It’s almost here. The shopping is almost done. The packages are almost wrapped. The tree is almost trimmed. The cards are almost stamped. The relatives are almost here. Visions of sugarplums are everywhere. And then it hits. The holiday flu!
Radiance Top Tips for Boosting your Immune System
Drink Tea – Green tea is a rich source of a certain antioxidant called a catechin. Preliminary research in Canada and South Korea has found that a specific catechin, (epigallocatechin gallate or egcg), may actually kill the influenza virus. The studies are new, but the ancient Chinese cannot have been all wrong.
Add Garlic to your Organic Meatballs – Garlic has long been known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-yeast properties. Beef is an important source of zinc, the super-mineral that is important to the development of white blood cells that recognize and destroy bacteria and viruses in our bodies.
Hit the Snooze Button: A recent study at the University of Chicago showed that our immune systems produce only half the number of required antibodies when we get only four hours of sleep a night. That’s why fatigue can increase our susceptibility to illness.
Be Mindful: Chronic stress exposes our bodies to the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which suppress the immune system and make us more vulnerable to illness. Studies have shown that people with a system of spiritual beliefs that comfort and relax them are better able to manage their stress and stay healthy.
Do the D: Studies have shown a relationship between low Vitamin D levels and health problems from colds to cancer. Stock up on fatty fish such as salmon, and get some good protected sunshine using Cosmedix RX or SkinMedica Daily Physical Defense, found here at Radiance.
Remember the Antioxidants: Recent studies look to powerful antioxidants such as flavonoids to boost your immune system. They help protect your blood vessels from rupture or leakage, enhance the power of vitamin C, protect your cells from oxygen damage and prevent excessive inflammation. Radiance offers flavonoids in Designs for Health Quercetin + Nettles.
Have Some Honey, Honey: According to Prevention Magazine, studies have shown honey is more effective at treating cough than OTC medications. Raw honey contains 22 amino acids, 27 minerals, a full-range of vitamins, and 5,000 live enzymes. Just remember, raw honey should not be given to infants under one year of age.
Take Probiotics: According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, regular use of probiotics can reduce the incidence of intestinal infections and improve digestion, and may help your immune system function better. Probiotics, the “good bacteria” are found in yogurt, sauerkraut and other foods, as well as in supplements such as our Transformation Professional Protocol Probiotic 42.5.
Get Off the Couch: Getting your heart rate up for 20 minutes just three times a week can increase your immune function. Even a brisk walk five days a week can help reduce your risk of catching a bug. Regular exercise increases the level of leukocytes, an immune system cell that fights infection.
Pack Your Own Pen: This busy season, you will be swiping your credit card more than ever. Always use your own pen when signing your receipt. If faced with the dreaded “stylus on a tether,” be sure you have hand sanitizer available.
Call your Mom: Or your brother, or your best friend. Research has long shown that that the fewer human connections we have at home, at work, and in the community, the likelier we are to get sick, become anxious or depressed, and live shorter lives than our more sociable sisters. And while you’re at it…
Laugh Like your Life Depends on it! Laughing decreases the levels of stress hormones in the body while increasing certain white blood cells that fights infection.
Don’t Overdo Antibiotics: Taking antibiotics can reduce your levels of cytokines, the hormone messengers of the immune system. When your immune system is suppressed, you’re more likely to become sick or develop resistant bacteria. Remember, take antibiotics only for bacterial infections. A virus like the flu will not respond to antibiotics.
Consider Functional Medicine: At Radiance we are interested in your health, not managing your symptoms. Make an appointment with Gail Clayton, our functional medicine provider. Using scientific principles, advanced diagnostic testing and treatments, other than drugs and surgery, functional medicine restores balance in your body’s primary physiological processes. We use a combination of natural agents such as supplements, herbs, and nutraceuticals, as well as guiding you through nutritional and lifestyle changes.