Just when you think the flu will stay where the bad weather is… well, it has made its way to Hawaii. This years flu shot is less effective than previous years. So what is a person to do?? Ever hear that old saying that an ounce is worth a pound of cure? In previous post there were a few tips to those viral attacks but here are few addition things you can do to not only prevent but lessen the symptoms or duration.
First let's talk about what a virus is, unlike bacteria fungus and parasites, a virus is not a living creature. This means they do not contain the cellular machinery necessary to grow and reproduce on their own. Instead, they make their way into the cells of living organisms and use their infected host as a copy machine. They essentially hack the reproductive mechanisms of living organisms in order to replicate and spread. The huge downfall in the medical world is they can not be killed. However, a strong healthy immune system is equipped to stop it in it's tracks. Fortunately, there are several things we can do and many natural compounds that boost your immune system.
Encountering viruses is an everyday occurrence and a normal part of life. However, some people adapt well to the stress of a virus and fight it off while others struggle with this form of stressor. The truth is, there are over 200 different viruses that can cause a cold including influenza, rhinovirus, and Epstein Barr. For ongoing protection from cold-causing viruses, try incorporating these immune boosting ideas to prevent colds from getting you down.
Big item that makes our immune system little less than optimal and weaker in the fight against viruses is sugar. Studies show that the more blood sugar, aka blood glucose level, the less vitamin C in the white blood cells. All nutrients must enter the cell membranes and glucose and vitamin C are staunch competitors that race to get inside white blood cells, the cells that fight off viruses. Avoid sugar and highly processed foods that are usually high sugar content. Incorporate foods high in vitamin C like yellow peppers, guava, papaya, kale, and broccoli.
Sleep deprivation is another big hit to our immune systems. We need at least 7 and up to 9 hours of sleep each night. Our ancestors were regularly getting 8-9 hours of sleep if not more each night. We typically try to get by on less than 7 and it leads to chronic stress, inflammation and immune dysregulation.
Get outside, enjoy some fresh air and soak up some rays. Many people stay inside during the flu season, school hours and chilly weather is to blame. By spending so much time indoors we are also missing out on the protective factors inherent in nature. When outside we are exposed to low levels of natural pathogens and our immune system is able to gently adapt to these. Being outside also offers the benefit of fresh air, sunlight and vitamin D3 and if you take off your shoes the electrons from the ground.
Drink plenty of water, preferably filtered water. Water is necessary for every function in the body. When you become dehydrated the body reroutes this life sustaining liquid to the most valuable areas of the body. Keep everything flowing and better prepared for the daily exposures to viruses and other pathogens.
Try incorporating these 8 antiviral nutrients to prevent viruses from getting you down:
Unlike traditional medical treatments of viruses, nutrient-based therapies are typically very safe and create little side effects. Additionally, they tend to work against viruses in multiple ways by boosting the immune system and directly inhibiting viral reproduction.
This combination of safety and broad-spectrum efficacy gets my pick every time. There are 8 that come to mind when someone asks me what they can do about their cold. Using these 8 antiviral compounds will help improve your bodies resilience and give you the immune power to adapt strong!!
Vitamin C is a great first step for viral defense. Not only does vitamin C boost the immune system, but has shown tremendous non-specific antiviral support. Non-specific means that it works against a broad range of viruses.
Another common cold remedy you can find in most grocery stores is Zinc in the form of lozenges. Zinc is a powerful immune support compound yet it is estimated that 25% of the world’s population is deficient. For optimal immune protection from cold-causing viruses, you need to ensure you are getting enough zinc on a daily basis. Vitamin C is a great first step for viral defense. Not only does vitamin C boost the immune system, but has shown tremendous non-specific antiviral support. Non-specific means that it works against a broad range of viruses.
Beta-glucan is found in mushrooms, algae, yeast, and the cell walls of certain grains. Beta-glucan is an immune modulator. When the body is overcome with an infection it can become dysregulated resulting body wide inflammation. Beta-glucan helps the immune system focus on targeting the virus present in the body. It helps by binding to virus fighters called macrophages and improves their ability to seek out foreign pathogens.
Olive Leaf extract
Olive leaf is a less commonly known but powerful anti-microbial compound. It is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal by nature. This means it will not only help you fight viruses of the flu but could be helping you get rid on other infections hiding in the body that could be distracting your immune system.
Monolaurin is a compound that has broad spectrum antimicrobial properties. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is converted into monolaurin in the body. Monolaurin has been studied to be helpful in disrupting lipid coated bacteria and viruses. This includes influenza, HIV-1, rubeola and the herpes family.
Echinacea is well known for preventing and reducing cold symptoms. It can reduce recurrence and complications of respiratory infections.
Ginger is a warming herb that boost circulation and immune activity. At the same time ginger helps us rid or prevent the accumulation of toxins, which make you more susceptible to infections. Ginger also helps to lower inflammation so the immune system can function more effectively.
Yarrow is an herb with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-viral benefits. This herb is helpful in supporting the body’s own response to fighting off viruses.
This health tip was brought to you by Dr. Shaun Lover DC – Mobile chiropractor to the Big Island.
If you have further questions about boosting you immune system call (808) 209-1856 email [email protected]