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Loving God more. Loving others more. Living obediently in Christ.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Boost your immune system

It is difficult to watch friends and family suffer from illness during this time of the year.  There are a few bits of information regarding immune health which I have picked up in the past year.  I will share this as well as  Dr. Mercola's video below, which will give some great tips from a medical professional's vantage point.  In my opinion, the most helpful information is at the very beginning of the video and is only briefly mentioned - healthy gut.

Probiotics  The best thing that I have found to provide immune protection for our health is through the support of healthy gut flora via diet and fermented foods or beverages.  I have covered this topic on three previous blogs, so I will post the links to each in case you have not read them.  We are currently taking kim chee and water kefir on a daily basis to support healthy gut flora.

Diet  The second important action that we take to prevent illness is to eat lots of unprocessed fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.  Anyone can implement these foods into their diet without completely abandoning meat (although you would experience many long-term health benefits from doing so).  These foods are high in dietary fiber, which supports the healthy gut flora.  Keeping the bowels moving is extremely important in order to detoxify, pushing out toxins which suppress the body's immune response. Frequent bowel movements effectively clean pathogens from the gut and prevent yeast, bacteria and viruses from entering the blood stream through the gut wall.

Green tea  I have made a point to consume a cup of green tea daily.  The immune support benefits of green tea have been proven.

Little to NO sugar  I have had one event this winter when I felt a cold coming on.  Knowing that I could not even open the honey jar for a little on my toast, I refrained from anything sweet (except for fresh whole fruit) in order to stave off whatever had gotten into my system.  I was able to get some extra rest at that time, drink lots of fluids including water kefir, eat some fermented vegetables, have a few cups of homemade tea with peppermint and parsley and I did not succumb to the virus.

100% fruit juice is as bad as sugar  Some people think that the best way to increase vitamin C is through drinking fruit juices such as citrus juice.  However, the volume of natural sugar that a person consumes from juice is far more damaging than the benefit of the vitamin C.  The immune system is suppressed for several hours after consuming sugary beverages or natural fruit juices, leaving the body defenseless until the blood sugar returns to normal.  Eating whole pieces of fruit, with their fiber, is the best way to get a good portion of vitamin C.  Better than fruit, however, are leafy green vegetables - rich in vitamin C among other great phytochemicals which strengthen the immune system and help repair damaged cells.  A "little known" source of vitamin C comes from white pine needle tea.  Just 3-5 needles, steeped in a cup of boiled water for 30 minutes or overnight, can provide up to 10 times the daily requirement of vitamin C.

No "anti-bacterial" anything  Not only does this type of soap irritate my skin, but it is suspected to reduce the number of good flora in the gut by way of absorption through the skin.  These are two good reasons for me, so I don't use it.

No Dairy  Dairy slows the digestive tract.  It is the number one culprit of constipation in children.  Anything that slows digestion will eventually cause immune suppression.  Dairy is also known to contribute to phlegm production.  Phlegm in the air way promotes a prime environment for bacteria to grow.  (I generally despise phlegm.)  Children with asthma and frequent bronchitis are much relieved from illness when dairy is omitted from their diet. 

Hot and cold shower There is some evidence that suggests following a hot shower or soak in the tub with a splash of cold water on the extremities can stimulate the body to manufacture more white blood cells which are the immune cells in the blood.  When flu-like symptoms strike, even soaking the feet in a bucket of hot water followed by pouring cold water over the ankles and feet can trigger an immune system boost.  Hey, it's worth a try!

So that concludes the major actions that we take in our lifestyle to prevent common communicable illness.  I'll be sure to let you know if I get sick!

Dr. Mercola - Immune Support with Mushrooms
Highlights from the Mercola Immune support video
  • Provide good environment for healthy gut flora
  • Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates which inhibit growth of good bacteria in the gut and encourages growth of pathogens
  • Get adequate sleep - go to bed around 10pm and sleep 7-9 hours without exposure to outside lights
  • Exercise, without overdoing (especially if you are sick), to raise your core body temperature
  • Deal appropriately with stress (I recommend a close relationship with God and reading of the Bible)
  • Use vitamin C from ascerola
  • Oregano oil supplement
  • Propolis - found in raw honey or in supplement form
  • Olive leaf extract
  • Mushrooms have potential for promoting human health: promoting normal cellular growth, support normal detoxification, protecting against environmental stressors, promoting healthy gut flora, and support of digestion.  As supplement, purchase extracts made from the whole mushroom using solid state fermentation.


  1. Thanks for sharing this information with us. It is really helpful to increase immune system power. Your all things like food, supplement which improve health great. Immune Support

  2. Great article. I use the natural immune supplement called Ultra Immune. And it has been effective. Check ultraimmune.com if you want to try it.