As we enter into the cold and flu season, it is the perfect time to be thinking about your immune system and practical ways to help boost it. Alex and I practice these immune-boosting tips every day of the year and we are always extra pleased when we are able to ward off a nasty flu or cold.
These tips are our tried-and-true suggestions for increasing immunity and maintaining good health all year long. Let's start with a brief explanation of what your immune system is: The immune system is the body's defense against infectious organisms and other invaders. Through a series of steps called the immune response, the immune system attacks organisms and substances that invade body systems and cause disease.
As you can see, it is important to help boost immunity so that your body can effectively do its job in fighting off sickness.
Here are our top 10 immune-boosting tips to help you stay healthy and active this winter season.
1. Build up your gut health. You can't have happy thoughts on a sour stomach. 80% of your bodies immune system is in the gut. Start by eating probiotic rich foods and drinks such as kraut, kimchi and kefir. Here is a link we posted on how to make your own kefir.
Increasing probiotics in the gut will help to build up the good bacteria in your body and help greatly boost immune system.
2. Proper supplementation. Alex and I love to supplement with several key products to help boost our immunity year round such as medicinal mushrooms. One of our personal favorites is called "My Community" by Host Defense. We also take vitamin C powder in the form of simple ascorbic acid. If we feel something coming on we start loading up 5-7 milligrams a day spread out evenly. This is one of the most inexpensive ways to help boost your bodies immune system. We also love the homeopathic remedies by Boiron especially if we feel like we are coming down with something.
3. Bone broth soup. This is really a hidden treasure. Bone broth soup is not only great for immunity but it is very healing to the gut. This is also very rich in collagen which is great for hair, skin, nails and joints.
4. Proper hydration. Staying hydrated helps with detoxification and functioning optimally among numerous other benefits. Try drinking purified water and organic herbal teas. We like to add fresh squeezed organic lemons to our water for a refreshing change and extra added benefit of cleansing & alkalizing the body.
5. Optimize your Vitamin D3 levels. This has immuno-protective and stimulating benefits. Many people are walking around Vitamin D3 deficients and this can cause your immune system to suffer. Here is a great article by Dr. Mercola that goes more in-depth.
6. Minimize coffee consumption. Caffeine is known to increase cortisol which can temporarily lower the immune system. If you are going to drink it, drink a cup in the morning and preferably organic. An even better option is to drink a good quality organic green tea in place of coffee.
7. Sweat it out. Try laying in the sauna or steam room for small periods at a time while drinking plenty of water & infusing Eucalyptus essential oils. This helps with detoxifying the body and increasing body heat which helps improve circulation.
8. Eat clean, nutritious food. Your body is what you eat. Limit grains and eliminate sugar if at all possible. Feed your body good quality lean proteins such as grass fed meats, organic chicken, fish or turkey. Increase your good healthy fats such as avocados, raws nuts and seeds and extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil (preferably local, not imported) and fermented raw grass fed dairy such as cheese, yogurt and kefir. (See link from #1)
9. Drink raw apple cider vinegar with the mother. We like to drink Braggs ACV. I put two tablespoons diluted with 8-10 oz. water first thing each morning upon waking. This has so many wonderful benefits including boosting immunity, hydration, detoxification and it is fantastic for gut health as well as alkalizing your body. Read up on this if you want to know more.
10. Manage stress. I saved the best for last! Stress is a silent killer and it definitely contributes to lowering immunity. Try managing your stress by taking time for things you enjoy, exercising daily (medium to heavy resistance training) and cardio as well as getting plenty of rest each night. Alex and I like to shut off our router and stop all technology about an hour before bed. This helps us to rest better and also prevents us from looking at "blue light" which can disturb melatonin production or cause insomnia.
We hope these 10 immune-boosting tips help your family as much as they help ours. If you have any questions or would like to know more details on the above, feel free to comment. We love interaction and helping spread our knowledge. Here is to having a strong, healthy and functioning immune system.
Alexander Poptodorov is a health and wellness enthusiast who has a passion for helping others to achieve their very best through optimal living. In 2005, he and his wife, Ashley, opened A+A Wellness in Atlanta, Ga. Today, Alex has embarked on his newest adventure, obtaining his N.D. Degree. Alexa and Ashley are excited to share their experiences and excitement with you about the endless possibilities of being healthy.
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