Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
There are Soldiers Inside of You
Germs are everywhere… In our homes, on our bodies, public buildings, even in our guts. There's good bugs and bad bugs. There’s a constant battle going on out there and inside you, all of the time.
Good Bugs Winning the War
When you’re free from colds, fungus, and bacteria like Strep, your good bugs are winning the war. When your “good bug army” is defeated, you get sick.
I used to explain it to my kids this way when encouraging them to take their vitamins: “There are soldiers inside of you. Your vitamins are their ammunition to win the war against the bad bugs that are trying to make you sick.”
The mantra I often heard as a child was, “Wash your hands!”
The little people were barely through the door before the alarm was sounded. Grandma’s guards were everywhere. Some of her 12 children (2 sets of twins!) were always around to help tend me and my sisters and believe me that tough depression era matriarch ran a tight ship.
Colds were infrequent and I can say we were a very healthy bunch. Of course, her huge garden and orchard of fruits helped to keep us that way.
Three years later we went to live with our father’s mother. She was also a “germ guard” but to the chemical degree.
Her mantra- in addition to “Wash your hands!”-
“Lysol will kill those germs!”
I remember its acrid odor as if it were yesterday. Its assault on my nostrils made me gag and run for fresh air. Colds, and sickness happened more frequently and I remember the only smell I enjoyed there was the heavenly scent of her fresh baked rolls. For a home with three kids, two dogs, and one cat, it was just too clean.
Pro-Biotics vs. Anti-Biotics - Bad Bacteria
& Good Bacteria
Too Many Bad Bugs are Harmful
There’s a war waging inside of you. Who’s winning? You know by the way you feel. Do you catch colds easily? Flu bug follow you around? IBS? Heartburn? Depression? Anxiety?
Good Health Starts in Your Gut
Keeping your 100 trillion friendly bacteria healthy may sound like an incredible feat. But a healthy microbiome (gut flora) is absolutely essentially for digestion and absorption of food nutrients.
Friendly “pro”biotic bacteria/good bugs also help your body produce vitamins, eliminate toxins and support your mental health. Probiotics are the “good bugs” or bacteria that should be in your stomach. They support the 80% of your immune system found in your gut. ANTI-biotics KILL PRO-biotics, making you susceptible to disease.
Keep Your Good Bugs Healthy & Happy
Everything we need to maintain optimum health has been provided for us. In nature lies every plant needed to sustain our bodies. It is only when we become toxic by eating and drinking processed foods we were not designed to eat, that our self-healing system fails us.
Best Ways to Boost Your Immune System & Promote Healthy Gut Flora
Your best germ defense? Keep your immune system healthy. It’s said that 80% of your immune system lives in your gut.
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Eat Fresh, Organic Fruits & Vegetables
(as your circumstances allow) with an emphasis on 80% vegetables.
Fresh, live food contains vitamins, minerals and a plethora of plant nutrients; nutrients vital to health and healing. Cooked foods do not contain enzymes and many of the vitamins and minerals are lost during cooking.
In addition, organic foods contain crucial minerals needed to resist disease. Conventionally grown produce in U.S. soils have been deficient in minerals since the 1930’s.
Furthermore, unnatural produce contains many chemicals that are not safe for human consumption. Toxins that literally poison your body. Children are especially vulnerable as they cannot detoxify harmful chemicals quickly. This toxic chemical overload burdens their little bodies causing allergies, behavior problems and life threatening health problems such as childhood cancer.
Eat Organic, Pasture-raised Meat & Dairy Products
Farm animals grown in healthy, sustainable environments
are not given growth hormones, antibiotics, gmo’s, chemical feed or other unnatural products.
Every time you consume conventional meats and dairy these toxins are passed on to you, destroying your body’s ability to defend itself against destructive “anti-biotics.”
Drink Fresh, Pure Water
Not only is water needed for every bodily function, it is a crucial in eliminating wastes and toxins from your body. Pure water is absolutely essential for keeping the body in good health.
Your source of drinking water is very important and must be considered if you hope to stay free of disease.
Tap water contains many toxic chemicals and destroys the gut’s good bacteria. Two common contaminants are chlorine and fluoride. These toxins destroy the body’s natural intestinal flora and contribute to a multitude of health problems.
Filter your water, for your gut health and immune system. Do not rely on bottled water as a source of healthy water. It is often tap water in disguise, and can include other harmful chemicals that compromise your immune system.
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During her two decades at The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell had a front-row seat on the appalling spectacle of the pharmaceutical industry. She watched drug companies stray from their original mission of discovering and manufacturing useful drugs and instead become vast marketing machines with...
Commercial Yogurt is NOT an effective source of probiotics. Cleverly deceptive television advertising of yogurt has misinformed the public.
Virtually all store-bought milk products are pasteurized. Pasteurization kills most live beneficial bacteria. Compounding the problem further, yogurt generally contains different sugars that are fertilizer for the bad bacteria that is attempting to kill your good bugs and make you sick. Commercial yogurt is loaded with harmful sugars and chemical additives. Certainly not a healthy food choice.
Best yogurt is made using a starter culture and raw, organic grass-fed milk. There are however, high-quality 100% organic yogurts on the market. The Cornucopia Institute reveals the top brands in their Yogurt Report.
Some best brands (as of this printing) include: Butterworks, Maple Hill Creamery, Seven Stars, White Mountain (organic), and Organic Valley.
Worst brands: Dannon, Kemps, Yoplait, Activia (falsely advertised as a healthy food, sorry Jamie) Choose yogurt wisely. Most yogurt is expensive sugary junk food disguised behind a pretty label and deceptive television advertising.
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchee and kefir are natural probiotics and have been eaten for hundreds, if not thousands of years to support healthy gut bacteria, hence, a healthy immune system.
Supplement with probiotics. A good probiotic supplement will jump start a compromised immune system and get you on your way to a healthy microbiome, or balanced gut flora.
Moving your body regularly keeps it fit and strengthens your immune system. Practice easy Beginner’s Yoga,
with me. You’ll quickly regain flexibility and experience a more limber and stronger body. Yoga’s benefits are effective and a gentle way to exercise.
Get Adequate Sleep
While we may view sleep as a luxury, the long-term health consequences of skimping on sleep can impact your health, productivity and a happy lifestyle.
Sleep deprivation also weakens the immune system, causing a myriad of health problems.
Laugh, Have Fun & Play!
Laughter is natural medicine. It stimulates the immune system. And anytime you’re feeling good, you’re in a healthier state. Laugh at funny movies, with friends, and play with children and pets. When you’re happy your body’s immune system is happy too!
Spend Time in Nature/Sunlight
Nature is soothing, healing and calms the soul. Walk bare foot as often as possible. Breathe in fresh air and relax! We are earthlings by nature and it is vital to our health that we spend time outdoors whenever possible.
Sunlight is crucial to Vitamin D synthesis. Without adequate Vitamin D, you are prey to a host of illnesses both physical and mental. And you are more likely to catch colds, flu and suffer with depression when your Vitamin D level is low. Take Vitamin D3, not D2. Milk is NOT a good source of Vitamin D. Far infrared light and sun tanning beds (UVB) are also beneficial. Be cautious with sunscreen. It can cause rickets (Vitamin D deficiency) and commercial brands are known to contain cancer causing ingredients. Some physicians suggest having your Vitamin D level checked.
What Kills Good Bacteria While Feeding the Bad?
SUGAR. It kills good bacteria by feeding the bad, and may be the worst offender and contributor to America’s illness epidemic (and everywhere in the world where it’s prominent in the diet). It’s found in virtually every processed food product in grocery stores today. It’s making us fat, sick, and it’s killing us.
Refined grains are unhealthy and no better or different than sugar when consumed. Many people are giving up bread and other flour products to find they have more energy and better digestive health.
Today’s bread and pasta products
are nothing more than white sugar. Harmful chemicals, sugars, artificial vitamins and additives make these products even more dangerous to your health. If you want to have more energy and shed unwanted pounds, stop eating bread products.
The bane of “industrialized civilizations.” Modern food technologists have created food stuffs that scarcely resemble real food. They are anti-nutrient sources that cause malnutrition (nutritional wasting) and toxicity in the form of cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and more. The sugar in these products make them even more problematic.
You’re a real person, designed to eat real food!
Eating too many processed foods can cause imbalance of the healthy and unhealthy bacteria. This bacteria can release compounds that act as neurotransmitters, stimulate sensory nerves or the immune system, and affect a wide range of biological functions. But when you eat too many grains, sugars and processed foods,
these foods serve as fertilizers.
