Thursday, December 12, 2013

10 Tips to Boosting Your Immune System

Give You Immune System a Boost
10 Helpful tips to give your immune system a boost
this cold and flu season.

                Cold and flu season is here, but with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you may not be giving your immune system its best chance at fighting off infections. Thankfully, there are some simple everyday tips to avoid getting sick and to give your immune system a boost.  With the holidays just around the corner, you will definitely want to do everything to boost your immunity.
1.       Decrease/Eliminate Stress: Stress hurts your body in many ways, but it has the most significant effect on your immune system. When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections.
Stress can also have an indirect effect on illness as it is associated with all manner of bad habits (coping strategies), for example smoking, drinking alcohol to excess, poor diet due to lack of time, lack of exercise for the same reason, lack of sleep etc.
2.       Laugh: The saying goes that laughter is the best medicine, and there's truth to that. Laughter releases dopamine and other feel-good chemicals in the brain, all of which can help decrease stress.
3.       Adopt a Healthy Diet: Try to eliminate processed foods from your daily routine. Not only are processed foods hard on your body, they don’t provide you with the energy or nutrients your body needs to fight infections. Instead, opt for plenty of colorful fruits and veggies paired with lean proteins!
4.       Drink Water: One of the most popular and beneficial subscriptions for healing is to drink plenty of liquids. And by liquids, we mean water. Water is absolutely essential and critical for all cell functions in your body. When someone is dehydrated they produce Histamines, which are the mucus promoters in your body. So dehydration causes mucus, inflammation, and swelling. We want to be fully hydrated. All of the time, not simply sometimes!

5.       Rest: Been running around like crazy to finish your holiday shopping and now, all of a sudden, you're sick? Well, that's your immune system getting its revenge. The immune system requires a lot of energy to work. When you notice that you’re tired, your appetite is suppressed, and you’re low on energy, your body is diverting energy to your immune system. Instead of taking drugs so you can rush off to work, listen to your body and get some rest. Stay home, stay warm, allow your body to use the energy to feed your immune system, and get healthy. When you sleep, your body is rebuilding new, healthy tissues. Staying up late only slows down this process.
6.       Move: Regular exercise appears to have the advantage of being able to jump-start the immune system, and that can help reduce the number of colds you get. With exercise, the number and aggressiveness of certain immune cells, such as the ones called natural killer cells, increase by as much as 50% to 300%. If you exercise regularly, this temporary increase can help make the immune system more efficient at destroying intruders that cause illness such as colds.
7.       Eliminate Sugar: Even if you’re drinking fruit juice, it’s more than likely that is chalk full of sugar. To put it simply, sugar can cripple your immune system. Sugar compromises the immune system because it lowers the efficiency of white blood cells for a minimum of five hours.
8.       Stay Positive: Researchers aren’t exactly sure why, but studies have shown those with more optimistic attitudes feel sick less often and/or recover from sickness more quickly than those who think more negatively. They believe that a person with a positive mind-set has an easier time clearing their head and reducing stress in their life.
9.       Let Your Body Fight: Your immune system will get stronger and smarter if you let your body fight. If you interfere and suppress it with prescription drugs because it’s more important for you to be comfortable rather than healthy, your body will get weaker and not be able to defend itself properly in future attacks.
10.   Receive Regular Chiropractic Care: The nervous system controls and coordinates the entire body including all of the immune organs. Subluxations or misalignments of the spine can interfere with messages sent to immune organs, making you more prone to illness. When you receive specific adjustments by a chiropractor, you are giving your body the chance to operate at optimal levels. Additionally, chiropractic care can help reduce the effects of stress on your body, indirectly giving your immune system a boost.
If you think you’re coming down with the cold or flu, or know someone who is seemingly always sick, be sure to give our office a call and find out more on how we can help!