In addition to producing no vitamin D since the cold season keep us indoors, we are more likely to spread germs among one another. It’s in these winter months—when we also seek comfort in carb-heavy foods– that a cold or the flu can easily take hold and make your daily existing very unpleasant. While there is something to be said for treating the symptoms of such illness with natural remedies, the best way to fight a cold or the flu is to prevent it from ever happening.
If you listen to conventional medicine, you’ll have already lined up to get your annual flu shot. These shots are wholly unnecessary, however, and can certainly do more harm than good. The truth is, a high-functioning immune system will be able to successfully battle the flu and even the common cold, without expensive prescriptions or preventative injections.
Building Your Immune Health
The key to staying well no matter the weather or who you come in contact with lies in nurturing a healthy immune system. In addition to utilizing these 8 natural antibiotics, here are 5 natural tips for boosting your immune system and staying flu-free this winter:
- 1. Limit or Eliminate Processed Foods – Processed carbohydrates like white flours and certainly sugar can wreak havoc on your immune health, spreading inflammation and compromising your ability to ward off illness. Alcohol can also hinder immune function. Though this may be the time of year for indulgence and celebration, limit these toxins if you want to make it through the season without getting sick. These are just a couple of the things you should NOT eat while sick or battling a cold.
- 2. Stock up on Whole, Organic Produce – Fruits and vegetables can provide numerous antioxidants and vitamins that your immune system needs to function properly. Try to add fresh produce in place of the processed carbs you would normally eat. Juicing or making green smoothies can also help tremendously when it comes to boosting immunity.
- 3. Herbal Protections – There are all-natural herbs that can do wonders for immune health. Keep these on hand for making a protective tisane (tea) on cold winter nights. Elderberry, Echinacea, and astragalus are all good options. Cooking with extra garlic, turmeric, and ginger can also boost your immune system.
- 4. Relax – This time of year it’s normal to be a little more stressed than usual. Make sure you are taking time to get plenty of sleep and unwind. Also, daily exercise isn’t only important for your fitness, but also for your mental health and ultimately your immune health.
- 5. Vitamin D – The “sunshine vitamin” is especially important this time of year, despite being more difficult to get during the winter. Make sure you are spending some time in the sun, whenever it decides to show its face. And if your winter doesn’t allow you the sun you need, consider adding a supplement just for the colder, darker months.
You don’t have to take a shot to stay well in the winter, you merely have to take better care of yourself. Here are 5 more ways to strengthen your immune system.