Fall or Autumn is now here. Time to worry about colds and flu! However, the things that you need to do to boost your immune system are very similar to the things that you need to do to lose and maintain weight. If you start to do these things now, you will have a double benefit.
Did you know that if you are eating a diet without simple sugars in it, you can boost your immune system?
- Avoid sweets, desserts, white flour, refined grain products–all which turn into sugar quickly. Studies have shown that refined sugars can suppress your immune system for hours after you have ingested them.
Other things you should do to Boost Your Immune System:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially warmer fluids.Consuming adequate fluids supports all of your bodies’ functions including the immune system.
- Make soups and broths (from scratch with fresh vegetables is always best) and have them throughout the week.
- Drink herbal teas. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times.
- Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful for the immune system. If you do drink juice, dilute it with 2/3 water! THIS ALSO WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
- Try a daily saline flush. Along with staying hydrated, flushing your sinuses with mild salt water helps to keep mucous membranes moist which protects you from microbes. You can use a neti pot, or easy to carry plastic bottles that come with saline packets to take with you when traveling or even at the office! Be sure to rinse them well with warm water and soap and air dry between uses. Studies have also indicated that flushing one to two times daily is appropriate and you should not go over this.
- Have protein with each meal. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. This includes your immune and detoxification systems. Organic, clean, and lean animal protein as well as plant-based (legumes, nuts/seeds) proteins are important to get with each meal and snack. About 6 lean protein meals a day, but small portions (4 ounces of meat, on average–the palm of your hand). THIS ALSO WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
- Add garlic, onions, ginger, and lots of spices (oregano, turmeric) to your meals! Add these to your soups and vegetable dishes, as well as bean dips and sauces. Garlic and onions offer wide spectrum antimicrobial properties. THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
- Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients that support the immune system. Choose more leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower), peppers, sweet potatoes, and squashes. About 2 small servings a day, and you are better off avoiding the root vegetables due to the sugar content. THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.
- Get sufficient sleep! We all know sleep restores and heals the body. Without adequate sleep, optimal immune function is next to impossible! Get in a better rhythm and head to bed earlier on those dark winter nights. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Getting too little sleep also will hurt your metabolism. If you get enough sleep, THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.Get regular exercise. Mild to moderate exercise (for approximately 30-45 minutes) helps boost the immune system. Avoid overexertion such as training for endurance events when you are feeling run down. This will lower your immune defenses. THIS WILL ALSO HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT.