7 Tips to Boost Immunity
7 Tips to Boost Immunity
Do you tend to get sick every winter? Are you prone to the flu, bronchitis, or colds during this time? Maybe you just feel more fatigued than you were before the holidays.
This is the time when we have become weakened by holiday stresses, desserts, indoor air, and overall excess in the spirit of celebration. Fatigue is a warning sign that your system is about have problems. To turn things around before they get worse, focus on eating simple foods like whole grains, beans, soups, and vegetables, and get plenty of rest.
Follow my six simple steps to give your immune system a boost, and you’ll be ready to greet Spring with an extra bounce in your step.
- Eat 5-7 servings of vegetables a day. Include leafy greens like kale, collards, and bok choy, and round and root vegetables like winter squash, carrots, and onions. These provide valuable nutrients and antioxidants like Vitamin C, quercetin, folic acid, and potassium to keep your body strong, immune system functioning well, and internal stressors at a minimum.
- Avoid processed sugars. Processed sugars, including white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and organic cane juice, are directly toxic to your white blood cells, which are part of your immune system and necessary to fight off infections.
- Avoid mucus-forming foods. Excess mucus and discharge can accompany many viral illnesses. Foods such as dairy, processed flours, and simple sugars contribute to mucus formation. They also block the lymphatic system, which is responsible for clearing bacteria and viruses from the body.
- Consume pre-and pro-biotic foods daily. 80% of our immune system resides in the gut, so by strengthening the gut and the bacteria that live there the immune system is strengthened. Prebiotic foods like onions, garlic, artichokes, grains, and beans feed this bacteria, while probiotic foods like sauerkraut, miso, and water kefir provide beneficial bacteria directly to the intestines.
- Get plenty of sleep and align yourself with nature. Sleep, especially at nighttime when your body’s daily hormone cycle can detoxify and recharge to its full potential, is one of the strongest ways to support your immune system. Eating foods grown in your climate zone, especially fruits and vegetables, is also key to naturally strengthening your immune system. For example, living in a temperate zone while eating mostly tropical fruits can be weakening and cooling to the body.
- Manage stress. When we are stressed, our bodies release more of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol directly inhibits white blood cells in your blood, preventing your immune system from functioning at its fullest. It also leads to an overly acidic condition in the body, a state in which bacteria and viruses flourish. Daily meditation, walks in nature, warm baths, massage, and acupuncture can all relieve stress and strengthen your immunity.
- IV Therapy. IV therapy involves injecting vitamins, minerals, amino acids and proteins directly into your bloodstream. By giving nutrients such as Vitamin C, zinc, B vitamins and glutathione, we can support your immune system, which will help fight off unwanted infections.