1. Manage stress: While there is quite a bit of uncertainty during this time, do your very best to NOT live in fear or have anxiety about the situation. Keep yourself informed but distance yourself from mass hysteria in order to not get wrapped up in the fear response. Have you ever heard of fight or flight? It is well documented that our immune system shuts down during times of high stress. Yes, this is a serious matter that requires attention, but we are able to use our intellect to make better decisions when we are levelheaded. Mindfulness and meditation are supremely helpful in relieving stress and helping us clear our minds to think clearly.
2. Get plenty of rest, fresh air & movement. Fresh air is vital to a healthy immune system. Many of us are currently working from home-try to make it a point to get outside for 10 minutes a few times per day. Sleep is also crucial to healthy immune function. Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived have similar changes in immune function as those who have a cold/flu. Movement is essential in supporting a good immune function. Just 20 minutes of exercise each day boosts the feel-good hormones which decreases cortisol levels in the body. Lower cortisol levels mean less inflammation.
3. Avoid inflammatory foods or those foods that you are sensitive to: Highly inflammatory foods like gluten and dairy may wreak havoc on your immune system. You probably do not want to give your immune system another task to do right now. You want your immune system ready for action and not reacting to gluten, dairy, soy or other foods that are problematic for you.
4. What you eat makes a difference: Your immune system requires adequate nutrients in order to function properly. Increase your intake of brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, raspberries, spinach, arugula, sprouts, garlic, onions, ginger, parsley, cilantro, cabbage. Brightly colored foods are filled with antioxidants which may prevent viral binding and inflammation.
5. Avoid Processed Foods: As tempting as it may be to soothe our anxiety with comfort foods such as pizza, pasta, and pastries this can often weaken our immune system and suppress it for up to 6 hours. Particularly processed foods such as refined carbohydrates and sugars should be avoided and instead replaced with FRESH fruits and vegetables.
6. Your decisions matter: I cannot stress this enough! – Be wise and discerning about your lifestyle practices and choices. There are things that you can do that will boost immunity and things that you can do that will diminish it. Make smart choices. If you can stay home from work or refrain from social contact, please do. You may feel like your immune system is strong but others around you might not. It is our social responsibility to take care of others as well as ourselves.
7. Stay hydrated: Drinking lots of quality water and herbal teas are important in order to remain hydrated and healthy. Flushing toxins out of your body will help to support your immune system. Our bodies are made up of 70% water on average, all of our organs and glands depend on water to function properly. Okay but how much water should we be drinking? Studies show that half your body weight in ounces is needed to sustain optimal function. However, this means pure water and non caffeinated tea only. Anything that has caffeine or added ingredients such as coffee or soda counts AGAINST our daily intake.
ALREADY DOING THOSE THINGS? GREAT! HERE ARE SOME OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO TO IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH
Vitamin D – 5000 IU to 10, 000 IU per day. Dosing is individual, but aggressive dosing short term supports the immune system.
OMEGAS- Not only are fish oils great at reducing inflammation and supporting cardiac function, but if taken in conjunction with Vitamin D, will actually help the body absorb and utilize vitamin D more efficiently.
Vitamin C-a lack of vitamin C is known to increase our susceptibility to infections. Did you know that humans and guinea pigs are the only mammals that do not produce their own Vitamin C? We need to get Vitamin C from food because our adrenal glands use it up when we are stressed. A higher level of Vitamin C in our bodies mean a healthier and happier immune system.
Chiropractic Adjustments- Getting an adjustment does so much more than just help with chronic neck or back pain. A chiropractic adjustment supports our nervous system by clearing out any nerve interference from brain to body, we call that interference a subluxation. By removing that nerve interference, we then allow a properly working nervous system which will in turn then support our immune function to its best ability!
** The information in this blog is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease**