9 Natural Methods for Boosting the Immune System | HEALTH

9 Natural Methods for Boosting the Immune System | HEALTH




In 2017, Australia experienced its worst flu outbreak on record. According to the Immunisation Coalition, there were more than 200,000 confirmed cases of patients who suffered from influenza that year, while more than 1,000 died because of the virus. The Department of Health is urging everyone to act now and get vaccinated. It takes ten days anyway for the flu vaccine to work properly.
If you decide to get the flu vaccination then you need to be sure to do it  before the flu season starts, which is typically between April and October, often peaking in the month of August.
With all this information in mind,  be sure to take note of these tips to help boost your immune system and protect yourself against various illnesses.
1. Avoid smoking or inhaling secondary tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke actually weakens basic immune defenses by inhibiting absorption of various important nutrients! Because of this, it raises your risk of pneumonia and bronchitis. In children, secondary smoke inhalation increases risk of middle ear infections.
2. Manage rest and get enough rest. Stress overload and sleep deprivation increases the hormone cortisol. It is a stress hormone that suppresses immune function if you high levels of it in your body.
3. Eat plenty of nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. These healthy foods will provide your body with the nutrients that your immune system needs.
4. Drink less alcohol. Like smoking, excessive drinking impairs the immune system, which increases your vulnerability to lung infections.
5. Get some sunlight. The sun’s rays actually trigger the skin’s production of vitamin D. A 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) would be enough in the summer.

6. Take probiotics. To keep good and bad bacteria in our gut in balance, we should add certain probiotic foods in our diet. Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria that act similarly as the good-bacteria colonies in our gut. The right balance of bacteria in the gut can keep us healthy in the long term. Here are 10 probiotic foods that can help you keep healthy.
7. Eat healthy mushrooms. Shiitake and maitake are some of the healthiest kinds of mushrooms. They can enhance immune function, especially in women with breast cancer.
8. Eat raw garlic. Garlic is an antimicrobial agent and immune booster. It key active ingredient however, is deactivated by heat, so you should add it to hot foods just before serving.
9. Try immune-supportive herbs. Some of the most common immune-supportive herbs include:

a. American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)
b. Astragalus (A. membranaceus)
c. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng)
d. Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticocus)

You immune system doesn’t only protect you against the flu. It also defends your body from disease-causing microbes. For this, it’s always best to boost your immune system’s function.
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1. Annual Australian Laboratory Confirmed Flu Numbers | Immunisation Coalition
2. Australian Influenza Surveillance Report and Activity Updates | Australian Government - Department of Health
3. Flu risk and trends in Australia | Department of Health - Health Direct
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