The season of the dreaded flu is upon us, and pharmacies have been ramping up their advertisements for flu shots availability recently. There are countless risks that have been associated with flu vaccines both in the past and at present, but weve been over that a million times. Rather than continue to scare you away from flu shots on principal, lets talk about some natural alternatives that can improve your immune systems functionality and give you some other ideas on how to stay healthy during the winter months.
The first suggestion may very well be the most difficult to implement considering the season were talking about and the holidays that occupy the fall and winter months. First, the weather cools down and before you know it youve got a pumpkin spice cappuccino in your hand. Then comes Halloween and all the trick or treat candy, followed by pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and all sorts of candy and cookies leading up to Christmas. One big problem with all this is that just a few grams of sugar can totally destroy the ability of your white blood cells to resist and fight off infection. If you can resist the temptation, you might avoid gaining a couple pounds as well as the flu.
The importance of vitamin C is a given, everyone knows of its protective effects. Although its important to remember that not all vitamin C is created equal, as a lot of the cheaper supplements sold in stores are made from ascorbic acid taken from genetically modified corn. Combined with vitamin D, and zinc, the immune system can work in top form if properly supplemented. Vitamin D supplementation gains importance during the winter as most people wont get as much from direct sunlight due to colder temperatures and not being outside as much.
Other important factors to keeping your immune system in top form are lowering stress and getting better sleep. Stress can be considered one of the top contributors to illness and decreased immunity, so take steps to worry less and have fun while enjoying the holidays. Sleep doesnt necessarily need to be increased, but the kind of sleep you get should be improved to have the most benefit. One important factor to getting better sleep is to ensure that you sleep in complete darkness, as light can disrupt your bodys melatonin production. There are supplements available if you feel the need, but natural is always better.