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Natural Ways to Beat Colds
Written By : Mark Rosenberg, MD 
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You fix lunch in the office kitchen; you volunteer at your child's school; you take your pooch to the dog park-each of these everyday activities could be wreaking havoc on your immune system. It's a fact of life that germs and cold viruses are everywhere. The more we interact with others, the greater our chances of being exposed and getting sick. Not only must our immune systems fight off simple colds, but they are also responsible for protecting our bodies from diseases and injuries of every kind.

Here are a few easy ways you can take care of your immune system so that it will take care of you.

Protecting Your Immune System

Most doctors would agree that your immune system plays a critical role in maintaining a healthy body over a lifetime and if not functioning at an optimal level, your chances of getting sick are certain to increase. A weak immune system is also a key link to the possibility of developing serious diseases, even cancer. To help you understand the impact an immune system has on your body, I'll need to explain first what it is and then how it can affect you.

The immune system is a network of cells and organs that protect you from disease by preventing foreign proteins from getting into your body. When an infectious particle is present the immune system manufactures antibodies, which seek out and destroy the foreign invader. In addition, special immune cells create a "memory" of harmful antigens so the body will know how to create antibodies to fight a particular infection if it returns. This response is what makes vaccinations effective.

Now that you understand a little bit about why the immune system is so important, let us take a look at the following proven ways you can help strengthen it. These are the same tips I give my patients, and I have seen them make a real difference time after time.

7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

1) Get enough protein - Protein-rich foods contain amino acids, which are the building blocks of all the cells in our bodies. Without them, the immune cells are unable to make sufficient white blood cells to fight infection. Eat 0.8 to 1 gram of protein for every kilogram of body weight each day.

2) Trade in coffee for green tea - You don't have to give up your joe entirely, but swapping at least one cup for green tea provides a serving of catechins. These antioxidants may inhibit viruses from replicating and reduce inflammation.

3) Squeeze a lemon- Adding lemon juice to tea, salad dressing or steamed veggies helps restore the acid-alkali balance in your body. Maintaining a proper pH balance supports the growth of healthy bacteria and inhibits harmful types.

4) Beat stress - Stress affects hormone levels and wears down your body, weakening the immune system. Try different tactics until you are better able to manage stressful situations. For example, you can change your routine, get more exercise, meditate or practice quick breathing exercises.

5) Get 7 to 9 hours - I'm talking about sleep. Sleep doesn't just ensure you'll have the energy to get through your day; it is a critical time that the body uses to repair cells. Studies show that lack of sleep directly impacts immune response.

6) Eat immune-boosting foods- The chicken soup cure isn't exactly a myth. Many researchers think it bolsters the immune system. Mushrooms also have a positive impact on immune cells and broccoli has been proven to help prevent the growth of cancer cells.

7) Take a multi-vitamin- Most doctors agree that insufficient intake of many vitamins, particularly the B vitamins, A, C, E, selenium, iron and zinc, can impair immune response. Also make sure your multi-vitamin has a sufficient amount of antioxidants included.

Your immune system is your most important line of defense against disease and sickness. The steps outlined above can be implemented by anyone who is concerned with maintaining good health today and for the rest of their lives.

Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Institute For Healthy Aging
http://www.vitalmaxvitamins.com

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