As the flu is touring the nation, swooping up victims left and right, the national media is campaigning for everyone to get the flu shot ASAP. But in the holistic community, not everyone agrees that a vaccine is even really necessary. There’s a lot of controversy and uncertainty surrounding the fillers used in them, their efficacy, and possible side effects.
So, regardless of whether or not you choose to get the shot, do what you can to stay strong and boost immunity with these five simple steps!
1. Eat Garlic
Garlic is a natural antibacterial agent! It’s a serious germ fighter that helps the body fight off any unwanted bacteria. The most potent, therapeutic way to consume garlic is raw. (I know, it can be a bit on the intense side!) So, instead of eating it straight up, try adding raw garlic to salad dressings, hummus and dips. Another way to ease up on the intensity is to crush a clove of garlic and eat it spread on a piece of apple…
2. Boost Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and super supporter of your immune system. It is know for decreasing the severity of colds, so even if you’ve already got the bug load up on vitamin C to help ease the pain. Great vitamin C sources in the wintertime include those dark leafy greens as well as rutabaga, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, lemon and persimmon (if you live in California at least!) Want to really up the game? Have a green juice with kale, lemon and ginger everyday.
3. Get Enough Sleep and Manage Your Stress
When you compromise on sleep and experience a lot of stress, you are also weakening your body’s immune system and ability to fight off colds and flus.
It’s not a coincidence that you get sick right around the time of an exam, a big presentation at work or maybe even right after the Holidays (let’s face it: they can be very stressful, too). Prioritize active rest, like some gentle restorative yoga, practice deep breathing, meditate, go for a walk – what ever it is that works for you. But do something and get your 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
4. Ginger Up
Ginger is a great inflammation- and pain reliever. But that’s not all! It’s also an anti-viral agent helping to boost your immune system. Ginger also has a nice and warning effect on the body in the colder winter months and helps resolve mucus build up. It’s digestive benefits are also worth mentioning, off course!
5. Kick the Sugar
Let your sugar come from immunity boosting fresh fruits and sweet root vegetables, not candybars, cookies and soda. Sugar weakens your immune system and causes inflammation in the body. Not a good combo when you want to fight off a stubborn virus!
By Katrine Van Wyk, Mindbodygreen;