Vitamin D, commonly known as the "sunshine vitamin", is something we’re constantly hearing about these days. Vitamin D, which is actually a hormone rather than a vitamin, is so incredibly crucial to your overall health. Because we don’t absorb adequate amounts from our food or the sun, it is more important than ever that you supplement with additional vitamin D on an everyday basis.
Coughing, sneezing and sniffles are in the air and can only mean one thing, cold and flu season has arrived. In addition to the weather constantly changing, our immune systems become compromised and therefore, weakened, causing us to be more likely to develop a cold or worse, the flu.
During this time of year it is absolutely critical that you keep your immune system top of mind. The good news? You can boost your immune system naturally and without the use of over-the-counter drugs or cold/flu medications.
Similar to building up strength in your muscles, you also need the same type of persistence when working to build up your immune system, and even more so if you are an allergy sufferer. Frustrating fatigue, itchy and watery eyes, an obnoxious cough and debilitating headaches are the last thing you want or need, especially during the busy holiday season.
A strong immune system helps you fight off common colds, germs, viruses and the flu. And for those who suffer from allergies, a strong immune system has been shown to also improve your allergy symptoms, too.
Below are 5 easy ways you can boost your immune system naturally:
- Get plenty of sleep. Getting at least 7-8 hours of rest each night is magical when it comes to your total health, and especially when it comes to your immune system. Too little sleep with too much stress negative impacts your hormones, causing hormonal fluctuations at night, keeping you awake when you should be catching some z's.
- Remember your probiotics. Probiotics, also known as "the good bacteria", are some of the best nutrients you can offer your body. Not only do they support overall gut health, but these beneficial strains of bacteria support a strong immune system, too. Just as you take your multivitamin and vitamin D daily, probiotics should always be a part of your daily health routine as well.
- Get some sun. That's right. Step outside and get some good ol' natural vitamin D to help boost that immune system of your's. At least 10-15 minutes a day of direct sunlight helps your body to absorb a fair amount of vitamin D, which helps not only strengthen your immune system, but your bones, too.
- Add more garlic. In fact, add garlic to everything! This natural antimicrobial agent works as a natural immune booster when added to your recipes. For optimal use, add raw, natural garlic to your recipes. (Just don't forget to brush afterwards!)
- Increase your vitamin C. Known as one of the most versatile and useful nutrients on the market, vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant and antihistamine, helping to block your body from reacting to allergens and boost your immunity. If you're one to experience a cold every season, it's safe to double up on your vitamin C, as your body excretes whatever it doesn't use or need.
What is the ONE nutrient you rely on most when it comes to keeping your immune system strong and healthy?
What a surprise it was was for me when I recently had a routine colonoscopy only to find that I had one big colon polyp. Luckily for me, the polyp was immediately removed. In discussing colon health with my physician, he recommended a diet high in Vitamin D as well as a Vitamin D supplement such as 1st Step Pro Wellness liquid Vitamin D.
According to one study, a daily intake of 645 IUs of Vitamin D could reduce the risk of dangerous colon polyps by one third. The beneficial effect of Vitamin D on colon polyps is based on the vitamin's ability to control proliferation of cells that might be multiplying too quickly. In addition, Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium, another nutrient that has been shown to protect against polyps in the intestine. The best sources of Vitamin D include liver, egg yolks, fish, and Vitamin-D fortified milk products.
The body can also make Vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. Even so, the majority of adults are deficient in Vitamin D.
Other foods alleged to help prevent polyps include broccoli, red peppers, onions, and garlic to name a few.
If you are over 50 and have not yet had a routine colonoscopy, schedule one asap. If polyps are found, they will be removed immediately. Having a colonoscopy, eating recommended foods, and taking a Vitamin D supplement are your best defenses against polyps.