A Stimulus Package for Your Immune System
Your immune system is on high alert.
Keeping our immune system strong is a 365-day job. While practicing good hygiene is a perfect place to start, there’s so much more that we can do to support ourselves from unfriendly invaders.
Our body has one of the best defense mechanisms already and it’s called the immune system.
My question for you is how are you investing in it now?
Allow me to introduce you to the S’s…
- Sleep & Stress
- Sexercise… I mean, exercise (just liked the S-theme happening 😂 )
Developing good lifestyle habits in these categories is your own personal stimulus package to give your body the best line of defense against all those nasty germs out in the world.
PS. There is a TON of information below between my commentary and the links provided. Take your time digesting, maybe save the email and focus on one area at a time. However you choose to pursue changes, two thumbs up 👍👍 to you.
Let’s dive in, shall we…
Did you know… consuming sugar tends to curb immune system cells that attack bacteria? This means, your natural defense mechanism is crippled every time you eat that donut or down that sugary beverage.
What about fruits and veggies? Nature has made it difficult to get to the sugar without some sort of processing, such as juicing. The vitamins, minerals, and fiber found in whole-foods help to balance out the sugar in say apples, strawberries, or carrots. All this to say – don’t fear the fruit or the veggie.
And yogurt? Similar deal, sugar is naturally found in milk. So is fat, along with other vitamins and minerals. Leave those low-fat or no-fat options on the shelf and opt for full fat when available because, again, it balances out the sugar.
When it comes to processed products, you’ll want to pay attention to ADDED sugars.
Product labels are now required to list ADDED sugars. Since we know things like tomato sauce and yogurt naturally have sugar in them, ingredient labels will show a number in the carbohydrate section. That’s OK. Keep reading until you find the line item “Added Sugars”. If it’s not there, great! Otherwise, the lower that number, the better.
My top 4 rules for reducing processed/added sugar intake:
- Never fear your fellow fruit or veggie. There are far more benefits to the whole foods you’ll eat than what you’re stressed about avoiding.
- If it’s the 5th ingredient or further down the list… meh – don’t stress about it.
- Sugar is in everything though… so read the ingredient list and the “Added Sugars” line item. You can often find products, like jarred spaghetti sauce, without the sugar. Don’t be fooled as sugar has many names.
- Eat the real stuff because your body knows what to do with it. The fake stuff just causes confusion.
When it comes to sugar, keep in mind nothing is created equal. If you’re looking for a shopping guide to immunity nutrition, check this one out.
Get more sleep and reduce your stress
When you sleep, your body produces something called cytokines and improves T cells. Science tends to go over my head a little on this one but suffice it to say that if you aren’t getting 7 hours of sleep, your body isn’t able to produce quality amounts of these two things leaving you vulnerable to infections and disease.
In addition, long-term chronic stress and anxiety release a flood of chemicals and hormones which can lead to inflammation in the body and a weakened immune system.
There are many ways to improve the quality of your sleep and reduce stress levels. The important thing to remember here is don’t try to change everything at once. Pick one thing or one small shift to start. Once you’ve established that as your new normal, make the next small shift.
Here are a few tips for better sleep and some ideas to reduce stress. You may notice a recurring theme in actions. 🤔
Bridging the gap with supplements
Back in the day, we could get much of what we needed from our diet. Today, it’s nearly impossible unless you want to consume 6,000-8,000 calories of high-quality whole foods.
I don’t know about you but that much spinach is a turnoff and I hate mushrooms. I’m doomed without help.
Supplements aren’t a replacement or permission to eat a poor diet. And if you’re heading to your local supermarket or pharmacy for your supplements, check out this video about quality. Not all supplements are created equal.
Regarding immune support: Vitamin D supplements protect against acute respiratory infections including colds and flu, according to a study. … Vitamin D supplements protect against acute respiratory infections including colds and flu, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).Feb 16, 2017
But that’s not all, a wide-spectrum multi is highly beneficial to your whole body. And if you aren’t sure about the benefits of supplements, head here for a comprehensive list of studies.
Get my go-to’s for immune support supplements here.
Get your body moving
Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other illness. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells (WBC). WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. Jan 14, 2018
Beneficial exercise doesn’t have to leave you gasping for air or a puddle of sweat on the floor. Simply get moving and let your body do the rest.
Temperatures are improving, which makes it the perfect time to get outside for a walk. Can’t get out, try this – 10 sit-to-stands, 10 wall/counter pushups, and 10 big marches or high knees.
And, yes, sex just might fit this category as well. 👏
Bottom line, don’t wait to take care of yourself. Start today.
And when cold and flu season comes again, you’ll be better prepared. The steps you take today may provide exponential benefits tomorrow. Don’t wait to invest in your body’s natural defense system.
Wishing you all the best in health,