Ten Steps to Building Immunity Naturally

October 1, 2009

By johnmac

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With flu season starting, I am getting a lot of questions about how to build up our immune systems. Below are 10 simple things that you can do (not necessarily in order from most to least important) to build your immunity naturally and to prevent illness.

1)  Vitamin D* – Recent research indicates that vitamin D deficiency is likely the reason for the seasonality of the flu – not the flu virus itself.

Taking vitamin D is likely the single most important and inexpensive thing you can do to decrease your risk of getting the flu. Many sources state that children can take up to 2,000 IU/day, adults up to 5,000 IU/day. Some researchers suggest doubling this dose for a week if you feel you are coming down with something or if you do get sick.

An excellent resource for Vitamin D research is http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/. When purchasing vitamin D, look for brands that are bio-emulsified for maximum absorption and efficacy. See Nov 2008 in the Tip of The Month Archive section for more information on vitamin D

2)  Probiotics* – Healthy gut flora play a big part in protecting our body from illness. To promote healthy gut flora, consume naturally lacto-fermented foods and drinks whenever you can and take a good probiotic supplement (multiple strains, heat and acid resistant) daily. See May 2008 in the Tip of the Month Archive section for more information on probiotics

3) Get Enough Sleep – Your body can only repair and rejuvenate when it is resting. When it comes to sleep (and most everything else) your body craves routine. Have a bedtime routine and try to stick to it every night of the week. Whenever possible, get to bed by 10pm and wake up at 6am. The hours of sleep you get before midnight are very important. Your body cannot ‘make-up’ for sleep deprivation.

4) Exercise and Releasing Stress – Exercise has many benefits. It boosts the circulation of your blood and lymph, which helps to better circulate immune system cells. Stress suppresses the immune system, so it is important that you find ways that help you deal with, minimize and eliminate the stress in your life. Some suggestions include walking in nature, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, hobbies and anything that makes you laugh!

5) Omega-3 Fatty Acids* – These fats offer numerous health benefits, one of which is keeping our immune system healthy. Food sources include fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, salmon, ground flax seeds/flax seed oil and chia seeds. In terms of fish oil supplements, krill oil is especially potent with most sources stating that it has 48 times the antioxidant power of most other fish oils.

6) Eat Healthy. Eat a healthy diet including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (local & organic is best). Drink plenty of pure (filtered) water. Avoid sugar and processed foods as these nutrient-poor foods create an acid body and supress the immune system. For added protection, take a high-potency, whole food multi-vitamin/mineral supplement daily.*  See July 2008 in the Tip of the Month Archive section for a list of local farmer’s markets

7) Coconut Oil* – Coconut oil is a good source of lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which the human body can convert into monolaurin. Monolaurin is an antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride which can destroy lipid coated viruses, such as the swine flu virus. Interestingly, breast milk contains lauric acid and a study published in 1998, in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that lactating mothers who eat coconut oil and coconut products, increased lauric acid levels in their breast milk significantly – up to three times the original level.

8) Wash your hands often and keep them away from your mouth, nose and eyes -Health Canada explains proper hand washing techniques and other tips for minimizing the spread of germs at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/diseases-maladies/hands-mains-eng.php. Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps; they kill good bacteria along with the bad which can contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance. Also, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hands.

9) Eat Garlic & Olive Oil* – Both have anti-microbial properties. Garlic is a natural broad-spectrum antibiotic that won’t cause antibiotic resistance. Raw is best. For olive oil, organic, extra-virgin, cold-pressed is best. Look for brands that are unfiltered (they will look cloudy). When tasting the olive oil on its own, you should notice a peppery, slightly ‘stinging’ sensation in the back of your throat.

10)  OscillococcinumTM – This homeopathic remedy is a safe and very effective way to prevent and decrease the duration of the flu.  Prevention protocol depends on your risk:

  • Low risk cases – take one tube per month from October to the end of March
  • Moderate risk cases – take one tube every 2 weeks from October to the end of March
  • High risk cases – take one tube weekly from October to the end of March

As a treatment, as soon as you suspect you may be getting the flu, follow the instructions on the packaging.  Oscillococcinum is available through the Natural Health Centre, 2605 Carling Avenue, Ottawa.  See Oct 2007 in the Tip of the Month Archive section for more info on Oscillococcinum

Whether you are thinking of getting, or have to get the flu vaccine this year, please visit http://www.russellblaylockmd.com and click on the heading ‘Swine Flu Data’ to learn more about the vaccine.

an excellent brand is available through Perfect Resonance Natural Health Counselling.  From October 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009, receive 10% off the regular sale price when you purchase a bottle of each of the following products from Perfect Resonance Natural Health Counselling:

    • high-potency multi-vitamin/mineral
    • bio-emulsified vitamin D
    • krill oil
    • probiotics


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