It is often hard to stay calm, when the news reports contain such words as Swine Flu: Impending Pandemic. Moreover, just the seasonal flu kills an estimated 36,000 people here in the U.S. every year. However, anxiety works against your immunity and other important body functions. You need to strengthen your body and can do so by practicing relaxation techniques, eating healthful foods, and adding natural supplements to your diet
Grant Yourself the Gift of Immunity: 9 Ways to Stay Healthy This Flu Season
There are a number of things we can all do in the meantime to minimize our chances of getting the infleuneza virus. Vaccines and drugs are not at all reliable when it comes to especially a new viral influenza strain. Bolstering your immune system is the best way to protect yourself and those around you. There are a number of techniques we can safely utilize.
1. Good Hygiene
The old saying still holds true: Wash your hands, often! Any time you cough, sneeze, touch food, or use the bathroom, thoroughly wash your hands. This means a gentle, natural soap and water for a good 20 seconds. Use a face mask when out in public. Keep your environment clean with natural cleaners and air purification.
2. Watch for Flu, Respiratory, or Pneumonia Symptoms
Since swine flu is manifesting as a respiratory problem, you should keep an eye out for these symptoms in yourself and others. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, muscle pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, giddiness.
3. Stay Home
If you are experiencing any suspicious symptoms, stay home from work, school, travel and social engagements. This will help slow the spread to other people, and help you to heal faster.
Our immunities and inflammatory responses are compromised by high-anxiety situations. Studies have shown that psychological stress reduces the immune system's reactions to hormonal secretions that are normally used to fight inflammatory response. Consider spending time focused on relaxation: buy a yoga video, explore meditation, practice positive visualization or look into guided imagery techniques. A good massage can also help.
Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and take a nap if you need to. Sleep helps the body to heal, and limits your chances for picking up infection.
6. Healthful Diet
Proper nutrition through a varied diet is the ideal way to promote a strong immune system. Consume more fermented foods in your diet, especially fermented soybean which contains probiotic bacteria, isoflavones, saponins omerga-3 fatty acids, and phytosterols. These help to build one's immunity by helping to maintain peak levels of natural killer cells and macrophages (types of white blood cells) and by supporting cytokine production, which responds to infections.
Sunlight is the best way for your body to make vitamin D, which is great for immune system support. If you can, try to get 15 minutes of direct sunlight each day. Eat lots of berries and leafy green vegetables to protect your skin from being burned. I recommend at least 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D per day. Studies show that vitamin D stimulates the immune system and disease fighting cells, called macrophages and T cells.
Regular exercise activity is wonderful for keeping the immune system strong. Several 20-30 minute brisk walks a week are recommended for most adults.
9. Natural Supplements
It is nearly impossible to get all the body needs to ward of viruses through diet. Supplementing your diet with natural products containing fermented soy, curcumin, resveratrol and green tea will give your body the boost it needs to be at its peak.
Fermented Soy: Boosts the body's immunity and regulates its inflammatory responses.
Curcumin: Have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal and immune regulating properties.
Resveratrol: Is found in red wine and has been considerered a life prolonging plant. Taking Resveratrol supplement rather than consuming alcohol is a safer, more effective way to benefit.
Green Tea: One cup of green tea provides 10-40 mg of polyphenols and has antioxidant effects greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots or strawberries. Green Tea supplements provide the maximum benefit.
Please see the following articles for more information on these topics: