Natural Immune Boosters!
Well, its that time of year when the flu and viruses start flying around! I thought I’d share a bit of what I’ve learned about natural ways to boost your immune system. It must be working, because I really haven’t been sick while being pregnant (other than the nasty all-day morning sickness I had until 18 wks!)….and Levi just got over what I’m guessing was the flu or swine flu.
Here are some things I use:
1) Coconut Oil
– to read more about the benefits of coconut oil, go to
http://www.coconutoil.com/viruses.htm (this link specifically talks about viruses and how coconut oil is useful against them). The site www.coconutoil.com has a lot of other info about coconut oil too!
From his extensive research of the medical literature, Dr. Fife has come up with a slew of health benefits associated with coconut oil. Some of them are:
.. Reduces risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease
.. Reduces risk of cancer and other degenerative conditions
.. Helps prevent bacterial, viral and fungal (including yeast) infections
.. Supports immune system function
.. Helps control diabetes
.. Provides an immediate source of energy
.. Supports healthy metabolic function
.. Promotes weight loss
.. Supplies fewer calories than other fats
.. Improves digestion and nutrient absorption
.. Helps prevent osteoporosis
.. Helps keep skin soft and smooth
– I sometimes will take just a ‘ole big spoonful of it!
– It is the ONLY oil I use to do high-heat cooking/sauteing, as it does not oxidize at high temps!
– It is AMAZING to use to make homemade popcorn! YUM!! I also stir a little into my oatmeal in the mornings, along with some rapadura and raisins!
– Honestly, it has really seemed to give me more energy and I haven’t really been sick at all since using it regularly!
2) Cod liver oil
Another great source to boost immune function. I have taken both the capsules and straight up liquid stuff (which I usually mix into yogurt for the kids and they don’t even know its in there!) A study found that children taking a half teaspoon of flax oil a day experienced fewer and less severe respiratory infections and fewer days of being absent from school. The omega 3 fatty acids in flax oil and fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel) act as immune boosters by increasing the activity of phagocytes, the white blood cells that eat up bacteria. (Perhaps this is why grandmothers used to insist on a daily dose of unpalatable cod liver oil.) Essential fatty acids also protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection. When taking essential fatty acid supplements, such as flax or fish oils, take additional vitamin E, which acts together with essential fatty acids to boost the immune system. One way to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is to add one to three teaspoons of flax oil to a fruit and yogurt smoothies.
Rather than me spewing a bunch of other facts and figures, here are a few reputed links to check out:
3) Natural Multivitamins
I use “natural” food-based ones from a health food store as most others are synthetic vitamins (man-made). I would rather get the good natural stuff. Currently, I’m using the SuperNutrition Prenatal’s – (http://www.supernutritionusa.com/productpages/simply_one_prenatal.html)
4) Garlic – this flavorful member of the onion family is a powerful immune booster that stimulates the multiplication of infection-fighting white cells, boosts natural killer cell activity, and increases the efficiency of antibody production. The immune-boosting properties of garlic seem to be due to its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin and sulfides. Garlic can also act as an antioxidant that reduces the build-up of free radicals in the bloodstream. Garlic may protect against cancer, though the evidence is controversial. Cultures with a garlic-rich diet have a lower incidence of intestinal cancer. Garlic may also play a part in getting rid of potential carcinogens and other toxic substances. It is also a heart-friendly food since it keeps platelets from sticking together and clogging tiny blood vessels. (http://askdrsears.com/html/4/t042500.asp#back)
These are a few natural immune boosters that I use! Seem to be working well!!! I prefer to forego the Flu Shot and for sure the H1N1 (swine flu) shot, so i plan to do the above things, eat healthy, get enough rest and wash my hands a lot!!!
Here’s to a healthy “flu season” for you and your family too!
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