Sunday, January 13, 2013

Building Immunity, The Natural Way

We are right in the middle of the annual flu season, and there's a rather large (to say the least) outbreak occurring in our country.  It's all over the news.  It's the talk at coffee shops.  People are asking questions about flu shots and immunity. In short, it's the talk of the town.

This isn't a discussion about whether or not you should have the flu shot.  I'll leave that up to you to get educated and make an informed decision.  I will say this though.  The shot gives you only about a 40% chance of not getting the flu, so even if you DO get the shot, you'd better do a few other things to increase your odds.  Here's my suggestions.

1.  Focus on eating health promoting foods.  I'd particularly focus on fruits and vegetables.  If you're a fan of juicing, double up on your juices, try some new recipes.  Avoid eating junk, including soft drinks, candies, crackers, bread (even supposedly healthy "whole grains bread) and other things that lower your immune response.  Find a good whole food supplement (I use Nanogreens and Nanoreds) to SUPPLEMENT (not replace) your healthy diet.

2.  Keep up with your exercise program.  If you're not exercising, start.  And if you're not exercising, do NOT over do it.  This will lower your immune response by wearing out your body.  Actually that goes for regular exercisers too.  Be careful not to push too far and have a worn down body.  Exercise has been shown to increase the immune response, and it combats stress which would ordinarily lower your body's ability to respond to potential infections but too much has the opposite effect.

3.  Keep your body on schedule.  This will allow you to rest appropriately.  Our bodies work best when on a schedule, they get into a rhythm and the result is a body that is best prepared to attack when foreign invaders attack.  It has been shown that one bad night's sleep slows down your immune response, so do your best to stay rested.

4.  Lastly, wash your hands regularly.  Using regular water, and soap from time to time as well, especially if you are in contact with people in public.

PS, if you didn't recognize something vaguely familiar in the first 3 recommendations, they boil down to my wellness mantra:  Eat well, move well, think well and rest well.  It's as simple as that.

Until next time...Be Well!
Dr. Bruce

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