1. Increase your intake of the nutrients that are essential for a healthy immune system. These include vitamin C, vitamin A (not for women who are pregnant or trying to conceive), zinc, selenium and vitamin E. These are great to maintain a healthy immune system and they are also potent antioxidants. Vitamins and minerals are best taken with food.
2. Decrease intake or eliminate sugar from your diet. Eating sugar decreases your white blood cell count for six hours after consumption. White blood cells are responsible for attacking invading infection-causing bacteria and viruses.This also means juice is not the best choice during a cold or the flu because it contains a lot of sugar. Dilute your juices or choose pure water instead.
3. Ensure adequate protein intake. Protein is necessary for the formation of antibodies for fighting infection as well as tissue healing and repair. Great sources of protein include, chicken, fish, tofu, beans, seeds and nuts.
4. Monitor your stress.
Stress causes an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, high levels of which inhibit healthy immune system function. This is why many of us tend to get ill after school exams or once we leave for a holiday. Manage stress with exercise, yoga, meditation or calming herbs such as avena sativa Do not overdo cardiovascular exercise. Too much running or intense, heavy weight training can deplete your immune system as well. Along with managing your stress hormones, you must keep your blood sugars balanced. Remember that skipping a meal causes physical stress on your body. Be sure to eat at least every three to four hours and consume protein, low glycemic
carbohydrates and healthy fats like avocados, and olive oil.
5. Wash your hands frequently. At this time of year there are lots of germs around at work at the gym or at school. The simplest thing you can do to prevent a cold is to keep your hands clean and away from your face.
6. Include the following immune-boosting foods in your diet: garlic, onions, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and red and yellow fruits and veggies like peppers, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits. Be sure to consume these foods in their whole form, meaning eat the orange, not orange juice. Avoid processed foods like white pasta, white bread and packaged foods with additives.
7. Drink plenty of water. Dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue, headaches and constipation. Keeping your bowels moving regularly (meaning at least once per day; perfect bowel function is after every meal) will help to reduce the toxic load on your body. Add one or two tablespoons of ground flaxseed to your morning porridge if you find you are not going as frequently as you should be.
8. Take acidophilus supplements. Studies have proven that taking acidophilus helps to reduce the frequency and severity of infections. Acidophilus is the friendly bacteria that lives in our digestive tract. Our healthy bacterial balance is affected by the use of antibiotics, the birth control pill or excess sugar and carbohydrate intake. Be sure to follow any course of antibiotics with supplements of acidophilus for double the length of time you took the antibiotics.
9. If you find you are doing all of these things and still experience frequent colds or the flu, take immune-supporting herbs that are safe for long-term use (like the whole of the winter months).. Echinacea is commonly used during cold season. If you find that everyone at work is ill, take it daily for prevention. Echinacea is best cycled a few weeks at a time or taken in higher dosages just during an acute infection.
10. Try this homeopathic flu prevention protocol for the whole family: Do this for five weeks to prevent the flu.
Influenzinum 9 C: take one dose on Mondays
Thymuline 9 C: take one dose on Wednesdays