(NaturalNews) While many people catch a cold on a regular basis, there are others who almost never succumb to this very common virus. These people are often thought of as just lucky, but the truth is that it is probably not so much good luck as it is good management that saves these folks from the misery of the common cold.
Research tells us that there are many ways to support the immune system, strategies that can help keep you healthy and reduce your chances of catching the dreaded cold. And in the event that you do find yourself succumbing to the streaming nose and general misery that the cold virus brings with it, then there are also ways that you can effectively reduce the severity of your symptoms and recover more quickly.
Strategy No. 1 - Diet
A clean diet is possibly the most important thing that you can do to boost your immune system, and the definition of eating clean is really quite simple: eat only real, whole foods. Those are the foods that have been created by nature, not those created in laboratories or factories.
Fresh meat, poultry, fish, unprocessed dairy (raw if possible) and eggs. Make sure they contain NO additives except for the herbs, spices and salt that you add yourself. Avoid factory farmed animal products at all costs, opting instead for free range and organic.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, preferably not canned or frozen - the fresher the better!
And plenty of herbs, spices, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, butter and ghee.
Strategy No. 2 - Sleep
When you sleep, your body is repairing itself. Quality sleep is vitally important for a healthy immune system, so do everything you can to ensure that you sleep well. A few good ideas to get started:
Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
Eating early so that food is digested by bedtime.
Turning off the TV and lights and relaxing before bed.
Strategy No. 3 - Exercise
Our bodies are designed to move, and without that movement, we don't function as we should. Exercise helps oxygenate the blood and detoxify our body via the lymph system, lungs, sweat and stimulation of the bowel, which in turn helps to maintain a healthy immune system.
However, don't exercise in the evening, as it can disrupt sleep. Don't exercise when you're sick, and avoid habitually over-exercising; the stress hormones created can adversely affect the immune system over time.
Strategy No. 4 - Herbs and supplements
Regular use of herbs and spices in meals is a simple but powerful way to boost the immune system, and as well as helping to fight off those colds, they also taste great! Common herbs such as garlic, chili, thyme and rosemary have proven, beneficial effects on the immune system, as do many others. Supplements such as zinc, vitamin C, echinacea, olive leaf extract and probiotics also have benefits which have been extensively studied and shown to be effective.
Strategy No. 5 - Sunshine and vitamin D
Vitamin D is made by our skin when exposed to the sun, but deficiency of this essential nutrient has been shown to be extremely common. Vitamin D is not a true vitamin but a hormone that is vital for a correctly functioning immune system. Vitamin D can be taken in supplement form and is consumed in some foods, but the best way to make sure you're getting enough is the feel good way - sunshine! It will help you fight off that cold, reduce stress and feel great too.
About the author: Sue Woledge is a natural therapist, writer and owner of Creating A Toxin Free Future and HCG Diet For Life.Sue is an advocate for natural health and responsible living and is passionate about REAL food, safe products, life-long learning, natural health, the environment and natural medicines. Sue believes that living as naturally as possible and eating a diet consisting of natural, unprocessed foods is key to good health, as is reducing exposures to synthetic and toxic chemicals. A number of books written by Sue Woledge including her latest raw food recipe book are available here.
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