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The Flu and Our Immune System

October 8, 2009

Here is some great information from Carmen Marshall from Live well international.

The Flu and Our Immune System
Fall is here with winter just around the corner…so of course the flu and our immune system have again been all over the headlines 🙂 Many of you have emailed questions to Live Well as to how we can proactively build our immune systems. This is great time to review our own health and what we can each do to take responsibility – not only now, as we approach the cold season, but every day.

I love this quote from Living Fuel Inc., “Our bodies are masterfully crafted with an elegant and complex immune system, and given the right raw materials, the body can do miraculous things that even modern medicine cannot accomplish. It is well known that a strong immune system is critical to avoiding and being overcome by pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Research confirms that the Standard American Diet (SAD) combined with poor sleep and a sedentary lifestyle is a recipe for compromised immunity. People with good diets and active lifestyles are seldom sick and when they do become ill, recover much faster than their peers with poor diets and lifestyles.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following to prevent the spread of germs and flu: “Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.”

In additional, here are some powerful steps you can take to support your immune system.

1. Continue to take your high quality mulit-vitamin every day (i.e. the USANA Essentials, HealthPak 100 OR MyHealthPak.) Don’t miss a day 🙂
2. Increase your intake of Omega 3’s (EPA & DPA) and Vitamin D. Most people are deficient in Omega 3’s and Vitamin D and all have been shown to significantly enhance immunity. USANA’s BiOmega and OptOmega contain Omega 3’s and the Essentials and BiOmega contain Vit D. Supplementing your diet with these power nutrients is one of the simplest and most effective ways you can boost your immunity. In addition, eat raw, unsalted nuts, fish, flax seed and avocados for Omega 3’s. Bask in the sun 10 min per day for extra Vit D (it’s relaxing too!) Breathe fresh air – especially if you work in an office every day.
3. Take USANA’s Proflavanol 90 twice per day. The grape seed extract in USANA’s P90 is a natural anti-inflammatory and a very powerful anti-oxidant. It boosts your immune system very quickly.
4. Increase your Vitamin C intake. USANA’s Essentials and Poly C contain a highly absorbable Vitamin C complex. Additional suggestions for increasing Vit C intake: drink ½ a lemon with warm water when you rise in the morning (before you eat breakfast). Add an orange with pumpkin seeds (iron and Vit C) to your diet. Citrus fruit, apples and strawberries are all a great source of Vit C – add them along with raw nuts to your salad for extra Vit C, protein and Omega 3’s.
5. Increase your intake of vegetables of all colors, but especially red, yellow and green. Add spinach, romaine lettuce, kale and collards to salads.
6. Replace a daily meal and a snack with a USANA Nutrimeal and bar. The fiber will help get toxins out of the body and the low-glycemic nature of the USANA products will help keep your blood sugar stable.
7. Eat garlic, onions, ginger, oregano, coconut, hot peppers and spices. These all build the immune system.
8. Wash your hands frequently.
9. Avoid places with high risk of infection such as doctor’s offices, clinics and hospitals.
10. Avoid flu shots and other vaccinations.
11. Avoid or minimize medications. (Discuss with your physician first of course and do your own research.)
12. Avoid highly processed junk foods, fried foods and sugar and alcohol. “This includes items such as sandwiches, baked goods, cookies, crackers, donuts, french fries, hot dogs, ice cream, pizza, potato chips, waffles and other processed foods that contain flour and/or sugar and many other impurities. These types of foods are enemies of sustained energy, performance and immunity. Recent research shows that a single serving of refined carbohydrates given to a lean, healthy young adult is enough to triple their inflammatory response to the surge in blood glucose.” – Living Fuel, Inc.
13. Avoid overeating which can cause inflammation and compromise immunity.
14. Exercise at least 5 times per week even if it is just walking around the block.
15. Drink ½ your weight (in ounces) of pure, filtered water every day. So, if you weigh 140 lbs, drink 70 ounces of water at least every day.
16. Sleep 7-9 hours minimum every night. Sleep is one of the best immune system builders out there.
17. Reduce stress as much as possible including stressful situations, jobs, friends and events.
18. Do something you love every day. Yes, EVERY day 🙂
19. Spend quality time with people you love every day. Slow down, make meals, eat together, talk, share. Slow down, slow down, slow down and be present 🙂
20. Hug often, love more, pet your cat/dog …or partner :-), forgive, open your heart, meditate and “scatter joy”… these things all greatly increase your immune system.

And most of all LIVE GREAT! Don’t allow fear to creep in due to the media’s love of a drama. Have you noticed whenever we have a little “lull”, the media finds another story to stir us up? Don’t buy into fear, but instead use it as a catalyst to become even more responsible for your own health.

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