It is officially cold out, winter is coming and school is well underway. This is the time where you’ll notice more and more people getting sick around you. Children are coming home with colds and flus leaving your constantly fighting off bugs and trying to stay healthy. Knowing how to support your immune system is absolutely integral to staying well during the cold season.
Our immune system deserves much love and respect as it works hard to keep us healthy. Unfortunately, our world is so full of toxins that it can be difficult for the body to keep up with processing everything it’s exposed to. Bugs are getting stronger and our bodies are more exposed than ever to pollutants, toxins and the overwhelming stress of life. All of these factors play a role in depleting our immune systems.
So how do you support yours in fighting off all of the assaults? Implement the following 5 steps and you’ll notice a stronger immune system, more energy and the strength to fight off those persistent pathogens.
Step 1: Get calm
Take space to breathe, do yoga, meditate daily or find your happy place doing anything that feeds your soul. It is well known that calming the nervous system and mindfulness support healthy immune function. Meditation has been shown to improve responses to stress and lift mood.
The truth is that when you take space to be in your happy place – whether it be through meditation, walking, cooking, creating art, knitting, writing, doing yoga, anything that calms your mind and induces relaxation – chances are you’re going to feel better.
Step 2: Increase fruits and vegetables
This is a great way to get bioavailable vitamin C and much needed minerals. We have a fear of fruit in this day and age but the truth is that our bodies require plant foods and thrive on them.
Go for organic as much as possible or use the clean fifteen and dirty dozen lists www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php to make your choices. Oranges, grapefruit, grapes, watermelon, apples, dandelion greens, lettuces, micro-greens, asparagus, tomatoes, spinach are all great choices. When you have the opportunity, choose fruit for your snacks and add vegetables wherever you can.
Step 3: Make tea
Let it steep for 20-minutes to truly experience the medicinal benefits. Tea is a beautiful way to get your medicine. We are big fans of tea because it has been used for centuries as a healing tool and is such an affordable and gentle way to support immune healing. Teas that support the immune system include chaga, licorice, elderberry, rooibos and dandelion. There are many other herbal teas to support the immune system but these five tend to be the easiest to find.
Step 4: Avoid processed foods and sugar
Processed sugar depletes immune function, increases chances of feeding viruses and bacteria and reduce your overall good bacteria.
Processed foods deplete your minerals, clog up the liver and are unrecognizable by the body. This can lead to a number of chronic disease and a feeling of lethargy and a susceptibility to sickness. Patients in my practice consistently report feeling better “overall” when they took processed foods out of their diet.
A whole foods diet is really the way to go. Try to avoid packaged foods as much as possible and certainly ones with ingredients like canola oil, MSG, modified corn syrup, preservatives of any kind and food dyes.
Step 5: Go outside and get some fresh air
Indoor air has been shown to contribute to a number of chronic diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that each year, close to 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to household air pollution from inefficient cooking practices using polluting stoves paired with solid fuels and kerosene.
This is just one example of how indoor air affects our health. Other perpetrators include volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), perfumes and synthetic scents, fungicides on our furniture and clothes, dust particles that have viruses, molds in our buildings, and other bacteria and toxins flying around in your home on a daily basis. All of these things severely deplete liver function and compromise our immune systems.
When you get a chance, take a break and go to a park, for a hike or walk by the beach (if you live near one) and breathe in some clean, fresh air. Being in nature is calming and healing to the nervous system and it will give your system a chance to clear your lungs and your mind.
If you can’t get outside, make sure you have a great air filter like an IQ Air or use a diffuser and diffuse essential oils like thieves. These are beautiful at killing pathogens like molds and viruses in the air. well.ca has some great options for you here.
Add in a healthy dose of zinc and a good quality buffered vitamin C when you feel like you’re getting sick. Take the vitamin C in divided doses, at least 500 mg, 3x a day with food.
Love your immune system enough to put these simple steps into play and you’ll notice quite a difference in how you respond to the bugs you’re exposed to on the daily. Join us at ResetWell.com to arm yourself with even more beautiful, sustainable and easy to implement self-care strategies.
Our passion is for you to live your best life possible and it all starts with fostering a healthy physical body, sound mind and strong immune system.
Get started on these five simple steps and you’re well on your way to feeling great today!