5 Ways to Boost your Immune System
How important is IMMUNE HEALTH to you? Immune health is always important as it is the cornerstone of our overall health and wellness. With Covid-19, there has been significant emphasis on our immune systems and the impact it can have on whether you get sick or not and how quickly you bounce back!
There are 5 main areas that YOU can focus on to help BOOST your immune system and I'm going to talk about each of them here!
#1 EAT WELL
“LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE AND MEDICINE BE THY FOOD” – Hippocrates.
We all eat! You need to eat to survive. And weather you like it or not, the food we eat can either boost your overall health and wellness, or tear it down slowly. We’ve all heard the story of the guy who ate McDonald’s every day for a month and ended up in very poor health.
So, with all the information out there, what should we be eating to keep our immune systems strong? The primary way of eating I recommend for most of my clients is a WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED diet. With this diet, think of eating foods in as whole a form as possible and choose plant based options as much as possible. Does this mean we shouldn’t eat meat? Not necessarily. If you enjoy eating meat and your body feels good doing so, try to minimize the amount of meat you eat and focus on the highest quality cuts possible. When eating whole foods, we naturally minimize the amount of processed food consumed and reduce our overall sugar consumption.
Why plant based? Plants are naturally chocked full of vitamins and minerals. They are high in antioxidants and fiber, all necessary for keeping strong immunity. Try to eat as many colours of the rainbow as possible to maximize their nutrient content, and incorporate raw when you can for additional enzymes.
Oh, and don’t forget the water! Keeping hydrated helps flush toxins out of your body while also improving alertness, boosting energy and metabolism. Ditch the pop and sugary juices. Good quality water should always be your go-to.
In addition to eating well, there are a few supplements that can be added to your diet to boost your immune health. The B VITAMINS and VITAMIN C are water-soluble vitamins. This means we must consume them regularly as they go through your system quite quickly. Look for a high quality B-Complex and a Time-Released Vitamin C for maximum benefit. VITAMIN D is also necessary to supplement in the winter time especially. ZINC is an essential mineral with fantastic immune boosting qualities.
#2 SLEEP WELL
“SLEEP IN THE BEST MEDITATION” – The Dalai Lama
NEVER underestimate the power of a good night’s rest! When your body is low on sleep, your immune system takes a hit. We all know that tired feeling – we just don’t feel GOOD!
As adults, we should be striving to get a consistent 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This proved especially important during times like these where our stress hormones are working in overdrive and depleting resources from other parts of our bodies.
How can we improve our sleep quality? Practicing good SLEEP HYGIENE regularly is essential! Here are some tips for good sleep hygiene:
- Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time.
- Exercise regularly, but not within 2 hours of going to bed.
- Avoid caffeine 4-6 hours before bedtime. This includes caffeinated sodas, teas and chocolate!
- Keep your room at a comfortable, cool temperature and keep it dark.
- Reduce liquid consumption 2 hours before bed.
- Avoid TV and devices before bed.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, reading.
If you’re still having trouble falling asleep or keep waking up in the night, there are various supplements that can help. MAGNESIUM is an essential mineral that many people are deficient in. Magnesium can help your muscles relax when taken before bedtime, among many other benefits! MELATONINE, L-THEANINE and 5-HTP are other supplements that can be used alone or in combination to help aid sleep.
#3 REDUCE STRESS
“THE GREATEST WEAPON AGAINST STRESS IS OUR ABILITY TO CHOOSE ONE THOUGHT OVER ANOTHER.” – William James
Do all the changes in routine we’ve been experiencing over the last few months have you ready to pull your hair out some days?? We all experience some level of stress… it’s a natural part of life! Stress is sometimes a motivator that helps you rise to the occasion. At other times, it’s simply overwhelming. Whatever the case, if it’s chronic, it can take a toll on your immune system.
When we’re stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. That is why we are more susceptible to infections. In times of stress, the body releases hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, that increase your breathing and heart rate. Short term suppression of the immune system is not dangerous. However, chronic suppression leaves the body vulnerable to infection and disease.
