Top Ten Ways to Boost Your
Immune System

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December 23, 2008, last updated March 7, 2015
By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

With bad weather approaching, most of us will spend more
time wiping our noses and coughing. Why? Why are we so
susceptible to colds. It's only around this time of the year
that we start to pay more attention to our immune system.

The amount of times you get the common cold is   to
measure the general strength of your immune system. On
average children get between 2 to 6 colds a year and adults
get between 1 to 3 colds a year. Overall, Americans get
about 62 million colds a year, according to the National
Center for Health Statistics.

Tired of getting colds every year? Are there natural
remedies that can boost your immune system? We have
assembled the Top 10 ways you can stave off colds this
season by boosting your immune system:

Swear Off Sugar. The biggest stress on your immune
system is sugar. The alcohol you drink, even though it is
only once a week, is damaging your immune system
because the body converts alcohol to sugar.

If you can't face the idea of life without sugar, consider
sugar alternatives that are healthier. Once such alternative
is yacon syrup, made from the root of a plant native to
South America.

Yacon syrup is about 6 times sweeter than sugar. It is a
"pre-biotic" which, when digested in your intestines,
improves the natural bacterial environment of your
intestines. Yacon syrup can make you feel fuller, thus
improving your chances of losing weight over time.
Scientists also have found that
yacon syrup can boost your
immune system.

Get Your Sleep. Sleep at least 8 hours a night. Poor sleep
denies your body the chance to repair itself, which means
the immune system does not have a change to regenerate.

Manage Your Work. Manage your job. Don't let your job
manage you. Work to live. Don't live to work. Jobs are
great to have but they usually require that we follow some
one else's dictates. The simple act of subordinating your
will to another on a daily basis is stressful, no matter how
much you admire the boss.

You have to have a game plan for ridding your body and
mind of the build up of stress from your job. No matter
how great the job. Even Presidents of the US go gray
seemingly overnight. The reason -- job stress. So even if
you don't have anyone above you on the corporate or
political ladder, job stress can reach you, job stress can
conquer you and age you.

Eat Green, Drink Green.  Green vegetables are natural
antioxidants, which mean that they help to restore the cells
which are damaged during the day. (Read more about the
health benefits of dark, leafy greens.)

One of the best ways to boost your immune system and to
feel better in general is to make a green juice instead of
your normal orange or apple juice in the mornings.

Mix two handfuls of spinach leaves, one carrot, two
strawberries and a half a cup of watercress with a half a
cup of orange juice. Add a third of a diced red bell pepper
if you like.

The spinach and watercress are packed with iron and
magnesium which give you energy. The red bell peppers,
strawberries and watercress are packed with Vitamin C and
phytochemicals that fight cancer. In fact red bell peppers
have more Vitamin C than oranges. The carrots are rich in
beta-carotenenes that also fight cancer.

Eat fish. Fish with omega-3s have been shown in
research to restore the immune system.

No white foods.  White bread, potatoes and pasta are
converted in the body to sugar.

Drink tea.  Herbal tea with ginger and some believe
,echinacea, can help to boost the immune system.

Exercise moderately. As we wrote in How to Boost Your
Immune System, moderate exercise has been linked in
research to long-lasting support of the immune system.

What about hitting the gym super hard? Surprisingly,
over-exercising actually depresses the immune system.

Avoid Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is the
undiagnosed, silent disease of our generation. Constant
stress wears down the adrenal glands,  putting our bodies
on 24-7 "high alert". Over time, we just wear down. It's
one of the reasons Americans are ranked only 41st around
the world in average lifespans.

Stop Snoring. If you are getting 8 hours sleep but are
still tired, you may be snoring. Snoring wakes you up
during the night, robs your brain of oxygen, and depresses
your immune system.


11. Singing Can Boost Your Immune System

Do you love singing? If you do, here's another reason to
let out your inner Streisand (or Sinatra, Aretha, Rihanna,
Celia Cruz or Timberlake, depending on your tastes).
Singing can actually strengthen your immune system,
studies have found.

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A weak immune system can leave
you tired and less able to fight off
viruses and bacteria.
Great "pick me up" juice. Spinach, carrots, strawberries and water cress
gives your immune system a hyperboost.