Support your immune system! Avoid the flu this winter
There are some easy and natural ways to support your immune system. I'm almost never sick myself, so at least for me, these tricks seem to work!
You hire a personal trainer, sign up for a gym or buy a 10-times yoga card and then you get sick! So typical isn't it? What about if you start to take care of your immune system now when you are still all good and healthy, and won't get sick at all!
These are my top tips for a strong immune system!
Number 1. Keep your gut flora healthy. The gut is the new brain but it is also the base for a good immune system. You can support the good bacteria to grow by eating fermented food and prebiotic fibers. When you feed the good bacteria, the good bacteria will naturally replace the bad ones. And when your gut flora is healthy, your immune system is stronger.
Examples of fermented foods: kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, greek yogurt...
Prebiotic fibers you get from legumes and vegetables but I also recommend taking some insoluble fiber like psyllium husk or some fiber blend like ZinoBiotic. Number 2. Reduce the chronic inflammation in your body by avoiding too much omega 6 fatty acids, sugar, alcohol, and stress. Take a good quality omega 3 supplement daily. Omega 3 is very important for our immune system and it reduces the chronic inflammation in the body. In today's world, it is not possible to get enough of omega 3 from the diet alone. My favorite omega 3 product is the Balance Oil! You can read more about HERE.
Number 3. Eat anti-inflammatory spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric, green tea, and garlic. Turmeric + ginger + black pepper together is a very powerful mixture. All of them have key active ingredients that are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and have disease-fighting qualities. Curcumin in turmeric is poorly absorbed by itself but the piperine in black pepper enhances its absorption, that's why it is more powerful to use them together.
You can use these herbs in cooking to flavor your food or you can make tea and drink them. I usually start my day by making a big pot of fresh ginger-lemon tea (=simple mix fresh ginger, lemon slices, and hot water) and I always use some turmeric and black pepper in my cooking.
Number 4. If you live in the north part of Europe like me, supplement with vitamin D from October to April. Vitamin D is one of the most vital nutrients for the immune system and it's difficult to get enough from food alone.
Number 5. Antioxidants and vitamin C are also important! Eat a variety of berries, fruits, and vegetables. You can also supplement with acerola powder which is naturally very high in vitamin C. I like to add some acerola-powder in my smoothies.
Number 6. Take some beta-glucan if you are already feeling that the flu is coming. Researchers believe that beta-glucan has some positive effects on the immune system - it stimulates the immune system and helps the body fight off disease and infection very effectively.
WHAT TO DO IF THE FLU IS COMING
When I feel the first symptoms of flu, I double my omega 3 doses, take a few pills of beta-glucan and drink plenty of fresh ginger tea. I try to rest if possible and go early to sleep. Usually, I'm fine the next day.
Rest and a good sleep are as important as the good nutrition, so if you do get sick, try to sleep as much as possible! And of course, only do sports when you are 100 % recovered. Hope you will stay healthy this winter!
All the best, Anni