Getting enough sleep every night greatly builds the immune system. During sleep the body restores, rejuvenates and strengthens itself. The optimal amount of sleep is 7-9 hours.
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet. Warm cooked foods are easier on the digestive system and more easily absorbed. Cooked vegetables, proteins and broths are wonderfully nutritious and help support your immune system. Fermented foods are full of probiotics that boost your immune system.
It is best to avoid processed foods, cold and raw foods, excess dairy and sugar. These foods have less nutrients and tend to create mucus and phlegm (“dampness” in Chinese Medicine).
Supplements (always check with your doctor if supplements are appropriate to add alongside any medications you are taking)
Most of us tend to have a deficiency of these as they are used when under stress and/or when our immune system is fighting something.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help the bodies ability to fight infection.
Vitamin D prevents infection and is needed for white blood cell production. Many of us are deficient in Vitamin D per not receiving enough daily sunshine.
Zinc is important for white blood cell function.
Elderberry protects the mucus membrane. This makes it more difficult for viruses to attach.
Emotional stress creates physiological stress in our bodies. This lowers our immune defenses and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Stress not only lowers our white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs, it creates more inflammation, which may make us feel sicker.
Find the best way for yourself to relax, even if it’s simply taking 5 minutes of time for yourself. Some ideas are fresh air, exercise, or a walk in the park. Meditation, acupuncture, Qi Gong or yoga. A nice hot bath with epsom salts and essential oils is one of my favorites. Even taking time for yourself in the shower by slowing down, being mindful and taking a few deep belly breaths could be helpful. Find whatever works best for you and do it regularly.
Moderate exercise can boost the production of macrophages (white blood cells that “eat” bacteria and viruses) Intense exercise can actually temporarily decrease immune function. Balance is always what we are after.
Stay well-hydrated. Water, coconut water, herbal teas and broths are great ways to stay hydrated. A good estimate for how much water you need is divide your body weight in half and drink that in ounces.
Drink bone broth. Bone broth is nutrient dense and therefore supports the immune system. If you would like to make this at home and need a recipe please let me know. A vegetarian option would be a rich vegetable broth made with roots, tubers, alliums and greens. Add mushrooms for immune support.
Essential oils have been shown to disrupt the viral lifecycle at different stages. For immune purposes it is best to use a blend of oils in a diffuser, as a facial (nose, mouth, chest) steam, or simply inhaling. Essential oils are quite powerful and can be harmful if not used properly. A little goes a long way and using high quality oils is important. If you have further questions regarding oils or would like an oil blend please don’t hesitate to ask.
Wash your hands frequently, especially before eating or touching your face.
Doing as many of these self-care activities will help you to have a strong and robust immune system. In the event that a “pathogen” does enter, your immune system will be able and ready to fight and rid the pathogen quickly. You will experience less symptoms for less time that are less severe.
This and all information mentioned on this website is for informational and educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and should not be used as a substitute for consulting a licensed medical practitioner. If you feel you are ill or have been exposed to COVID-19 be sure to contact your primary healthcare provider immediately and follow the advice of local, state, and national guidelines.