It is not unusual to see more sickness during and after the holiday season – with the stress of eating more, traveling more, socializing more, etc. . . .and after all the treats that are so hard to resist.
Time to hit the “reset” button. Now that the festivities are over, don’t beat yourself up. Instead, work to rebuild your immune system, since a strong immune system strengthens your defenses again illness.
Here are some simple things we do in our house when the flu season starts rolling in:
1 – Drink more bone broth. Bone broth is nutrient dense and full of minerals. To learn more and find out how to make it yourself, click here. It is really easy to do. If you are vegetarian, consider making this vital broth at least once a week to help replenish your minerals and electrolytes.
2 – Eat more garlic. Garlic is known as “the natural antibiotic.” Add it to soups and stir fries or just mince a small clove and swallow it from a spoon with some water a couple times a week. In addition to helping to keep the microbes at bay, garlic contains sulfur which helps feed your healthy gut bacteria and supports your sulfur detox pathway. To learn more uses for garlic, click here. Onions have many of the same benefits.
3 – Drink lots of quality water. This includes purified water, pure coconut water, and quality herbal teas. To learn about the health benefits of teas, click here. Thyme and oregano are herbs that are antimicrobial; they make good tea and are easy to cook with.
4 – Limit your exposure to EMFs and Wi-Fi – Electronics, screens, Bluetooth, wireless routers, etc. all put additional stress on your body. The more energy your body needs to put into protecting you from these man-made, unnatural frequencies, the less energy your body has to keep you healthy. At a minimum turn off Wi-Fi at night and keep your distance from your cellphone as much as possible. Learn more here.
5 – Eat more fermented veggies. 80% of your immune system resides in your gut, so keeping the good bacteria in your gut populated with prebiotics and probiotics is another key to staying healthy. If you have trouble eating fermented veggies, like sauerkraut or kimchi, check out this article for other gut-friendly ideas.
6 – Reduce sugar intake. Each time you eat sugar, whether is it from soft drinks, sweet fruit, or other treats, it compromises your immune system for up to five hours! So, the less sweets you eat the better, especially when it comes to your immune system. Keep in mind that the body converts grains to sugar as well, so if you start not feeling well, it is a good idea to reduce things like bread and crackers too.
7 – Eliminate or reduce dairy. If you are a dairy eater, you may want to consider reducing or eliminating it during the winter months, or at the very least when you are feeling under the weather. Dairy is hard to digest and mucus producing for many people. When you eliminate it from your diet, even for a little while, it helps to reduce congestion and gives your body more energy for other things.
8 – Get more sun and nature. The sun helps our body to produce Vitamin D, which is important to many functions in the body, including our immune system. Even in the cold months, it is important to expose the body to the sun – the skin without sunscreen and the eyes without sunglasses. Expose as much of your skin as you can for at least 10 minutes per day. 20 minutes a day is optimal but if you burn easy be sure to do it in increments. Not only does the sun increase our Vitamin D3, it also increases our sulfur levels (see #2 above).
9 – Get quality sleep. Sleep is critical to your immune system. It allows your body to rest and recover. Sleep is also when your brain detoxifies through the glymphatic system. Create a sleep sanctuary, limiting technology, blue lights, etc.
10 – Be mindful. Take time everyday to sit still and be quiet. Pray, meditate, contemplate, etc. Think about Creating gratitude lists, practicing deep breathing, and grounding your body in the grass with bare feet.
11 – Stay connected. Visiting with friends and family and those that you love boosts the beneficial hormones in your body, which in turn boosts your immune system. Connection with real people, not just though social media, is very important.
To learn more about how to improve and rebuild you immune system using foods and other strategies for long-term health, refer to this blog post for a more comprehensive list.
If you find yourself getting sick despite your best efforts, here is a great article for extra support depending on what is ailing you. It is a good idea to plan ahead so that you have a number of natural remedies on hand when the time comes. Use this article to help you build your own “natural medicine cabinet.”
Also keep in mind that getting a fever is a good thing, since it is your body’s way of “burning off the bad stuff.” Try to resist the urge to reduce a fever as soon as it arrives. Let it run its course whenever possible. If you feel it is getting too high for your comfort level, this article includes natural ways to bring a fever down.
Of course, if you need extra help, be sure to contact your health care provider. Also know that homeopathic remedies can be customized to help the body recover from an illness, including the flu.