Boost Your Immune System Naturally To Fight Colds and Flu

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By Dr. DelRae Messer

It’s cold and flu season. I can’t help but notice the majority of grocery stores and pharmacies advertising flu shots, cold medications and new vaccinations for “prevention” of sickness. It’s ironic to me that every year at the same time, we are bombarded with advertising that tries to convince us that our innate immune system is not enough. This outside-in approach to prevention and treatment has given us a false sense of what health truly is. Health is not merely the absence of disease but each and every one of our cells functioning at an optimal level. It is not merely “feeling” well, but functioning with robust energy and vitality.

Our body is self-healing and self-regulating. When you cut your finger, what happens? Did you have to think about how many times you took a breath in the last minute or how many times your heart beat in your chest? Our incredible body is capable of healing, when we give it the right tools. Unfortunately, we’ve become so accustomed to reaching for medications to suppress our symptoms when we are sick. Research shows most of the time, unless there is a crisis situation (there is a time and place for medication), these drugs prolong our illness. If we, or our children, are sick often, the more important question to ask is, “why are we getting sick”? There are 2 reasons why our body and our children’s bodies develop sickness and disease.

1. Toxicity

We have introduced a toxin from our environment that is affecting our body’s physiology or impeding with its ability to function optimally. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that our indoor environment is 7-10 times more toxic than our outdoor environment. For example, chemicals in products we use on a day-to-day basis, such as personal care products, household cleaning products, food, air and water can be stored in our bodies (specifically, our fat cells). This causes inflammation, oxidative stress, and free radical damage, leading to an array of symptoms such as weight gain, fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, depression and mood swings, joint and muscle pain, and premature aging.

I will be talking about easy ways to “Make the Switch” in future articles by substituting these toxin-laden products with chemical-free versions.

2. Deficiency

The quality of our food has shown our soil has been depleted of nutrients. The amount of pesticides and insecticides sprayed on our food is a tragedy. It has impacted not only our health, but also our waistlines. A simple approach to avoid deficiency in your diet is to start eating more whole foods and less processed foods. Real, whole foods contain vitamins, minerals phyto-nutrients, and fiber to fuel your body. In fact, I challenge all of my clients to a 3-day sugar detox and it’s amazing the changes they can see and feel in just 3 days!

I grew up a very sick child. I truly believe it started with my birth. I was a forceps extraction and was diagnosed with severe reflux. I was put on antacid medication at 4 weeks old and had pyloric stenosis surgery at 6 weeks. I was then formula fed and had 14 rounds of antibiotics by 2nd grade for recurring strep throat. I have been food intolerant, chemically sensitive, and struggled to stay healthy my whole life. Until about 7 years ago, when I took my health into my own hands and educated myself on how to boost my immune system naturally. I am grateful to have had incredible mentors who taught me the importance of creating a healthy immune system from birth. Having recently given birth to my daughter, I personally know the importance of keeping a family healthy.

Our immune system and I truly believe our health, starts in our gut. From the moment we pass through the birth canal, our guts are being colonized by beneficial bacteria that allow assimilation of vitamins and minerals, aid in digestion and elimination and build a healthy, strong immune system. The overuse of antibiotics, prescription and over-the-counter medications, alcohol, processed foods, pesticides, chemicals, toxins, and tap water that contains chlorine are just a few items that cause dysbiosis, or a changing of our gut bacteria from beneficial to harmful. This change in bacteria can cause symptoms such as acid relux, colic, digestive problems, acne, and irritable bowel syndrome. More research is linking dysbiosis of the gut to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and even ADHD and autism. This is no wonder, as 70% of our feel-good hormone serotonin is produced in our gut!

Re-establishing gut bacteria is not as simple as purchasing a probiotic and continuing to overwhelm our bodies with poor lifestyle choices. Changing our eating habits to incorporate more whole “real” food versus “dead” processed food, drinking pure water, avoiding chemical exposure, over-use of antibiotics, prescription and over-the-counter medications and limiting alcohol will all have a positive effect on our immune system as well as our overall health.

When you or your children do end up sick or “expressing health” as my family likes to call it, supplementation can help speed your recovery. Instead of suppressing symptoms with premier pharmacy medications and antibiotics, allow your body to naturally fight off its foreign invader. In fact, allowing children to get sick once and a while is the best way to boost their immune system. It’s not fun to see them suffer, but know whatever their body is doing is 100% appropriate. A fever is meant to kill a virus, which is why suppressing it usually causes a child to be sicker for a longer period of time. A cough or stuffy nose is meant to expel whatever bacteria the body was exposed to. Natural remedies such as high doses of vitamin C, vitamin D, probiotics, tea with raw honey, echinacea, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, netty pots, and massage help facilitate healing.

It’s cold and flu season. So what. With this information you can make an educated decision on why choosing to boost your immune system naturally is always the best bet!

Dr. DelRae’s Recipe for Pumpkin Protein Bars:

1 can organic pumpkin (substitute with mashed baked pumpkin)

4 scoops Fit Shake powder (see

1 cup gluten-free oatmeal (substitute with almond flour or brown rice flour)

1 cup ground flaxseed meal

1/4 cup coconut milk

2 eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

4 packets stevia

Mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients. Grease 9 x 13 pyrex pan with coconut oil. Add mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!

Here’s a link to Dr. DelRae’s blog with a video and a great holiday recipe:

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