Simple Ways to Improve Your Immune Function

October 1, 2009

During sleep, our body restores and repairs itself. If we do not sleep enough, or well enough, we get rundown quickly. Try to get to sleep at the same time every night, optimally by 10pm. Our bodies’ circadian rhythms were set well before modern technology existed. Light signals us to wake, so should be avoided for restful sleep, including computers, tv etc. Also avoid ingesting stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and alcohol, especially before bedtime. Avoid prescription sleep aids as they promote dependence and do not address the underlying causes of insomnia.
Sleep is aided by taking a restful quiet hour before bed, using aromatherapy (especially lavender), taking a warm bath, drinking chamomile tea or listening to soft music.

BREATHE
Though the body breathes on its own, we are in control of the _way_ we breathe. When stressed, we are often prone to holding our breath, which in turn deprives us of vital oxygen and makes us more nervous. Nothing relaxes us quite like a strong exhalation. Remember to take slow, deep breaths and you will feel better almost immediately.

EXERCISE
Exercise in any form keeps the body functioning optimally, as long as it is not overdone (Over-exercise actually taxes the immune system).
Find an activity that suits your fitness level and that you enjoy. Try to move for at least 30 minutes a day whether it is walking, running, yoga or aerobics.

NUTRITION
Eating a wide variety of mostly organic whole foods (fruits, veggies and whole grains) will provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. Also make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables with high water content.

IF YOU ARE UNDER THE WEATHER…
You should use these remedies at the first sign of a cold or flu, as you can often stop a germ in its tracks.

  • Use these foods and supplements to boost immunity: Oil of Oregano, Astragalus or Echinacea, Zinc, Vitamin C and raw garlic, onion and ginger. Follow provided dosages for individual supplements.
  • A good drink to soothe and help you heal is fresh ginger with lemon juice, honey and hot water. Drink throughout the day.
  • Steam, whether taken in a shower or a sauna, can rid the body of toxins and relieve congestion. Add eucalyptus oil for added effect.
  • For a sore throat, massage a drop of lavender oil on the throat, eat fresh pineapple, gargle with warm sea salt water and swallow a spoonful of warm honey.
  • Boost Vitamin D3 levels. Always have your levels checked by your doctor so you have a baseline. The sun is the best source for Vitamin D3, but if you are unable to get enough sunlight because of your climate, a good supplement is Vegan D3.
  • Get extra sleep and rest as much as possible to allow your body to recover.

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