Finally, after 7 months of winter in Minnesnowta, I finally am out on my deck, enjoying my coffee and writing a blog post. Â I only wish it were a happier subject. Â You see, just when you thought we were ‘out of the woods’ as far as cold and flu season goes, we have something new to worry about. Â Mind you, I am not an alarmist. Â I am cautious, and I am a realist. Â I’ve been quietly watching the news, (not mainstream media, I get my news from alternate sources because I don’t trust the mainstream media). Â I have been watching the rise of H7N9 bird flu, and it has me cautiously alarmed. Â As of this writing, 140 people have been infected in China and Taiwan, and at least 24 have died. Â I know that doesn’t sound like a very big number, compared to China’s huge population. Â But H7N9 bird flu strain is transmitted from chickens that don’t get sick, Â to unsuspecting people. The worrisome part is that there have been two confirmed cases of person to person transmission. Â Another startling statistic, is that the kill rate of people dying from the disease is 20%, which is among the the highest ever witness in a bird flu strain. Â In addition, the bird flu strain has spread outside of China and into Taiwan. Â Needless to say, I am cautiously alarmed. Â While I don’t think this will result in a global pandemic, it is in the back of my mind, and I am realistic enough to see the possibility. Â Now is the time to prepare. What is it they say in sports? The best offense is a good defense?
Best defense: Â boost your immune system before you get sick
It’s pretty easy to boost your immune system through diet, especially if you start before you get sick. The first thing you want to do is eat well. Â PoorÂ nutrition impairs immune function. French fries, soft drinks and alcohol donâ€™t build strong immune systems or white blood cells(your immune system defenders). Rather, Â diets high in fruits, vegetables and nuts and adequate protein are what Â promotes immune health.
5 easy ways to boost your immune system
- Let’s start with my number one favorite: Â Honey. Â I’m in love with honey because the health benefits seem to never end. Â But, it must be raw honey, not the clear pasteurized stuff. Â It’s got to be the opaque, cloudy thick, unheated stuff—and local to you is best. Â The supermarket variety lacks the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that we want to help fight infections from viruses, bacteria and fungi. Â Adding honey to your diet is the absolute easiest, tastiest way to boost your immune system. Â Buckwheat honey has the highest health-promoting properties, but as long as you’re going with raw honey, you’ll be golden (pardon the pun!). Â One note of caution: never give honey to children under one years of age because their immune systems are not developed enough to ward off infantile botulism, which is carried in honey spores. Â Another note: Â Honey has numerous medicinal properties and because it coats your throat it is a natural way to soothe sore throats.
- Garlic: Â This one is easy to use with food on a daily basis. The technical botanical term for garlic is Allium Sativa. It has been used throughout history as an antibiotic. Russians have used it so often that they consider it Russian penicillin.Â Recent research has discovered that it also boosts all other antioxidant activity in one’s body.Â Garlic’s broad antimicrobial spectrum incorporates antifungal, antiparasitic, antiprotozoan, and antiviral attributes in one food source. Garlic is most potent chewed or crushed raw, or in a tincture. Â If you want to punch up the healing power of your chicken soup — or any other dish — add plenty of garlic and onions. When combined, these flavorful healers contain numerous antiseptic and immunity boosting compounds. As an added plus, garlic helps to open clogged sinuses. Â Lately, I’m really digging Fire Cider made with fresh garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, habanero peppers and apple cider vinegar. Â It’ll “kill what ails ya”. Â Learn more about the healing properties of this amazing liquid, and how to make your own.
- Studies have shown that eating a cup of yogurt each day can reduce your susceptibility to colds by 25 percent. The beneficial bacteria is Lactobacillus reuteri which has been found to block the replication of viruses that invade the body when we get sick. Not all brands have that particular bacteria, so check labels and be sure to go organic. Better yet, though, make your own. Â I’ve recently started crafting my own home made yogurt. Â You don’t need any special equipment, and you will be shocked at how easy it is to make your own healthy yogurt. Â And guess what? Â You can sweeten it with raw honey and get a double-whammy immune boost!
- Ginger comes to the aid in some powerful ways. It is antimicrobial (kills bacteria – including salmonella), hasÂ two natural antibiotics are found in ginger,Â contains anti-inflammatory agents,Â helps eliminate congestion,Â contains zingibain that dissolves parasites and their eggs(parasites will weaken your immune system),Â Â kills cold viruses,Â inhibits production of cytokines which cause pain and swelling,Â combats chills and fever, and soothes a scratchy throat and helps suppress coughing. Â Use a couple of tablespoons of shredded or sliced ginger root to a ginger tea, and add raw honey for a potent, immune boosting brew. Â Ginger is also a primary ingredient in Fire Cider.Â
- Citrus fruits contain hefty doses of powerhouse vitamin C. Studies have found that this antioxidant can reduce cold symptoms by 23 per cent, and all that’s needed is just one to eight grams (1,000 to 8,000 milligrams) to do the trick. Besides citrus fruits, other foods that have high amounts of vitamin C include papaya, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, brussel sprouts and red bell peppers.Your best results will be from adding this powerful vitamin to your diet now, and like I always say: fresh is best.
It’s very painless to boost your immune system naturally.
As you can see, honey, garlic, ginger, yogurt and vitamin C are great, tasty ways to boost your immune system, and there really is no reason why you can’t start building a strong immune system today!
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