With flu season in full swing and the addition of Coronavirus, we are reminded of how important it is to take care of our immune systems. We can improve our immunity naturally by focusing on both the mind and body. Here are my top 6 tips for staying healthy all year long:
Stress affects every part of our body from brain fog to weight changes, but especially our immunity. When cortisol levels are high, our body’s ability to heal itself is disrupted, making you more suspectable to infection and even diminishing the protective effects of vaccines. Clean up your diet, move your body and actively relax to lower your stress levels.
Use Food as Medicine
What we eat directly affects our body’s ability to heal. The best way to build up our immunity is by real, whole, nutrient-dense foods. Eat multiple servings of colorful fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C, A, and phytonutrients. Up your intake of dark, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. For added antimicrobial support add garlic, onions, ginger and other spices into your meals.
Additional Supplement Support: Natural Anti-Viral/Anti-Bacterial Herbs: astragalus, echinacea, green tea extract, elderberry, andrographis, goldenseal, monolaurin, various immune-enhancing mushrooms, and beta 1-3 glucan.
Cordyceps and Mushrooms Extracts: Cook with medicinal mushrooms like shitake.
Sleep (Actual Sleep)
You can be doing everything right and still get sick. Why? Because you are not getting enough sleep! Sleep restores and heals the body. Without good, restful sleep our bodies are not able to support a strong immune system. Your goal should be 7 or 8 hours a night. Seem out of reach? Try exercising during the day (35 to 40 minutes also boosts immune function) and mindful relaxation to help prepare your body for sleep.
For exercise: Mild to moderate exercise daily improves immune system function. AVOID overexertion when feeling run down; this will your lower immune defenses.
Drinking lots of fluids, especially warmer fluids, is vital for staying hydrated and supporting all your body’s functions – including immune functions. Flush out toxins and detox with water (or warm lemon water) and nourish with soups, bone broth, and ginger and echinacea tea. If you prefer green juices, make sure they are without fruit juice and other added sugars – sugar stresses our immune system. YIKES!
Try a daily saline flush: Using a neti pot or plastic bottle filled with saline solution gently flushes out your sinuses while keeping mucus membranes moist, protecting against microbes. Limit using a saline flush once or twice daily.
Be Balanced With Sanitizing
I know it might seem weird, but exposure to some germs is good for us, especially in terms of building up immunity. If you live in a sterile environment you are actually more susceptible to infections when exposed. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer when appropriate, but avoid anything excessive.
It All Goes Back to the Gut
A healthy gut supports a healthy body – healthy gut flora supports a healthy gut and protects against pathogens and is vital for a strong immune system. Take probiotics daily that include several species of good bacteria and contain at least 5 to 10 billion organisms per capsule.
When taking antibiotics: Sometimes antibiotics are needed when sick. During your round of antibiotics, you kill both bad and good bacteria. Be sure to include probiotics and probiotic-rich food in your diet to counteract the effects.