your body and overall health. This was something I had to learn at the beginning of my transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Garlic is the most potent of all superfoods! It has great antioxidant properties. It boosts your immune system.
Garlic contains more than 100 biologically useful chemicals (including alliin, alliinase, allicin, S-allyl cysteine, diallyl sulfide, and allyl methyl trisulfide), which do everything from lowering cholesterol to fight off viruses.
Try adding garlic daily to your diet. It can also help strengthen a weak immune system. If you don’t like the smell or taste of garlic, you can take garlic in capsule form found at many health food and vitamin shops, as they also sell immune supplements.
This was a lesson I had to learn the hard way. I was going to bed late and rising to get the kids off to school very early in the morning. Fatigue was always present with me and I always found myself sleepy throughout the day.
Then to top it all off, I started to look aged, and that’s when I decided to change this. I now sleep 3 hours earlier than I used to, giving myself 7 hours to sleep. I feel better and my appearance is livelier. Most of all I feel great!
Getting enough sleep each night is vital to every system in your body working correctly. Lack of sleep can also affect weight loss. Whatever amount of sleep you need to feel refreshed in the morning, whether that’s 6 hours or 10—make sure you get it!
Insufficient sleep can suppress your immune system, opening the door to colds, upper-respiratory infections, and other nagging ills. During sleep, your body is repairing, rejuvenating, and rebuilding.
My personal “bedside” routine gives me impressive results. My preference is using my own body weight to strengthen my muscles, along with hand weights. This includes doing 100 squats a day which helps strengthen my legs and gives my heart a little exercise.
Getting through just 25 squats was difficult, as I’d be panting even before I reached 25, now it’s not so hard. I can always add hand weights to challenge myself even more. Exercise is good for you, but you should not overdo it. People who already exercise should not exercise more just to increase their immunity.
Heavy, long-term exercise (such as marathon running and intense gym training) could actually cause harm. Studies have shown that people, who follow a moderately energetic lifestyle, benefit most from starting (and sticking to) an exercise program.
Exercise makes you feel healthier and more energetic. It can help you feel better about yourself. So, go ahead, take that aerobics class or go for that walk.
Vitamin D3 consumption is a must in our family. Living in Illinois where there is a long season of winter and no sun exposure, we need the supplementation. More about vitamin D3 is mentioned in an article by Dr. Axe where he explains in detail some immune boosters.
One of the factors that help support your immune system better in summer, is that we get more exposure to sunlight in the hot summer months. This means we get more Vitamin D3 because our skin manufactures this essential nutrient when it is exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin D3 is essential for many functions in the body, including building strong bones and teeth, but what we are primarily concerned about here is vitamin D’s effect on the immune system. Native people living in cold, northern climates naturally supplemented both vitamins A and D, by eating animal livers raw during the winter.
Vitamin D3 can also be found in your local health food store along with other immune supplements. Scientists have assumed that fortifying milk with vitamin D2 would be adequate to keep modern people from developing deficiencies, but vitamin D2 is not as readily usable as vitamin D3, which is found naturally in animal foods like raw liver.
Adding coconut oil to your diet is a wonderful way to get a daily dose of lauric acid, which boosts your immune system. Try cooking with coconut oil, or add it to your morning smoothie, lunchtime soup or the cup of tea. Don’t be freaked out by the fat. The body quickly converts coconut oil’s medium-chain fatty acids into ready-to-burn energy.
For a long time, I thought I could never live without processed foods. Until the doctor told me my 12-year-old son had high blood pressure. I learned that it was due to the heavy amount of processed foods included in his diet. Processed foods weaken the immune system! Most processed foods are nutritionally deficient and packed full of sugar that over-feeds the bad gut bacteria.
Grapefruit is a rich source of vitamin C, which makes it an immune boosting essential. It is also packed with bioflavonoids, which are phytonutrients. This can be eaten in many ways. I like to eat grapefruit with a fruit salad of peaches and persimmons or pineapple for a nice balance.
So, to keep healthy this winter with a strong immune system, try these tips and see if you can make it through the winter without a cold. I’ve gotten through the past 2 winters with no cold, so I know these tips have been effective for me.
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