The effects of stress and inflammation can clearly be seen in the Dry Blood Analysis test, including chronic stress of the Adrenal system. In these cases, taking a supplement such as ADRENAL SUPPORT may be necessary. Other herbal formulas such as ZERENITY can be used to restore a feeling of calm and reduce anxiety on a temporary basis. The vitamin combination in our STRESS FORMULA help protect the cells against the damaging effects of stress.
There are many other things that can be done to help manage stress and support your immune system including eating well, exercise, yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, and connecting to nature. What’s your go-to stress buster?
“IF YOU DON’T MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE, YOU’LL PROBABLY HAVE TO MAKE TIME FOR ILLNESS.” – Robin S. Sharma
You know that feeling you get after a great workout??! It’s like your whole body is vibrating energy. Those are ENDORPHINS! What are endorphins?? Well, they’ve also been called ‘HAPPY HORMONES’ and can help bring about feelings of EUPHORIA and general WELL-BEING. How amazing does that sound??!!
But can exercise really impact our immune system? YES!!! Physical activity helps flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. It also causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (disease fighter cells) and increases circulation. Muscle contraction helps pump your lymphatic fluid (part of your immune system) throughout your body. And we can’t forget, exercise slows down the release of stress hormones which may protect against illness.
But not all exercise is necessarily good for us. Studies show that intense exercise for too long can actually REDUCE immunity. Research is showing that more than 90 minutes of high-intensity endurance exercise can make athletes susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after!
The good new here is that even moderate exercise can strengthen your body’s immune response. Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity at least 3 days per week. Try some full-body activities that give you a mild sweat!
#5 LOVE YOUR GUT
“QUITE LITERALLY, YOUR GUT IS THE EPICENTER OF YOUR MENTAL AND PHYSIAL HEALTH. IF YOU WANT BETTER IMMUNITY, EFFICIENT DIGESTION, IMPROVED CLARITY AND BALANCE, FOCUS ON REBUILDING YOUR GUT HEALTH.” – Kris Carr
We’ve saved the best for last! It is said that Gut Health is the key to overall health, and that goes for your Immune Health too!
Did you know that your gut wall houses 70% of the cells that make up your immune system? 70%!!! Getting your gut bacteria (microbiome) healthy is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things you can do to get and stay healthy. A healthy gut microbiome plays a major factor in weight maintenance, immune modulation, moods and emotions. Your gut is also known as your ‘second brain’ because it is in constant communication with your brain directly!
So how do we know if our gut microbiome is healthy? Do you experience any of these symptoms?
- Acid reflux
If you do on a regular basis, your gut may need some TLC. The foods we eat play a very important part of our gut health. But many of us can benefit from additional support through things like PROBIOTICS, DIGESTIVE ENZYMES, and PREBIOTIC FIBRE. FERMENTED FOODS like Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Yogurt also contribute to healthy gut microbiomes.
HOW CAN A LIVE BLOOD ANALYSIS HELP?
We have been talking about IMMUNE HEALTH and how you can BOOST your Immune System. But how can you tell if your Immune System actually needs a boost??
A Live Blood Analysis CAN help determine the state of your immune health. During your analysis, you will be able to see YOUR White Blood Cells (the larger white cells you see in this image) and we can assess the health and viability of them. You will also be able to see your Red Blood Cells (the 'bubbles' in this image) and how much VITALITY (movement) they have. The more they are freely moving around, the better!
An analysis can also determine if you have any vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies, bacteria and parasites, hormonal imbalances, and inflammation that tax your immune system and weaken it overall.
Once the analysis is completed, you will then receive recommendations SPECIFIC to you so you can work to improve your Immune Health taking a targeted approach. This unique method of analysis is UNLIKE any other! Ready to get started and UNLEASH YOUR TRUE WELLNESS?? Send me a message to set up your appointment TODAY!
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