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Seven things you can do to strengthen immune system

Strengthening your immune system is indeed one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself, not just during cold and flu season, but all year long.

Even though these tips are easy to follow, its important that you be very consistent in performing them.

Here they are.

1) Drinks lots of lemon. Yes, thats right. Lemon is one of the best foods known for restoring our bodies acid-alkali balance. During respiration (everyday living) our cells give off acids. The more acidic our bodies, the weaker our immune systems. Lemons actually alkalize our cells.

This may seem confusing, in that we usually think of citrus as being acidic. Actually, it is before we eat it. Once its digested though, citrus&bsp; turns&bsp; alkaline. Use lemon juice in your water, tea, soups, or in just about any thing.

On my web site I have a list of acidic and alkalizing foods. Now Im not saying that you should never eat acidic foods. What I am saying is that you should try to incorporate many alkaline foods into your diet every day.

2) This may not be a very popular one, but stop drinking coffee. Coffee acts as a diuretic. This not only depletes your body of valuable water, but also of essential vitamins and minerals. By the way, eating chocolate does the same thing. If you are going to consume coffee, I recommend that you drink two glasses of water per cup of coffee.

3) Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is so important, because since blood volume is mostly water, we need an adequate amount to carry not only oxygen, but also vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to our cells.

Two things to be careful of though. It is dangerous to drink too much water in one stitting (if you were to drink two gallons at one time it could kill you by making your brain swell). Also, drinking plenty of water can flush out minerals which could in turn cause cramping, so I recommend a good vitamin/mineral supplement. (Provide is the best one Ive seen).

4) Eat plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. These contain phytonutrients that protect our cells. Dark produce, especially, has more flavinoids, polyphenols, and other antioxidants our bodies need.

5) Cut out refined sugars. Refined sugar suppresses the immune system. I recommend using agave, or stevia instead.

6) Get plenty of sleep. Rest is when the body heals and rebuilds.

7) This may sound like an odd one, but spend some time out in the cold. Exercise releases endorphins, which heal the body and can make a noticeable difference in your happiness and well being. Indoor air in the Winter can be unhealthy. Also, cold air stimulates the thyroid gland.&bsp; Add these tips to your everyday routine, and youll feel better for it.

David Crocker of Landrum has served as strength director of the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., strength coach, S.C. state champion girls gymnastic team, USC-Spartanburg baseball team, and Converse college equestrian team. He taught four semesters at USC-Union. David is also a regular guest of the Pam Stone Show.~ Diet & Exercise written by David Crocker