Let’s review the ways to support your immune system.
Giving your body the things that support immune function such as decreased stress, proper nutrition and plenty of rest are the foundations for health. These foundations help you stay healthy. And if you do get sick, the symptoms are lessened.
Remember, getting sick isn’t bad, it actually exercises your immune system. When you get sick, your body creates antibodies that will then be ready to address any similar or mutated bacteria or virus that it later gets exposed to. It is an elegant and effective system and it is within you! A favorite quote of mine from Gregg Braden is this, “I have yet to see something invented that is outside of our bodies that works better than what we can do in our bodies.” The body truly is amazing.
Let’s dive in.
No matter who you are, your body needs rest. I know there are some of you out there who say you can function with 6 or even 5 hours of sleep a night.
The research shows that “sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, and increased risk of death. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is also associated with impaired immune function, increased pain, impaired performance, increased errors, and greater risk of accidents.” (1)
I recommend getting between 7-8.5 hours a night. If you’re having sleep challenges call the office to make your appointment so we can figure out how to get your sleeping.
Getting sufficient protein, fiber, vegetables, and fruits provides vitamins and minerals that help support your immune system. A recent study showed that organic fruits and veggies have substantially higher amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals (2). Good nutrition provides vitamins A, B, C, selenium, magnesium, calcium, and the antioxidants (polyphenols, flavonols, anthocyanins, and more.Your body needs these building blocks to run the immune system effectively. A lack of nutrients slows down or even halts the immune process.
Make sure you’re eating all the colors of the rainbow on a daily basis.
This is key for a strong immune system. With all of the news, information, fear, and more going about its no wonder stress levels are high and immunity is weaker.
I STRONGLY URGE YOU to disconnect from watching the news, reading the paper, going on social media, and any other streams of information that causes you stress, anxiety, fear, despair, or just not feeling good about life. I know you are thinking – how will I know what’s going on. If you really need to know you will find it out. Try disconnecting for 1 day and then try 2 days and go on from there. Use this as a re-set to remember what’s important in your life.
Take the time that you would normally be engaging in media and go for a walk, connect with nature, have tea with a friend, work in your garden, write down all that you’re grateful for in you life, spend time with your pets, spend time with your children, spend time with your spouse, cook, bake, sew, craft. Do anything you can to shift into joy, gratitude, happiness. The more you do this the more you will notice a decrease in stress and and increase in feeling good.
To add even more support taking supplements is just the ticket. Here are some of the basics that I’ve been recommending over the past 18 months.
Vitamin C – key to a strong immune system, helps keep cytokine production down, and you have to get it externally (supplements or foods).
Zinc – essential for immune function – helps eliminate pathogens, decreases inflammation, decreases duration if taken at onset.
Vitamin D – another foundation for immune health. Low vitamin D is correlated with increased illness.
NAC – supports glutathione production – the #1 antioxidant in the body, helps detox and prevent liver and kidney damage, supports the lungs, helps immune function, and boosts brain health. If you have trouble getting NAC, call the office, we can help you!
Quercetin – an excellent nutrient for allergies but also great at decreasing inflammation. It’s one of my go-to supplements when I’m starting to feel wimpy.
If you start feeling sick, don’t wait to start any of these suggestions. The sooner you start a protocol the better and the more support you give your immune system. If you need further help definitely reach out. We can discuss the best treatments to get you feeling your best again.