Immunity has become a seasonal discussion, reserved for fall and winter when colds and flu are most prevalent.
While this is an excellent starting point, building a strong immune system should not be an occasional effort. In addition to destroying the viruses and germs that we’re more vulnerable to in the winter, immune defenses also handle toxins, allergens, abnormal cells, and other internal maintenance. For the body, immunity is more than a full-time job. It’s a constant state of vigilance.
Our immune system is our firewall against colds and flu, but immunity must be protected and nurtured throughout the year. This can be achieved by following a healthy, whole foods diet, receiving adequate rest and hydration, practicing healthy stress relief, and supplementing with powerful immune-boosting herbs and nutrients. The more we do to support immunity, the stronger it will be when we need it most. Why do some people get very sick from the flu while others seem to be immune to it? Considering that last year’s vaccine was only about 19 percent effective, this is a vitally important question.
The answer is…
It all depends on the state of your immune system and your underlying health. Immunity to the flu first and foremost depends upon whether your immune system has been previously exposed to the influenza virus (or variants of it) and developed antibodies to protect you. It is almost impossible for you to know by testing your blood if you have antibodies or not. In simple terms, the more you have been exposed to these types of viruses (respiratory viruses, influenza viruses) over the years and developed antibodies against them, the less likely you will get sick from the flu — even if you live with other family members who do get sick from it. To minimize your risk of getting the flu, do the following:
- Consume a high percentage of your food from raw food and whole food sources. If you consume 90% as whole, unprocessed food, and 50% as raw food, you are doing well. After many months of this kind of eating you will likely notice your energy levels are excellent, and after a few years, you won’t get winter illnesses.
- Avoid refined sugar. Sugar suppresses your immune system. Also, avoid refined flour, refined oil, foods with chemical preservatives, dyes, additives, and processed foods. It has been scientifically shown that when you eat foods from processed, refined, chemicalized and fried foods, then you already have inflammation, called leukocytosis, measurable in your body.
- Exercise at least three times/week. Walking thirty minutes a day has been shown to strengthen your immune system significantly.
- Consistently feel good in a state of peace with your relationships, your work, and state of being.
- Get enough restful sleep. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to weaken your immune system.
The immune system is made up of many different cell types, each one performing specific protective tasks, like soldiers in an army.
- Lymphocytes are white blood cells that destroy foreign particles and microbes and produce cytokines — signaling molecules that control other immune cells.
- Our first line of defense, macrophages, are immune cells that engulf and digest foreign particles and abnormal cells. They also communicate danger by activating T-cells.
- T-cells, also called T-lymphocytes, handle a wide variety of immune system tasks, including attacking diseased cells, communicating with other immune components, and bridging innate and acquired immunity.
- Natural Killer (NK) cells attach to microbes or tumor cells and inject them with chemicals that destroy them.
- Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cells. Among other things, they respond to bacterial infection, migrating toward the inflammation process.
- Cytokines (produced by the immune cells) are proteins that carry intercellular communications, reacting to an infection or foreign bodies.
Here’s what you can do to boost your immune system naturally if the flu is already upon you:
- Take Liposomal C. Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in immune cells, and it is consumed quickly when the immune system faces a challenge. Vitamin C has been shown to inhibit viral activity and boost the immune system significantly. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and estimates are that less than twenty percent of regular vitamin C is absorbed. However, liposomal vitamin C is a vitamin C that has been packaged in a healthy fat. In this form, vitamin C passes through the digestive barrier and delivers the nutrient directly to the bloodstream with an absorption rate of more than 90 percent.
- High doses of Vitamin D has been proven to be a potent promoter of innate immune function. In fact, vitamin D triggers the release of your body’s own natural antimicrobial peptides against infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Always have your vitamin D levels checked before starting to supplement.
- Arabinogalactan. Larch arabinogalactan is a natural substance sourced from the wood of the larch tree. Arabinogalactans are a fiber found in many plants but occur in especially high concentrations in the larch tree. Larch arabinogalactan is a fiber-rich complex carbohydrate that can protect against infections. It stimulates the immune system by increasing the number of probiotic bacteria in the gut as it undergoes fermentation and signaling the IGA to start increasing overall immunity.
- Probiotics. There are hundreds of species of beneficial bacteria that reside in the digestive tract, assisting digestion, boosting nutrient assimilation, and protecting against harmful microbes. Studies show that probiotic bacteria can increase T cells, a critical class of immune responders. Other studies show that the probiotics can increase immune responses to flu viruses, even swine flu. Taking a high-quality probiotic formula that delivers a variety of live organisms deep into your gut should be your first priority for preparing to beat the flu.
- Prebiotics. Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir provide beneficial bacteria that can help boost your immune system. Here, think Arabinogalactan and fiber rich veggies.
- Olivir, as well as being an extraordinary virucide, olive leaf extract is also a bactericide fighting a host of common disease-causing bacteria. This makes it an attractive alternative to synthetic antibiotics in most infectious conditions. You will find Olivir indispensable in the fight against common colds flu and other viral infections.
- Zinc. Zinc is designed to support the body’s natural defense system as well as enhance digestion and metabolism of important vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients.
Immune health is not just an issue during fall and winter—it’s beneficial all year long and can result in increased energy, vitality and overall wellbeing, no matter the season.
If you or anyone in your family is susceptible to the flu, call us today at
1-800-824-0194 and discuss your natural options to build your immune system.