Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Boost Your Immunity, Naturally

Cold and flu season is just around the corner. While FamilyWize is proud to partner with organizations like Walgreens to provide free flu shots to communities nationwide, you don't need to wait for a shot to boost your resistance. Read on to learn more about your immune system, as well as suggestions for naturally boosting your immunity.

What is immunity, and why is it important?

Your immune system, via your lymphatic system, removes toxins from your body, wards off infections, and helps fight illnesses. For more information on the lymphatic system, read our previous blog post on the subject.

Immunity is central to your overall health, as it affects when and how you get sick as well as how quickly you recover. Children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and individuals under stress can benefit the most from immunity boosters; however, a healthy immune system is important to everyone.

What are some healthy living strategies?

While research is still underway regarding the connection between lifestyle and immunity, this Harvard study suggests the following lifestyle strategies:
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Do not smoke

How can I boost my immune system?

According to herbalist Brigitte Mars, there are natural remedies that may be beneficial to your immune system. For example:
  • Ginger: Consuming ginger may help with colds as well as nausea. Drink ginger tea, or add ginger to cooked dishes for maximum benefits.
  • Mushrooms: Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms are known for their positive effects on your immune system. Add them to soups, salads, and stews for an easy way to incorporate them into your diet.
  • Cayenne pepper: This spice contains vitamin C, and may help relieve pain and congestion associated with sinusitis. You can add cayenne pepper to warm water for a therapeutic drink, or season prepared dishes with it.
Additional suggestions for maintaining good health and a healthy immune system:
  • Wash your hands, frequently and thoroughly, to combat germs
  • Consider taking probiotics. Studies show gut health is at the root of immunity
  • Get enough sunlight, or take vitamin D. Check with your healthcare provider to determine if vitamin D is appropriate for you, and in what dosage
Where can I learn more?

Check out sites such as the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases for more details about your immune system. And remember to always consult your healthcare provider before taking anything to boost your immune system, even natural ingredients or remedies.

Live Healthy. Live Smart.

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