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Q: What are some natural ways to prevent getting the flu?

Posted October 16, 2013 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: Chiropractic. Getting adjusted regularly by a chiropractor will increase your immunity. Your nervous system controls everything, including the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and gut, all of which are critical to your body’s immune response. Being adjusted releases more immunity-boosting, virus-killing T-cells and ensures that your nervous system is functioning at 110 percent.   Nutrition and supplements. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet consisting of lean meats and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Avoid a diet high in sugar, dairy and processed foods. Aim to drink three liters of water each day. Also, supplement with a good quality probiotic and Vitamin D. A probiotic will establish that good bacteria in your gut, which is essential to boosting your immune system. Exercise. Moderate exercise can boost the production and circulation of immune cells that attack bacteria and viruses. Exercise can also help those cells and oxygen to travel quicker and more efficiently throughout the body. Sleep. Sleep deprivation can put unwanted stress on the body.  Adequate sleep releases immune-boosting cells and proteins, all while regulating our hormones to ensure a healthy body. Wash hands. Wash your hands regularly using soap and water for 20-30 seconds. Avoid using anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers. They kill off all bacteria, resulting in our immune system never being exposed to that bacterium. Subsequently, our immune system cannot be strengthened because it never gets to “practice” fighting and killing off bacteria and viruses.

Information provided by Nicole Olson, DC, CACCP, Olson Chiropractic Health Center, 1510 S.W. Oralabor Road, Suite B, Ankeny, 289-1015.

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