The arrival of fall comes with many things to look forward to; changing leaves, crisp temperatures and layers of comfy clothing are a few of the many exciting elements of the new season. But with summer's end also comes the beginning of flu season, which starts at the end of September and peaks during the winter months of January and February.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2017-2018 flu season was considered one of the most severe in years, due to a high number of outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for influenza-like illness, as well as high flu-related hospitalization rates and overall widespread flu-related symptoms and activity.
By learning how to better protect your immune system, you can ensure your overall health before flu season arrives. In this article, we'll discuss some of the symptoms of poor immunity, tips for boosting the immune system and some of the best foods and supplements you can implement into your daily nutritional regimen for a healthy immune system.
Signs of a weak immune system
The immune system is made up of white bloods cells that are created in bone marrow. They go on a journey through the bloodstream, with a primary objective to protect and defend against foreign invaders, such as germs and bacteria. Proteins, such as antibodies, are created in the immune system to protect against certain bacteria and fight infection. If you have a primary immunodeficiency disorder, however, these protective cells and proteins don't function properly or don't exist in your immune system, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. If you live with a PIDD, you are more prone to illness and disease, as repeated infections are more likely to corner the immune system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract and more. You may have PIDD if you experience recurrent infections, regular weight loss, swollen lymph glands or autoimmune disease.
"With a PIDD, you are more prone to disease and illness."
But not everyone has PIDD, and there are still thousands of Americans who get the flu each year. So what's the cause? It's simple, really – disease-ridden microorganisms flood the air all day, every day, so it's no surprise that they can invade our systems so easily. It's all about making moves to ensure your immunity is properly protected to keep these invaders from attacking. Poor hygiene, physical inactivity and unhealthy eating are a few habits that can lead to illness, causing you to feel lethargic and resulting in fatigue, headache, chills and body aches – all signs of the flu.
How to maintain a healthy immune system
Boosting your immunity is easier than you think. With the right adjustments to your lifestyle and everyday habits, you can keep your body in top shape, strong enough to protect against germs and viruses that fill our air – especially during flu season. Consider the following tips for maintaining a healthy immune system:
Stay hydrated. All major systems in your body – immunity included – are impaired when you're dehydrated. Drink plenty of water and eat raw fruits and vegetables to ensure you're properly hydrated all day.
Prioritize healthy hygiene habits. Germs are located just about everywhere you could imagine. Since bacteria are unavoidable, it's important to practice healthy hygiene. Avoid touching your eyes and mouth and wash your hands throughout the day – especially after sneezing, using the restroom or handling food and garbage.
Get enough sleep each night. Your body relies on you to give it an adequate amount of rest each night to power through the following day. With enough sleep, you're encouraging cellular repair and helping your immune system restore for the future.
Minimize your stress levels. They say stress is the silent killer, and with good reason. When you're overly anxious, stressed or depressed, your hormones weaken the immune system and even impair the function of your digestive system. Since your immunity is especially vulnerable during flu season, start dedicating more time to relaxing and finding more ways to minimize your stress to avoid illness.
Exercise regularly. Your body thrives when it's strong. Not only does exercise help you maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your muscles, it also reduces stress levels, improves quality of sleep and rids your body of toxins that can wreak havoc on the immune system. Spend at least two and a half hours every week dedicated to physical activity – that's just 30 minutes a day to improve your overall wellness.
Follow a healthy diet. The power of a healthy diet is insurmountable. Processed foods and refined sugars have the ability to completely break down the immune system, so ditch the unhealthy options and opt for a more natural, plant-based way of eating. The right blend of vitamins and minerals can give your body all of the fuel it needs to thrive, repair and restore over time.
Best foods for immunity
As mentioned earlier, a healthy, wholesome diet – preferably a plant-based one – provides your body with an abundance of vitamins and minerals that help protect against foreign invaders. The following foods are especially beneficial for your immunity, according to Medical News Today:
- Blueberries are loaded with anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant that has immune-boosting powers.
- Turmeric, the yellow spice traditionally used in Indian dishes, contains curcumin. This antioxidant has anti-inflammatory properties, ideal for reducing inflammation in the body that leads to disease and illness.
- Did you know that broccoli has more vitamin C than oranges? This vitamin is essential to immune health, so add more broccoli to your diet.
- Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, when digested.
- Green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale are rich in carotenoids, flavonoids and vitamins C and E.
These plant-based foods are everyday staples in the Hallelujah Diet. If you're looking for a new eating regimen that prioritizes immune health, our dietary plan may be the route to consider.
Supplements for immune health
Beyond following our plant-based eating regimen, you may want to think about complementing your dietary habits with a supplemental approach. Hallelujah Diet offers two programs that are designed to enhance your immunity and keep you healthy year round. Those include: the Cold and Flu Season Kit and the Super Immune Booster Kit.
The Cold and Flu Season Kit is designed to provide your immune system with the perfect balance of vitamins to enhance your immunity during flu season. It includes Selenium/Glutathione Promoter, Silver Biotics, Liposomal Vitamin C and Vitamin D3-K2. This blend of supplements helps the body fight bacteria, infection and viruses with ease.
The Super Immune Booster Kit is designed to provide the same immune system support, even when it's not cold and flu season. When taken together, the supplements in this kit can help bolster your immune system when fighting anything from the common cold to the Ebola virus. The kit includes Selenium, Nascent Iodine, Liposomal Vitamin C and Colloidal Silver.
With the right lifestyle habits, dietary choices and supplement regimen, you can keep your immune system in top shape year round. Join us on the path to better health today by making smart adjustments to your everyday habits and take advantage of the raw, natural tools God gave to build and restore our bodies.