Friday, May 24, 2013

Build Your Immunity, Keep Your Health

Cold and flu season is here. In fact, the flu has spread across North America this winter fast and furiously. Many hospitals in Canada had to call on extra staff through the holiday season to deal with flu patients congesting their emergency rooms. The strains are strong and the symptoms are nasty.

Getting sick is no fun for anyone. It impacts our work, family life and fun. I'm sure you'd rather avoid the runny nose, headaches, fevers, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and full-body aches and pains. Some of you may even have gotten the flu shot. If we value our health, it serves each of us well to protect our bodies.

3 Easy Ways to Keep Your Health Throughout the Year

While there are no guarantees, experts agree that these three steps will help you avoid illness:

1) Practise proper handwashing

2) Reduce the spread of germs by covering up coughs and sneezes

3) Build your immunity through proper nutrition.

The first two are obvious, but did you know that 60-70% of your immune function is located in your gut? What you eat matters. And have you ever contemplated why cold and flu season spans from Halloween to Valentine's Day when we are eating more sugary treats?

It's not a coincidence. Sugar does more than add inches to your waistline. It suppresses your immune system for up to 4 hours. Shocking, yes? Reducing your sugar intake can definitely boost your immunity.

So can these other immune-building nutrients:

  • Bright colored veggies/fruits
  • Dark leafy greens - kale, chard, collards, spinach
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Omega 3?s (fish oil, flaxseed oil)
  • Garlic

The following supplements are also a great addition to your immune-boosting regiment:

  • Echinacea
  • Astragalus
  • Oil of Oregano
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Zinc
  • A probiotic to maintain stomach flora.

Beyond what you eat, the following factors all impact immunity:

  • Stress
  • Rest
  • Allergies
  • Emotions
  • Exercise

Yes, I know you know about these. Now I empower you to live them.

It is often the very basics we overlook that hold all the power. Yet we're off searching for something sexy and sophisticated that requires more time, energy and money than is needed.

Set yourself up for success and get back to basics. Choose clean eating, good rest, plenty of water and a lifestyle that keeps your happiness high and stress under control. Illness is never about just one thing. It's a series of steps you overlook. Similarly, wellness is just a series of new steps you take. Together they build the sacred well from which you live.

Here's to filling your well. Your health is worth it.

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