24 Sep Natural Immune Boosting
The change of seasons can be a challenging time for people whose immune systems aren’t functioning properly.
Your immune system is your most powerful protection against illness and dis-ease. It isn’t your exposure to a virus that determines your health, it’s your body’s ability to handle exposure that’s important.
A strong, effective immune system is one that is primed and ready to attack and destroy foreign pathogens – reducing your risk of illness as well as the severity of illness, if you do get sick. The immune system is just that – a system; there is no single entity that is your protection against illness.
The biggest contributor to a weakened immune system is stress! While the term stress may lead you to think of emotional stress, there are a number of other factors that stress your body overall and negatively impact your immunity:
Imbalances happen when there either excesses or deficiencies in any system. One of the most common contributors to a weakened immune system is nutritional deficiencies, namely vitamin and mineral deficiencies, lack of good gut flora and reduced stomach acid (which is needed for absorption and assimilation of foods). Excess consumption of processed foods, alcohol, wheat, dairy or sugar can also contribute to an imbalance.
Lack of sleep
Sleep is an important time when your body rejuvenates, heals and balances itself. If you’re missing out or limiting this critical repair time, you’re suppressing your immune system. Studies have shown that natural killer (NK) cells, that ward off bacteria and pathogens are reduced with sleep deprivation.
Eating sugar, sugary foods or drinks diminishes the effectiveness of your white bloods cells which are responsible for protecting against viruses and foreign invaders. In a simple summary from Linus Paulings research, Vitamin C is needed for white blood cell protection. Since Vitamin C and sugar are of similar chemical structure, if there are large levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood, your body will start to use sugar instead of Vitamin C and cannot get the benefits of Vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant role.
The immune system has a natural method of discerning what is “foreign” and when protection is needed from foreign invaders. When the immune system is healthy it will attack and remove that which is harmful. Chemicals, pollutants, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, additives, fragrances, heavy metals, etc. cause the immune system to go into protection mode, then into overdrive which keeps it in constant alarm mode, super-senstive and affecting its natural ability to fight off invaders.
Emotions of fear, shame, guilt, regret, anger and loneliness can wreak havoc not only on your psyche, but on your ability to fight off bacteria and viruses by causing a spike in cortisol, which in turn suppresses the immune system. Studies show but cannot explain exactly how having a positive attitude boosts the immune system
With these factors in mind, here are some overall immune boosting tips to help you optimize your ability to fight viral infections:
Strategies to Strengthen Immunity
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of rest and sleep
- Eliminate sugar from your diet
- If consuming alcohol, do so in moderation
- Find ways to reduce stress and achieve balance
- Practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently and thoroughly
- Nurture and maintain good gut flora (with fermented foods and/or probiotics)
- Eat a diet that contains a colourful variety of whole foods (fruits, vegetables) and lean protein
At times your body requires additional support – including natural substances scientifically demonstrated to fight viral infections and optimize the immune system.
Be proactive. Holistic nutrition counselling will help you determine what to keep on hand and how to use natural alternatives rather than pharmaceuticals, to support your immune system. Everyone is different and there are many ways to support the immune system naturally. An individualized treatment plan that includes a personal diet, nutritional and herbal supplementation plan will help you achieve the best results.
Book your appointment online to review how your immune system can be optimized with the right nutrition plan.
Check out this Immune Boosting Soup Recipe to add to your arsenal. Or check out The Art of Balance – Stress Reduction Ebook to help you manage your overall stress level.
Be strong dear one and wear your immunity cape with pride and style!