The Problem with Processed Food from the Scientist’s Perspective…
“Eating too many processed foods can cause imbalance of the healthy and unhealthy bacteria in the gut. Modern diet pattern has significantly changed from that of our ancestors.
Busy lifestyles, food manufacturing and the affection and availability of processed foods are the reasons. Though most of us can make changes to overcome these influences (like) by increasing intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods.” -Research Journal of Pharmaceutical, Biological and Chemical Sciences
A study from Oregon State University published in the journal Neuroscience, indicates a diet high in sugar and fat (typical of the SAD or Standard American Diet), causes changes in gut bacteria (death to your good bugs, power to the bad) which relate to a significant loss of cognitive flexibility or brain function. It seems sugar is not only making us sick and fat, it’s making us stupid as well. Researchers believe the gut is the second brain and actually communicates with the brain via the vagus nerve.
“Bacteria can release compounds that act as neurotransmitters, stimulate sensory nerves or the immune system, and affect a wide range of biological functions. But when you eat too many grains, sugars and processed foods, these foods serve as fertilizer for the bad bacteria and yeast and will cause them to rapidly multiply. In short, good bacteria that you take in, either from fermented foods or in supplement form, prevent the growth of less desirable ones by competing for both nutrition and attachment sites in the tissues of your colon.”
-Kathy Magnusson, a professor in the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and principal investigator with the Linus Pauling Institute.
Prescription Antibiotics in Store-Bought Meat
It’s generally believed that all antibiotics come from the doctor. Not true. Sadly, the meat industry gives large amounts of antibiotics to sick and healthy animals.
This unhealthy practice accounts for over 70% of antibiotic use in the United States today, contributing to antibiotic resistance and death to immune-building beneficial gut bacteria.
You can easily find them in most public places. Hand gel for the onslaught of germs threatening to destroy your good health and surely make everyone terribly sick. Media advertising is doing a fine job of perpetuating the fear that is driving the current anti-bacterial hand gel and soap craze. Backed by the billion-dollar chemical industry, television ads are brainwashing America and other “so-called civilized” parts of the globe. Even public schools have mandated their use. You can easily make your own hand gel with Eden's DIY hand sanitizer recipe. For those of you who don't have time to DIY, we've found safe products endorsed by the Environmental Working Group. You'll find them here on the artcle DIY Natural Hand Sanitizer at the bottom of the page.
Are children safe from those big, bad germs? Have they become healthier? Not in the least. As a matter of fact, people are sicker today than ever.
Today many scientists, physicians and the U.S. FDA warn that antibacterial products are ineffective and contribute to resistant strains of bacteria. Which means a lot of people will get deathly ill because the antibiotics that might have saved their lives will no longer work.
Antibacterial products often contain the EPA registered pesticide, triclosan.
FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said
“In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”
Reports of triclosan found in surface waters, the bile of fish, and breast milk, are sounding an environmental alarm. As of September 2, 2016, the FDA ruled triclosan and triclocarbon from over-the counter antibacterial hand and body washes be removed. Unfortunately, it remains in toothpaste, deodorant, shaving gel and other personal care products.
Harvard-trained, holistic physician, Andrew Weil, M.D., voiced concern over antibacterial soaps and lotions over a decade ago. His contention leaned toward avoidance in home use. Seems this common-sense doc knew all along that putting anti-bacterial anything on our skin was a really bad idea.
Seems logical to avoid putting toxic products on the skin (triclosan is a pesticide). The skin is our largest organ and absorbs virtually everything it comes into contact with. And with the overuse of antibiotics today, especially in animal protein, it seems wise to avoid any practice that appears to harm, rather than protect.
Germs: The good, the bad, the ubiquitous.
FDA rules by 2018 triclosan and triclocarban to be removed from over-the-counter antibacterial hand and body washes.
In the 1930’s, doctors submitted evidence to the U. S. Congress urging them to consider the health implications of adding natural minerals to depleted soils.
The U. S. government has known for decades that fluoride and chlorine are hazardous to human health. FDA website reveals a list of dangerous health problems created when consuming these toxic chemicals.
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The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of a holistic healthcare provider who may be familiar with your individual health-related issues.