This season brings a lot of uncertainty
Things are changing rapidly, and everyone feels it. With all that is happening in the world, it is completely natural to feel uneasy and question what steps you need to be taking today to help you survive this season. While this season can be hard and scary with many unknowns, our goal is to try and equip you with ideas and tools to assist in building your immunity.
Please know that COVID-19 is a serious infection and no amount of lifestyle change can make you invincible. With that being said, there are plenty of small things you can do that may strengthen your immune system. Our hope for you is that you take this time to take a look at your health and improve the areas that perhaps our busy life kept us from focusing on before.
So while we hate the circumstance, our prayer is that with this additional time you have, you will reconnect with loved ones, take some much needed time to yourself, and put you and your families health and wellness first.
We hope you enjoy these 7 Tips for Boosting Your Immune System.
7 Tips to Building Your Immunity
Our immune system does a remarkable job of defending against illness. But sometimes it fails. A germ invades successfully and causes you to get sick. So, is it possible to intervene and boost your immune system? The immune system is a complex system that requires balance and harmony to function properly.
While research is still being done on the effects of lifestyle on the immune system, general healthy-living strategies are a great way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
So, let’s dive into some of the ways you may be able to strengthen your immune system…
Eat Immune Boosting Foods
While no food or supplement can 100% prevent you from a virus or flu, some foods have been shown to bolster your immunity. Here are our top picks of foods to incorporate into your daily diet.
Citrus fruits and red bell peppers:
Vitamin C is the superstar well known for supporting your immune system. Don’t wait until you are feeling ill to add vitamin C into your diet. While vitamin C can’t prevent illness, it has been studied in people with respiratory infections. Vitamin C is NOT produced by your body naturally, so grab some grapefruit or bell peppers on your next grocery store visit.
Sunflower seeds and almonds:
Let’s not let vitamin C steal the show… Vitamin E also plays a key role in immunity. This vitamin is fat soluble and can help boost the activity of immune cells to help the body fend off invading bacteria. This is a vitamin you want on your side.
We are huge fans of turmeric! Curcumin, the natural compound in turmeric, is a natural anti-inflammatory that can also boost immune cell activity and enhance antibody responses. Don’t forget to combine your turmeric with black pepper to enhance the bioavailability. Sprinkle some turmeric and black pepper into your next soup, sautéed veggies, or in your smoothie.
Bust out that garlic breath because research lends credibility to garlics immune supporting capabilities. In fact, one study took 146 volunteers and they were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or a garlic supplement daily for 12 weeks during cold season. Guess what? The garlic group experienced significantly fewer colds compared to the placebo group AND they recovered faster. Start adding in garlic into your daily dinner and keep around a couple of mints for your loved ones.
Keep Your Body Moving
With most people self-isolating at home, it can be easy to remain sedentary and catch up on your Netflix shows. But have you seen Tiger King, yet!? While not being able to go to the gym presents a challenge, it is important to keep your body moving.
In fact, physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. Exercise causes a change in the antibodies and white blood cells. The bodies white blood cells are the immune system cells that help us fight disease. Furthermore, the brief rise in body temperature during and right after exercise may assist in preventing bacteria from growing.
Many companies are offering free live streams of workouts. Or, one of our favorites is a virtual dance party! ? Take a walk or put on a You Tube work out video to ensure you are keeping your body moving.
Catch More ZZZ’s
When it comes to health in general, sleep plays an important role. While extra sleep wont necessarily prevent you from getting sick, not getting the recommended sleep you need could adversely affect your immune system, leaving you more susceptible.
Without enough sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Cytokines are both produces and released during sleep. To stay healthy, get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night. If not possible, don’t feel guilty about adding in a nap during the day.
We know this one is easier said than done… but try to remain calm and stress less! When we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced making you more susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system.
Here are some ways to help you manage stress:
- Breathing Exercises
- Take a Walk
- Take a Bath
- Connect with Friends & Family
- Write in a Journal
- Keep a Gratitude List
Take this time to focus on what you need mentally to take care of yourself. Even if it’s setting aside 10 minutes to yourself, your body will thank you for it!
Fuel Up on Probiotics
We are big fans of probiotics. Here’s the deal. Around 70% of the body’s immune system is connected to the digestive tract. This means a properly functioning digestive system is essential to maintaining overall health. Our intestinal lining acts a a protective barrier between our bloodstream and he external world. Everything that goes through our system, pathogens included, run through this passage. So it is important to occupy this space with more beneficial bacteria than harmful bacteria.
Enter, wait for it, probiotics. These littles guys can be used to ramp up your entire gut health regimen. Either through a probiotic supplement, fermented foods, or kombucha, there are lots of ways to add in probiotics into your daily regimen.
Avoid the Spread of Germs
Not to point out the obvious but avoiding the spread of germs is the most important and vital way to prevent the spread of diseases. Take extra precautions to clean and disinfect daily.
- Stay home if you are able
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your face (I know this one is difficult for us too!)
- If you are sick, STAY HOME!
- Keep your home and workplace clean by using disinfectant regularly