6 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immunity
Your gut is the largest organ in your immune system, In fact, 80 percent of your immune system is housed within your gut. If you think about it, this makes sense because your gut is a doorway to the outside world. Everything we eat and drink passes through your gut first. We unknowingly ingest harmful toxins, pathogens and microbes on a daily basis. Your immune system is the first line of defense your body has to keep you healthy. A strong immune system protects you by creating a barrier that stops invaders from entering your body. There isn’t a miracle that will magically boost your immune system, but there are several things that you can do to naturally strengthen it. And thankfully, they are easy tips that you can start to implement today! Here are 6 simple guidelines that will support you to build up your immunity during flu/cold season and throughout the year:
It wasn’t until I was older that I truly appreciated the importance of sleeping. I remember staying up late all night in my teens and twenties, then making it through my day at school and work without even yawning! These days I need my sleep! When it comes to kids, they don’t value their naptime…but we know they are necessary! Kids resist needing to rest, but inevitably they become stressed, moody, and lacking judgment when they skip the nap. The same thing happens to adults when we skip our nighttime sleep! Sleep recharges our body and mind which is one of the keys to vibrant health and a strong immune system. Science has been studying the far-reaching benefits of sleep to include mental health, weight loss, and immune system support. So it should be no surprise that our body needs sleep to help maintain our immune system! One way to boost your sleep might surprise you… turn the temperature down! Our bodies are programmed to expect a dip in temperature at night. Doctors recommend keeping your thermostat between 60-67 degrees for an optimal sleeping temperature! I also recommend changing your sheets often, keeping clutter and projects out of the bedroom, diffusing soothing essential oils, and making it as dark as possible while you sleep. For 5 more tips to boost your sleep, get a copy of my free Boost Your Immunity Checklist here.
Have you ever heard, “You are what you eat?” Well, it’s true. Food is the energy source we all need to keep our body systems working for us. Think of all the things your body does for you: digests food, makes hormones and neurotransmitters, builds bones, carries waste and toxins to your intestines and sends signals from your brain to every organ, muscle and cell. All of this takes nourishment! My best tip on how to nourish your body is to eat whole food meals. Cutting out the processed junk in an entire meal gives your body a break. You can create delicious mouth-watering meals that consist of protein and plants. This even includes a seasoned grass-fed steak paired with fluffy red potatoes. No need to feel deprived with a whole food eating plan! Trusted research has also shown that the antioxidants in natural foods help decrease inflammation by combatting unstable compounds called free radicals, which can cause inflammation when they build up in your body. You’ve probably heard about ‘eating the rainbow’ of fruits and vegetables. Well it’s true. Next time you go shopping, try to get at least 1-2 items from every color of the rainbow. Think about foods like kiwis, papaya, beets, blueberries, eggplant, chard, and squash.
In a perfect world, we would get all of the vitamins and nutrients we need from our diet. The word supplement means to enhance, not to be in place of. Supplements can be a wonderful addition, but should not be relied on as a replacement for poor eating habits. The most common supplement that we think of to boost immunity is Vitamin C. It’s available in a wide variety of different sources: from pills, drinks, and gummies. My favorite Vitamin C supplement comes from Designs For Health. It’s a fizzy drink, great for children and adults! You can get a bottle here (this is an affiliate link). Eating a whole food diet helps to increase our micronutrients. Supplementing that diet is a great way to fill in the gaps. I include my top 8 supplements for boosting immunity in the free checklist. Click HERE to get access.
Hydration is everything. Afterall, our bodies are made of somewhere between 60-70% water! Without water, our whole body system starts to slow down. Here are a few water facts:
- It can be harder to meet your water goal in the winter because of the dry air
- Water helps to carry oxygen to your body cells, which results in properly functioning systems
- Water removes toxins from your body
- Drinking more water helps prevent toxins from building up and harming your immune system
How much water should you drink? Some experts recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water a day. For example, if you weigh 200lbs, that means drinking 100oz of water a day. This may feel like a lot. I get that! That’s why my general rule of thumb is the age-old recommendation of 6-8 glasses of water per day. If you have a hard time drinking water, try adding some lemon juice or creating fruit or herb infused water. Also, make sure you have a great water purifier! I encourage all my clients to buy a Berkey water filter system or an under-sink reverse osmosis system. You need something more powerful than your fridge filter or one of those $20 charcoal filter pitchers. Avoid energy drinks. They’re filled with sugar and caffeine. Caffeine is also a diuretic, which means you need to drink extra water for every caffeine drink you consume.
5. Reduce Stress
When you are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off invaders and infections is reduced because cortisol is released, which in turn, leads to more inflammation and suppression of the immune system. Anxiety and stress release a flood of chemicals and hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The result is often weight gain, which also significantly weakens your immune system. One of the most powerful stress reducers is to move your body. Any form of exercise is acceptable. Choose an activity that brings you joy. Dance, yoga, Tai Chi and walking outside are just a few of the many options you can choose. Activity pumps up your endorphins, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. It is also known to reverse the effects of stress. You can’t go wrong with exercise. Honestly, take a walk, it’s the fastest way to bring a quick and easy immune-boost to your day.
6. Power Foods
Plant foods that have a high concentration of micronutrients are power foods. Power foods are all found in nature. They vary in color, taste, and purpose. Here are 3 of my favorites:
- One of the easiest power foods to incorporate is garlic. It will do more than deter a vampire! It also is a great source of manganese, vitamin B6, C, and selenium. It’s super easy to pop into a dish and fills your food with flavor too!
- I also love olive oil. It has a low smoke point which means it is best in a dressing or possibly used in the pan to sauté at a lower heat. Olive oil is mostly made up of a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid which is known to reduce inflammation. It’s also loaded with antioxidants which may lower your risk for heard disease.
- And the last superfood I want to highlight is a really affordable one… apple cider vinegar. Make sure you buy it raw and organic. I recommend making a dressing with it OR adding a teaspoon to your water. I mainly love it because it supports digestion, but it’s also great for helping to kill bacteria in the gut. And, it may also balance blood sugar and insulin levels!
Get the free Boost Your Immunity Checklist to get a list of 13 power foods to include in your diet, plus I include ways to implement all 6 of the tips listed above. This is a power-packed 1 page printable where I include over 36+ specific ways you can boost your immunity! Download the checklist HERE. [/av_textblock]