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How to Boost Your Immunity

Virus - How to Boost Your Immunity
Viruses, bacteria & other pathogens can cause illness – Learn how to boost your immunity

It is flu season and there has been a lot of talk and news coverage about the novel Corona virus.  People are looking for solutions and ways to stay healthy.  Boosting the immune system is something that can help decrease the risk of getting sick.  Here are some effective methods on how to boost your immunity:

Eat the rainbow:

Knowing how to boost your immunity through diet is a top priority. Eating the rainbow means to eat whole fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors and types.  The more diversity in the diet, the more nutrients will be absorbed.  Eating local and organic as much as possible can help reduce exposure to pesticides that can compromise health. Including foods that contain Vitamin A, B6, C, D and E are essential to a healthy immune system.

Here are a few good immune boosting foods: Citrus, Red bell peppers, broccoli, garlic, ginger, dark leafy greens, fermented foods (good bacteria), nuts and seeds, turmeric, green tea, kiwi, mushrooms, bone broth, and shellfish.

Along the same lines of food, avoiding processed foods, added sugars, and unhealthy fats will help keep the immune system strong.  About 70% of the immune system is in the gut, so making sure the body gets healthy foods is a key role in keeping the immune system strong.

Get a good night’s sleep:

Not getting enough quality sleep causes stress on the body.  Most people should shoot for 7-8 hours a night.  The body heals during rest and sleep, so it is an important piece of the puzzle when boosting the immune system.  Not sleeping through the night can be a sign of an underlying health problem.

Exercise:

Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day can help boost the immune system.  Something as simple as walking can be done to get the benefits of exercise.  Continued rigorous exercise, however, can be detrimental to the immune system.  It is important to take rest periods if performing high intensity exercise on a regular basis. 

Breathe:

Breathing techniques help reduce chronic stress.  Chronic stress in the body suppresses the immune system by releasing cortisol.  Cortisol is a hormone that interferes with some of the white blood cells which are one of our main lines of defense against pathogens.  Without white blood cells and antibodies working properly, it predisposed the body to getting sick.  To keep stress levels in check, practice yoga, meditation and/or deep breathing exercises.  As little as 10 minutes a day can be beneficial.

Drink water:

It is recommended to drink at least half the body weight in ounces.  For example, someone who weighs 100 pounds would need to drink at least 50 ounces of water each day.  It is recommended to increase that amount if exercising.  The body is made up of about 60% water, therefore, it is important to stay hydrated to keep the organs working properly.  Installing a filtration system is a good idea to help keep harmful substances out of drinking water.  Moderating alcohol consumption can also help keep the immune system healthy.  Large amounts tend to suppress the immune system.

Wash your hands:

Most people know that washing hands is important to decrease the risk of disease.  Using soap and water has been proven to be the best method of washing.  There is debate as to if hand sanitizer is effective.  Hand sanitizer is mostly designed to work against bacteria.  The flu is a virus, not bacteria.  There is also debate on hand sanitizer killing the “good” bacteria on the skin as well as the bad bacteria.  Killing the “good” bacteria would theoretically decrease the strength of the immune system.   

Avoid environmental toxins:

Environmental toxins are found in many products and foods.  Some things to avoid include plastics, parabens, phthalates, BPA, fragrance, xenoestrogens, GMOs, and pesticides.  It is important to read the labels on cleaning products, beauty products, health products and foods to ensure these harmful toxins aren’t being consumed and absorbed.  Toxins in the body tax the immune system and suppress it.

Get outside:

Most Americans have a deficiency in Vitamin D.  Most people do not get it through their diet, and a lot of people don’t get it from sun exposure.  At this time of year, most people have been inside for the past few months due to the winter weather.  Sun exposure helps converts a chemical in the skin into Vitamin D3, which is carried to the liver and then the kidney to transform it to an active form of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is important since it helps produce antibodies.  Supplementing Vitamin D is also an option, and some research suggests up to 2,000 IU a day to be safe.   

Stay moving, get adjusted:

As stated above, exercise is an important role in keeping the immune system strong. Chiropractic care is a piece of the puzzle to keep the body moving.  There are many techniques and treatments that assist in overall health.  A chiropractor is trained to give nutritional advice, supplement advice, sleep advice, and immunity advice.  Some offices even offer techniques to help with lymph flow and sinus drainage, in addition to traditional chiropractic techniques.

Hear what our chiropractors have to say in this video

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