By now, everybody should have heard about the possible "Swine Flue" epidemic, the H1N1 virus that doctors are struggling to find a cure for. Although right now being infected means nothing more than a bad case of the regular flu, sources say that the second strain could be even more widespread and dangerous then the first one, so it couldn't hurt to boost that immune system now. Ironically it is often the people who come from industrial modern nations that are the most suseptable to diseases, since people in developing nations had to be heartier to defend themselves from diseases growing up.

Essentials for a healthy immune system

1. Be clean, but not too clean
Cleanliness is great, but an overhaul on anti-bacterial soaps and wipes can actually do more harm then good, especially as a young child. When your body is developing in childhood through young adulthood, being raised in a germ free enviornment will not prepare your body for the bacteria and germs that you will face when you leave the nest. Your immune system is just like anything else in your body, it needs to be used on a regular basis to reach its full potential. obey the 5 second rule, share a sandwich with a friend. If you keep your body exposed to a healthy amount of germs, you will be healthier overall in the long run.

2. vitamin c, anyway you can get it
In the 65 years since it's discovery, people have never exaggerated the importance of getting enough vitamin c. An absolute minimum supply will prevent you from contracting scurvy, but a healthier daily dose will do wonders for your ski, teeth, and bones, and more importantly, your immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful free radical fighter and is present in almost every cell in the body. Weather you get it from orange juice, citrus fruits, or a suplement, just make sure you get it in there.

3. sleep
When you get the flu (god forbid) chances are you spend a majority of your time in bed, trying to sleep it off. This is because the immune system is most powerful when you sleep, when the body can attack the disease with full force and repair itself while you recharge your batteries. A body that is tired, worn out, and ill rested will be MUCH more suseptable to diseases than a body that has put in its 8 hours.

4. Exercise
although you never want to go to the gym when your sick, for risk of spreading infection, a healthy ammount of exercise and physical activity releases endoriphins, a chemical that not only increaes your mood, but enhances the immune system. Careful though, because over exercise to the point of exaustion can actually kill white blood cells and damage the immune system.

5. Balance
Not surprisingly, people who always get sick are the first ones to tell you "I always get sick" a healthy state of mind will breed a healthy person, while somebody who expects to get sick, is never surprised when they do. Think of yourself as a healthy person, and try to encorporate all the things that go along with a healthy lifestyle into your daily routine.

6. Healthy Bacteria
Foots like yogurt, cheese and honey, (especially honey) have many bacterias and enzymes that maintain a healthy atmostphere in the body once ingested. Be sure not to keep these foods out of your diet.