As the pandemic continues to affect every aspect of our lives one of the obvious stress factors is the uncertainty of protecting our immune system against the various emerging variants of this unique virus. Since our immune system is our first line of defense when battling infections people are wondering how they can boost their immune system?
For some people one of the obvious ways to protect themselves from this virus is taking certain vaccines. For others it is ensuring their natural immune system is optimum since in their decision, whether justifiably or not, they won’t be taking the vaccines. Personally, I am going to avoid that heated debate and focus on what are some natural ways to boost our immune system.
Natural Whole Foods:
Consuming natural whole food is extremely important when boosting our immune system. I like using the analogy of comparing our bodies to owning a luxury vehicle. We take pride in our ownership of this luxurious vehicle since we worked hard to acquire the finances to purchase and maintain it. Now, who in their right mind would use regular gas to fill the tank? Over time that luxury vehicle’s engine will become unstable and cause us nothing but problems. The same can be said when we continually eat poor nutritional food. Over time our body will have a compromised immune system and would be susceptible to various health related illnesses.
Some Sources Of Natural Whole Foods:
Poultry – Lean Meats: Foods high in protein, such as lean meats and poultry, are high in zinc, which is a mineral that increases the production of white blood cells and T-cells that fight infection. Other great sources of zinc are oysters, nuts, fortified cereal, and beans.
Whole Plant Foods: Eat more whole plant food like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes since they are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that will enable us to fight off pathogens. Plant foods have an excellent amount of fiber and vitamins C, all of which may lower our susceptibility to illness..
Healthy Fats: These quality fats can be found in olive oil and fish, such as salmon. These healthy fats will boost our immune response to pathogens by decreasing inflammation since chronic inflammation can suppress our immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and chia seeds are excellent sources.
Fermented Foods: Gut health is extremely important for various reasons. Fermented foods and probiotics bolster our immune system while targeting harmful pathogens. Yogurt, wine, cider, sauerkraut, aged cheese are just a few fermented foods.
Supplements: The following supplementation recommendations for enhancing our immune system is based partially on science and partially on my favorites supplements. Vitamins A, C, D, E, Zinc, liquid B-Complex, Probiotics, and Calcium Magnesium.
Chocolate: Be honest, who had to take a second look at this suggestion of consuming chocolate as a ‘food’ to boost our immune system? Some studies have indicated that cocoa and extracts of cocoa have some positive affects on our immune system as well as being a powerful antioxidant. Only caveat is the chocolate has to be low in sugar and fat. Personally, I love my dark chocolate and it was one of my treats when I was on a restricted pre-contest diet.
Other Important Factors:
Remain Hydrated: Extremely important is to remain hydrated for overall health. If we become dehydrated we can become susceptible to illnesses since our bodies are not functioning optimally. My personal preference is drinking filtered spring water, sparkled water with a squirt of lemon juice, and green tea. Ensure to drink at least 6 to 8 mugs of fluid over the day. I am constantly walking around with my favorite water bottle, sort of like Linus never separated from his blanket in Winnie the Pooh.
Exercise: Essential to preventing chronic illnesses such as heart disease and high blood pressure, and to keep your weight in control. Exercise also contributes to a healthy immune system. Exercise promotes good blood circulation, which helps your immune system do its job more efficiently.
Sleep: Sound sleep is essential for the health of our body and brain. When we don’t get enough sleep our natural immune cells decrease and inflammation cells increase. We should strive for 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day.
Stress: Daily stressors can drain our ability to remain healthy and will eventually will be taxing on our immune system. There are numerous effective stress relievers we can consider such as simply going for a walk, doing some aromatherapy while reading a good book, getting in touch with your creative side, or meditation. The various stress relievers are virtually endless and only limited by your imagination.
Healthy Habits: One thing that has been emphasized throughout this pandemic by the various Disease Control Organizations is their recommendations for everyday healthy habits. Although most of you reading this blog are aware of these recommendation I will note them for reference purposes. Avoid close contact with people who are sick; avoid touching our eyes, nose or mouth; remain home when we are sick; cover our cough or sneeze with a tissue; clean and disinfect touched surfaces; regularly wash our hands with soap and water.
In closing, during these uncharted pandemic times we are experiencing it is imperative we boost our immune system. Without enhancing our immune system, our body can be open to attack by viruses and other pathogens. Since we have only one body throughout this life it is up to us to ensure our quality of life is maintained through a healthy lifestyle.
May God Bless and keep you all during these challenging times.