Flu season is well underway, and we think it’s important to look at how to avoid the flu and stay well this winter. Getting sick can stress your immune system, increasing your risk of a flare-up in an autoimmune condition, thyroid dysfunction, or other chronic illness. Getting a cold or the flu can also often lead to taking antibiotics which are typically unnecessary (since the cold and flu are both caused by viruses) and can damage your gut.

Let’s take a look at 10 tips for supporting your immune system and preventing the flu naturally. Ensuring a strong foundation of health and following simple best practices will go a long way in decreasing your risk of getting the flu. Here are ten tips for staying healthy this flu season.

1. Wash Your Hands Frequently and Thoroughly

This is the number one way to prevent the flu and other respiratory infections. You must scrub your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds in order to kill viruses. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without first washing your hands.

2. Repair Your Gut

Your gut is your gateway to health, 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. Make sure your gut is in tip-top shape, and take a high-quality, multi-strain probiotic with at least 25 billion units. This will keep your levels of good gut bacteria up to help fight off infections.

3. Reduce Sugar and Alcohol Consumption

With the abundance of holiday treats out this time of year, sugar cravings can be a real bear. However, consuming too much sugar can suppress your immune system and make it more difficult for your body to fight off infections like the flu. It also leaves you open to gut infections such as Candida and SIBO, which suppress your immune system and cause leaky gut. And even moderate alcohol consumption suppresses the central nervous system, and therefore your immune system.

4. Reduce Your Stress

Stress is known to suppress our immune systems. Consider meditation, yoga, or acupuncture.

5. Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep Every Night

Your body relies on sleep to recuperate from daily exposure to toxins. Chronic sleep deprivation can significantly reduce immune function.

6. Take an Immune Booster

Give your immune system an added boost with a supplement containing Polysaccharides, such as our Immune Revive. Our Immune Revive is a potent immune system support formulation. It contains a proprietary blend of 8 mushrooms as well as Astragalus Root Extract. The highest naturally occurring form of Beta-Glucan is found in these eight mushrooms. Beta-Glucan is known for its remarkable immune support.

7. Supplement with Glutathione, Turmeric, and Vitamin C

Antioxidants are very important for your immune function. Glutathione is the chief antioxidant in your body, responsible for enhancing your immune system and helping your Liver DetoxCurcumin is the orange pigment in turmeric and a potent antioxidant that improves joint health and cardiovascular function. Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, and supports optimal immune function

8. Optimize Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that is required for proper bone formation and normal development of teeth. It builds bone mass and enhances calcium absorption and utilization, helping strengthen the bones and teeth.  Vitamin D also assists in the absorption of phosphorus by the gastrointestinal tract. It helps prevent muscle weakness and is known to aid in heartbeat regulation. It also enables your blood to clot properly and your thyroid to function optimally.

Vitamin D is known to activate immune cells particularly when the body is experiencing microbial imbalance. It has been also observed to regulate cell growth, especially rapidly multiplying cells.

9. Consider a Zinc Supplement

Zinc is another powerful antioxidant that plays a crucial role in immune health. Within the immune system, zinc is needed for gene regulation and the functioning of neutrophils, natural killer cells, and lymphocytes, which are all types of white blood cells. Found primarily in the kidneys, liver, pancreas, and brain, Zinc helps support healthy immune system function.

10. Get Plenty of Exercise

Exercise can boost your immune system by increasing your circulation and relieving stress. Increased circulation allows antibodies to travel throughout your bloodstream faster, making it easier for your immune system to fight off an illness. Exercise can also enhance your immune system by relieving stress and slowing the release of stress hormones in the body.

Supporting your immune system, strengthening your gut health, and remaining rested and stress-free are not only the keys to preventing the flu and will keep you on the path to optimal health.