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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Immune to the Flu

Many Houstonians were rushing to local Walgreens and CVS stores to try to get their hands on face masks, gloves, and immunity pills last week due to the Swine Flu scare. My parents were no exception and I felt the fear everywhere I went- especially because I work near the Medical Center and the Galleria area, where news reports pinpointed the first U.S. death associated with this virus. However, I decided to remain calm, not think about Outbreak or Quarantine, and just take care of myself as if I was guarding against any type of flu that might come my way (including the H1N1 strain of influenza)- by building immunity.
You don't have to spend big amounts of money or pump yourself full of meds or chemicals for your body to become stronger. Actually, the best way to build immunity is by paying attention to what you put in your body - by way of food & liquids.
So, as this was not the first, nor will it be the last, time we are faced with a fast spreading flu, I offer knowledge brought to me through friends that have been on the Natural/Organic road for a long time now ~ mixed with a little eHow research info on how to build up your immunity (and your families') to guard against the possibility of flu and any other kind of body ailment for that matter.
  1. Vitamin C
    Get plenty of natural vitamin C. This is probably the most well-known way to help boost your natural immunity. Supplements, such as vitamins, are fine but the best way to get vitamin C is to get it through pure foods. Oranges, grapefruits and tomatoes are just three examples of foods you can eat everyday in order to build up your natural immunity.

  2. Veggies!!
    Eat a good amount of fresh vegetables and beans on a daily basis. You may be surprised to learn that foods like broccoli, spinach and kidney beans are full of antioxidants. Over time, these will help you protect and strengthen your immune system. Vegetable juices ("You could have had a V-8!") are a very easy and tasty way to get your daily amount of vegetables.

  3. Agua is good!!!
    Drink at least 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. This can serve two purposes. Water will help to remove toxins and "junk" from your system. It will also carry out any excess vitamins you have ingested during your new diet. Both of these are helpful when trying to build up your natural immunity.

  4. Rest.
    Try to sleep well every night. Too many individuals are unaware at how important sleep is to their daily lives. Sleeping 8 hours every night can help to prevent weight gain, reduce stress and even keep you from getting sick.

  5. Exercise on the daily.
    When you exercise, you help your body to absorb the vitamins and nutrients you consume. Exercise by itself is another way that you can strengthen your immune system. This doesn't mean that you have to hit the gym every day. Walking for 30 to 60 consecutive minutes is all of the exercise you need in order to build natural immunity.

  6. Get the bad stuff out.
    Know which foods and drinks you should give up. Caffeine and sugar are two things that can actually remove vitamins and minerals from your body, thus weakening your immune system. Fast and processed foods won't do your immune system any good, either. Alcohol will also break down nutrients and your immune system. Basically, you should use common sense when cutting foods out of your diet.

It might be alot to do at first, but start with one and add on as you get a good rhythm with the one you are working on. Building you immunity means taking your body's balance to a whole new level. And the next time you are being warned about a 'pandemic outbreak', you'll feel more secure about yourself and your family's ability to not get sick.

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