Ways you can support the immune system
Supporting optimal immune function with adequate nourishment and healthy habits is essential not only to sustaining the body’s natural defenses, but also to maintaining overall health. Below is a variety of diet and lifestyle recommendations that can help support healthy immune system functions every day.
Avoid Too Much Sugar
Avoid high-sugar foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. This one simple change can go a long way toward enhancing energy and avoiding energy crashes throughout the day.
Eat More Garlic & Onions
Garlic and onions are part of the group of plants called “alliums.” These spicy plants are high in phytochemicals that support the immune system and are antimicrobial in their own right.
Eat a Rainbow
Vary your fruit and vegetable intake to include as much diversity as possible. This increases various fibers and prebiotics and provides nutritional antioxidants, vitamins, and trace minerals. Some examples of liver loving vegetables include kale, bok choy, spinach, purple cabbage, asparagus, peppers, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and chard.
Cook with Herbs & Spices
Rosemary, ginger, turmeric, coriander, parsley, and thyme all provide supportive phytochemicals that encourage robust health and support the liver.
- Zinc – inhibits viral replication
- Vitamin D – for modulating the immune response in the body
- Vitamin C – master nutrient for supporting immune function
- Selenium – vital mineral for building selenoproteins and fueling the immune system.
- EPA and DHA (Omega 3) – these key fatty acids work as anti-inflammatories in the body and are commonly found in fish oil, walnuts, chia seeds and hempt
Start an Exercise Routine
Regular mild-to-moderate exercise has been shown to support overall health as well as a healthy immune system. Extreme exercise, however, has been shown to have a suppressive effect on the immune system.
Minimize Alcohol Consumption
Try to abstain from alcohol. Alcohol is known to cause inflammation and suppress the immune system, as well as stress the liver.
Sleep is Key
The immune system is very active when we are asleep. Ensure proper sleep hygiene with a cool, dark room. Also consider powering down electronics about an hour before sleep as these can worsen sleep quality. Stop eating at least 2 hours before bed to allow the bodies detox pathways to work more efficiently as they are also very active while we sleep.
Increasing healthy hydration with pure, filtered water supports all aspects of our health, body, and mind!
Stress is directly linked with immune suppression. Increase ways to focus on relaxation in your life. Consider a meditation app or yoga class. Lower stress leads to increased energy for the things you want to do.