Its the end of January and it seems as though people are dropping like flies, from the flu, from colds, from stress. It’s really easy to build your natural pharmacy, so that when illness strikes, you can manage it and even prevent it from progressing. That’s a whole other blog post, but I promise, it is in the works! Today’s blog post is all about boosting your immune system before you even feel sick. Preventable medicine, it’s a pretty great idea and although any MDs don’t necessarily use these tactics, you can!
I’m breaking down how we stay healthy in our house, but remember it is actually healthy to get sick 1-2 times a year, it means your immune system is working. We don’t want our immune systems to work so hard that we never get sick, that just means we’re running in overdrive and eventually we’ll get burnt out and get really sick.
5 Tips for Boosting Immunity
Getting a good amount of shut eye is imperative to good health. When we sleep, growth hormone is active, this is the hormone that is responsible for body recovery. For example, if you’re noticing your weight creeping up, but your exercising and eating properly, it could mean that you’re not sleeping well and therefore our Growth Hormone isn’t getting a chance to work its wonders. Sleep is also essential for our brains and hormones to reset. Overnight our cortisol (stress hormone) goes to sleep as well, this is important for our brains and bodies to get some rest.
2) Vitamin D
Vitamin D comes from sunlight, in the Winter, we are not exposed to as much sunlight and the sun isn’t as strong, therefore we are often chronically deficient in this immune and mood boosting vitamin! Vitamin D can be easily supplemented. Vitamin D is also a fat soluble nutrient, which means, it needs to be taken with fat or the supplement should be emulsified in fat.
Foods high in vitamin D include: mushrooms, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, and eggs.
Zinc is a really important nutrient for so many reasons. If you suffer from any hormonal imbalance, zinc does wonders for inhibiting certain hormone pathways in the body which is really important for PCOS. Zinc is also a really important nutrient for men, as it inhibits a hormone pathway which makes testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), DHT causes issues like enlarged prostate and can increase risk of prostate cancer. Zinc is an incredible antioxidant, making it great for fighting off illness. Zinc can also be applied topically as a natural anti-bacterial cream.
Foods rich in zinc include: pumpkin seeds, oysters, meat, and dark chocolate.
4) Vitamin c
Vitamin C is an amazing anti-oxidant which means it’s wonderful for supporting the liver. Vitamin C is also a required nutrient for immune fighting cells, specifically T-cells and phagocytes. Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient which means that each time we use the washroom, we’re flushing vitamin C down the toilet. This means that we need to eat vitamin C rich foods and supplement repeatedly throughout the day.
Foods rich in Vitamin C include: red bell peppers, citrus, and strawberries.
More than 50% of your immune system resides in your gut. To support our gut aka microbiome we need to be consuming probiotic rich foods and supplementing where necessary. In our microbiome, we have good bacteria and bad bacteria, we always want to have more good bacteria than bad bacteria. Think of probiotics as vacationers. They visit the microbiome, hang out for a while, get to know their environment and then they usually leave, some of them may stay and make the microbiome their new home. By taking probiotics, you ensure that your microbiome remains a diverse and lively place and that they’re isn’t too much bad bacteria. Probiotics support a healthy microbiome and therefore a healthy immune system.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these 5 Tips and that you incorporate them into your routine. It is recommended that you work with a health practitioner before starting any new supplements or incorporating a new health regime.
If you found these tips helpful, be sure to share it with your friends and family to keep everyone healthy all Winter long!