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6 Lifestyle Changes for a Healthier Immune System

A Healthy Immune System Equals A Healthier YOU!

A Healthy Immune System Equals A Healthier YOU!

A healthy body is dependent on a strong immune system. You can enhance your immune system by embracing natural immune boosters and implement behaviors that support immunity.

 

The most important thing one can do to build strong immunity is to start where the immune system really resides: THE GUT.  About 80 percent of your immune cells live in the gut, and it’s where our bodies filter out what is good and bad. When we strengthen our gut health, we are much less likely to get sick, have allergies, and develop autoimmune disease.

1. Supplements.

Standard Process Supplements

Standard Process Supplements

There are three vitamins and minerals that support our immune system that really pack a punch! Take them daily if you suffer from chronic infections, get sick frequently, or are feeling run down:

Zinc: 15 to 30 mg a day. Zinc affects multiple aspects of the immune system and even acts as an antioxidant by fighting off free radicals. It’s also a very common deficiency worldwide.

Vitamin D: 2,000 IU daily. Although you can get vitamin D through some fortified foods and sunlight, our modern lifestyle doesn’t always allow for a lot of time outdoors, and many adults don’t get the levels of vitamin D required to modulate the immune system. This is a very important vitamin for the treatment and prevention of autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin C: 1,500 mg daily. Vitamin C is really a powerhouse vitamin for immunity. A deficiency in vitamin C has been associated with an increased frequency and duration of colds, along with immune system defects. It’s also a crucial free-radical scavenger that significantly protects against infectious disease.

A Healthy Immune System Consists of a Healthy GUT...

A Healthy Immune System Consists of a Healthy GUT…

2. Take a Probiotic.

Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are two of the most important families of bacteria that populate our gut from birth, and they have been shown to positively affect our immune health. Look for one that has at least 30 to 50 billion colonies and at least eight strains of bacteria. Double this dose if you’re coming down with a cold or have to take antibiotics. Remember, these are live organisms, and it pays to spend a little more on a good-quality brand. Most probiotics should be kept refrigerated to extend their shelf life.

In addition, adding fermented foods—like sauerkraut, naturally fermented pickles, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, kimchi, tempeh, miso, and kombucha—to your everyday routine is crucial.

Sleep, the #1 disease fighter...

Sleep, the #1 disease fighter…

3. Get your Zzzzzzz’s.

Chronic sleep deprivation and disruption of the sleep-wake cycle cause an activation of the inflammatory immune response. Lack of sleep decreases the activity of T-cells (a crucial type of immune cell) and weakens our immune response to vaccines. Set a goal for seven to eight hours of sleep on a regular basis. If you travel through time zones frequently, use small amounts of melatonin (2 to 3 mg) to reset your sleep cycle.

Learn to De-Stress and RELAX!

Learn to De-Stress and RELAX!

4. Manage your Stress.

Chronic stress actually suppresses our immune response by releasing the hormone cortisol. Cortisol itself interferes with the ability of specific white blood cells called T-cells to proliferate and get signals from the body. In addition, Cortisol also lowers an important antibody called secretory IgA, which lines the respiratory tract and gut and is our first line of defense against invading pathogens. Studies show that even a short course of meditation can increase levels of IgA and improve immune function.

Taking control of the health of your immune system on a regular basis is not only going to keep you from getting sick, but it will help you age more gracefully, look better, and prevent the development of diseases.

Vitamin D, The Happy Vitamin!

Vitamin D, The Happy Vitamin!

5. The Power of the Sun.

Immune cells are favorably affected by vitamin D levels, and natural sunlight is the best source of natural vitamin D. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased frequency of infection as well as autoimmune disease. More reason to book a vacation in a sunny spot during cold and flu season.

6. Sweat it Out in a Sauna.

Infrared Sauna, sweat it out!

Infrared Sauna, sweat it out!

Studies show that using an infrared sauna on a regular basis not only improves the health of our protective white blood cells, but the increase in body temperature can actually make it harder for bacteria and viruses to survive. They may also have the power to decrease the occurrence of the common cold. In addition, when you sweat in a sauna you’re removing many toxins that would cause increased inflammation.

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