There is the theory that we are constantly exposed to many different viruses on a daily basis, and if our body is in balance- through taking proper care to stay healthy- we are better able to fight off the virus, or at least reduce the severity of the symptoms and duration if we do get sick.
If we are out-of- balance, stressed, working too hard or too much, overexercising, under-exercising, eating too much junk food, and not taking time for relaxation and enjoyment, we become run down and more susceptible to getting sick. If we make it a top priority take good are ourselves, illness becomes a rare occurrence. I have seen this be proved true, by making some changes in our family lifestyle, and am happy to say, we rarely get sick in our house, compared to past years when it seemed like we were passing different viruses around to each other every month.
Chronic stress and anxiety wears out our adrenals, and further depletes our immune system.
Here are some tips I believe contribute to a healthy immune system. If any of these suggestions jump out at you, it’s worth a try to see if it works! Keep in mind, most of these tips apply to children and teens as well.
Note: These suggestions are based on my personal experience and opinions and should not be taken as medical advice. Talk to your healthcare professional before making any changes to your current health regime.
- What you put in your body:
Eat a low sugar, low junk (processed) food diet. Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Drink lots of purified water throughout the day, and snack on healthy foods such as raw nuts and seeds. Just minimizing the processed sugar- loaded foods and beverages in your diet can make a huge difference in your health, and immune system function!
Supplements that strengthen immune function:
(this is only a small list, there are endless options available, but I find sticking to a few good ones, taken daily, works best and keeps it simple)
Vitamin C (kids can take chewable tablets)
Vitamin D3 (I take 5000IU / day, but talk to your physician or a Naturopath about what is right for you)
Moducare (available at health food stores) is a plant sterol that claims to strengthen immune function and reduce allergy symptoms.
Multi-Vitamin Find a good brand without fillers and synthetic ingredients.
Acidophilus– Keeps healthy bacteria in balance in the gut.
Healthy Fats: There are many versions and ways to get these healthy fats. A fish oil supplement is one of the best, but there are lots of plant based products available as well.
Deep Immune Tincture by St. Francis – This stuff has saved me from coming down with a full-blown cold when I have caught it at the first sign of a sore throat! When I feel something coming on – I take the recommended dosage every 2 hours for the first few days, then reduce to 3 X daily until I feel better. I take this for maintenance once daily.I highly recommend any of the books listed here if you want to learn how vitamins can help keep you healthy: https://www.doctoryourself.com/vitamincure.html
How much you move your body:
Our bodies are meant to be active, not sitting in a chair all day long. Find chunks of time throughout your day to move your body. Go for a walk, stretch, do housework, take the stairs, park a distance away from your destination and walk briskly to and from, take an exercise class. Of course a structured work out routine is encouraged. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of movement 5 days/ week. It all adds up. If you have a busy day, do a higher intensity session for 20 minutes, then fit in a brisk walk for 10-15 minutes after dinner! If you make it a priority, you will always find a way to fit it in.
- What you put in your mind:
Try to stay positive, and be around uplifting, positive people. Being in a constant state of negativity creates an imbalance in the body which weakens the immune system. Think good thoughts, speak positive words and surround yourself with others who do the same. Try to set an example for your children by showing them how to look for the bright side in every situation.
- How you manage stress and balance your life:
Make time every day to do something relaxing or enjoyable. Balance your life so that you are not focusing too much on one aspect. Balancing work, family, self-care, time with friends, and time alone is so important to overall health and well-being. Being overwhelmed all the time is no way to live life…make yourself a priority, because likely nobody else is going to!
How much you sleep:
Aim to get 7-8 hours every night. I am sure you already know this one, but just wanted to include it because it is so important. If you are feeling wired at bedtime and can’t settle down, (even with good “sleep hygiene” practices) talk to your doctor about taking Melatonin to help make you sleepy. It is far safer than taking a prescribed sleeping pill, and is non-habit forming.
And obviously, proper and regular hand washing with plain soap and warm water is important.
Teach your kids to wash before every meal, and especially right when they get home from school.
Incorporating some or all of these suggestions into your family life will improve your overall well-being that goes far beyond a healthy immune system.
As I always say, when the body is in balance, everything flows beautifully and almost effortlessly.
To your best health,