It’s that time of year with increased stress, sickness, and cold weather, but not enough fresh produce and sunshine for us to thrive at our best. When germs start to spread, the biggest thing between you and a few sick days just might be a healthy immune system. There are several things day-to-day and in our environment that can break down our ability to fight off germs, but there are plenty more ways to strengthen your immune system! Check out these 6 easy ways to stay healthy year-round:
In a perfect world, we would get every nutrient needed to thrive from whole food alone. But alas, this is not a perfect world, therefore supplementing your diet with the most effective earth-sourced minerals, vitamins and superfoods can make a big difference in helping support a healthy immune system. Here are a few favorite additions when you feel a bug coming on:
- Oregano Oil is the essential oil extracted from the oregano plant. It is a natural fighter when it comes to immunity and is beneficial for the natural metabolism of nutrients and can protect against harmful organisms that can cause illness.
- Echinacea is an herbal immune booster that stimulates the body’s natural ability to fight infection. It comes packaged in capsules, chewable tablets and herbal teas for steeping.
- Vitamin C is a favorite immune booster found in several dietary foods like kale, strawberries and oranges. It is also just as effective when taken orally.
- Vitamin D can be taken orally when the winter days run short. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that can make all the difference in how your body processes nutrients and maintains a strong immune system.
- Reclaim® Multi Pure is a flavorful multi-nutrient mix that promotes natural energy filled with vitamins, minerals and nutrients. With a blend of 50 fruits and vegetables, this mix helps your body defend itself against illness, stress and fatigue.*
2. Avoid refined sugar and alcohol
Holistic physician Dr. Wendy Wells of Wellsource Naturopathic in Scottsdale, Arizona recommends keeping your sugar intake to a minimum because just one teaspoon of refined sugar has been shown to lower your immune system for up to 6 hours. Additionally, instead of drinking alcohol, try to stick with water or tea. Alcohol turns to sugar in the body and while your body is metabolizing consumed alcohol, it robs the bodies ability to process other toxins and germs.
3. Maintain a healthy alkaline diet
By increasing the types of healthy alkaline-rich foods we consume, it is possible to decrease both acidity and the opportunity for disease and decay within the body. Stay hydrated with electrolyte and mineral-rich foods. Also, add cruciferous vegetables to each meal. Avoid too much dairy and animal-based proteins. Year-round, avoid overeating. This adds additional stress on your digestive system and inhibits your body’s ability to process the correct nutrients.
4. Exercise and sweat
Having an exercise program is very important to aid the body’s natural ability to detoxify. Moving at least 20-30 minutes each day and allowing the body to perspire will help keep your body healthy and stress level in check.
5. Wash your hands frequently
Because touch is a main sense we utilize, it’s important to remember that while germs are aplenty, we must wash our hands more frequently to avoid spreading germs. It’s easier to keep the virus out of our bodies with clean hands.
6. Manage your stress level
Stress is a big factor in breaking down your immune system. Do what you need to get plenty of rest. Also, avoid interactions with people and situations that have the potential to increase your stress level. Practicing meditation and yoga is a great way to release stored energy and to refocus your mind.
Dallas Fitness and Nutrition Coach