How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally
I’d like to introduce you to Janine Bowring, ND from Woodbridge Naturopathic Clinic. She is the author of the book, The Healthy Millionaire and formulator of VitaTree Nutritionals. She has written an article on how to boost the immune system naturally. Check it out…
As a naturopathic doctor, I am often asked how to boost our immune systems naturally to fight off cold and flu viruses throughout the year. There are five key steps in both preventing and treating the cold and flu. First, anti-oxidants are the key to healthy cells and a healthy immune system. Whole food anti-oxidants contained in superfoods such as pomegranates, goji berries, blueberries, blackberries, acai berries, and cranberries help to fight free radicals that are toxic to our systems and deplete our immunity.
There is a list of fruits and vegetables which are highest on the ORAC scale, (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). This means that these fruits and vegetables are rated highest in their ability to naturally quench free radicals. The above named fruits rank as some of the highest. In the vegetable category, Kale ranks highest. Spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts and carrots are also great choices and have a high ORAC value.
Second, avoid too much sugar which suppresses the immune system. Bacterial and viral organisms thrive when they are fed sugar. It is important to stick to natural sugars from fruits and vegetables, rather than refined sugar products including white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup and glucose.
Third, make sure to supplement in the winter months with a good form of Vitamin D. Living in Canada, we need to ensure adequate amounts of Vitamin D throughout the winter, when we typically do not have direct sun exposure to our skin. I usually recommend 400-1000IU of Vitamin D in a liquid emulsified form that is best absorbed and available from most naturopathic doctors.
The fourth step is to limit stress. Stress off-sets our entire endocrine system, thus preventing our immune systems from functioning optimally. We all have stress, but it is what we do with our stress that makes a difference as to how much it affects our health. I often recommend my patients have a healthy outlet for stress, whether it is punching a pillow, regular exercise or yoga and meditation. Whatever stress we do not process becomes a toxin to our body and can have negative healthy consequences, including lowered immunity.
Lastly, regular detoxification of the major internal organs helps to flush out accumulated toxins. The five major detoxification organs include the liver, kidneys, lungs, digestive tract and skin. Regular detoxification of these organs is necessary to keep their function optimal and to combat toxins in our environment, food and water that we are exposed to daily. Certain detoxification supplements exist on the market. Be sure to choose a detoxification supplement that targets all the internal organs listed above. This ensures that the toxins that are released from one organ do not become lodged in another. After over ten years of working with my patients in various detoxification protocols, I formulated VitaDetox from VitaTree Nutritionals to ensure detoxification in a gentle yet effective way, focusing on all five major detox organs at once.