Natural Remedies to Keep You Healthy
Each year, nearly 50 million Americans contract the flu annually. Incidence of Common colds: 62 million cases (NIAID); 23.6 per 100 (NHIS96); estimated 1 billion colds in the USA annually; Children get 6-10 yearly, adults 2-4 yearly; over 60’s less than 1 a year.
The best defense against colds and flu is a strong immune system.
There are a plethora of immune boosting foods and homeopathic natural remedies to keep you healthy.
Building a healthy immune system is the first step in preventing illness. A healthy food plan, exercise and adequate rest are the building blocks to keep flu and colds at bay.
Foods high in Vitamin C are first on the list:
- Broccoli – 1/2-cup serving provides 45 mg of vitamin C.
- Tomato – A small tomato provides 25 mg of vitamin C.
- Papaya and mango – Half a medium papaya or mango provides 95 mg of vitamin C.
- Kohlrabi and Jicama provide about 45 mg of vitamin C per half cup. Add them grated into a green salad.
- Kiwi fruit – each has about 55 mg of vitamin C.
- Red, yellow, and orange peppers have 311 milligrams of vitamin C, or more than three times the recommended daily amount.
(Take note that citrus, such as: grapefruit, oranges, lemons and lime have high levels of acidity content.)
- Eating foods high in vitamin A and beta carotene can boost the immune system. The richest sources of beta-carotene are: Yellow, orange, and green leafy fruits and vegetables (such as carrots, spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, and winter squash).
The more intense the green, yellow or orange color the more beta carotene the vegetable or fruit contains. Beta carotene is not destroyed by cooking which, in fact, may make it easier to absorb. In dietary supplements, beta-carotene is available as synthetic all-trans beta-carotene, beta- and alpha-carotene from the algae Dunaliella, and mixed carotenes from palm oil.
Daily intake of foods rich in minerals such as selenium and zinc are also important in fighting colds and the flu.
A deficiency in selenium has been linked to weakened immune systems and significant research has shown that selenium plays a role in regulating the expression of cell signaling molecules that orchestrate the immune response.
The best Selenium rich foods include:
- Whole grains—no wheat—wheat has a high acidity content
- Cottage Cheese
Zinc is believed to promote a strong immune system by revitalizing the thymus gland and its production of white blood cells.
The best foods for zinc are:
- Dark Chicken – thigh and leg
- Peanuts and Peanut butter
- Maitake, shiitake and reishi mushrooms
Research has shown that Shiitake mushrooms contain an antiviral substance that could stimulate the immune system.
Food isn’t the only thing your immune system needs to stay strong.
Natural homeopathic remedies can help fight flu symptoms including: sinus pain, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and congestion as well as fever, chills and body aches and pains.
Plant extracts such as:
Natural dietary supplements, throat sprays and wellness products containing combinations of vitamins C and A, zinc, selenium and mushroom extracts are a must have for your arsenal against colds and flu.
In addition to using these supplements, wellness products and best foods, there are things to avoid which weaken the immune system.
- Sugar can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs.
- Excessive alcohol consumption deprives the body of valuable immune-boosting nutrients
- Obesity can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies and rush to the site of an infection
- Stress can overload your immune system. Practice stress reducing techniques.
- Lack of regular exercise can leave your body feeling sluggish.