We are all in this together. While you are staying home, practicing social distancing and staying safe, it is a great time to refuel and boost your immune system.
Food and Diet : 80 % of the immune system lies in the gut.
Focusing on what we are putting into our bodies during this time is key to helping strengthening our immune system and keeping our bodies strong.
Center your diet on eating whole foods that are alive rich in antioxidants and probiotics will really help boost your immunity and reduce inflammatory markers. Eat the rainbow of colorful and delicious fruits and vegetables to get a full spectrum of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and bioflavonoids.
Herbs and spices are your friend: Incorporating plenty of herbs & spices into your and cooking and daily life such as elderberry, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon are just a few great choices. Now is the time to try new recipes at home and even start an herb garden where you can grow & pick your own fresh herbs.
One of my favorite recipes right now is this immune boosting soup. This includes: 1 Tbs coconut oil, 1 onion, 6 garlic cloves, 2 celery stalks, 1 shitake mushroom, salt/pepper, 1 tsp turmeric, handful of parsley, ½ head of kale, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger and your protein of choice.
Avoid Inflammatory Foods: If you have food sensitivities now is the time to avoid those foods be it dairy, gluten to other foods that may spark your inflammatory response. Also, minimize sugar during this time as rising blood sugar makes it harder on your immune system ( or distracts it somewhat) when being called on for health challenges.
Vitamin D is Key – Harvesting Sunshine
Getting outdoors is one of the easiest ways to get sufficient vitamin d & right now it’s crucial for us to be getting daily sunlight. Vitamin D plays a significant role in general health, from bones, muscles and nerves to a healthy immune system.
Vitamin D Boosters:
- What you eat can also help boost your vitamin D. Foods such as: egg yolks (preferably pasture raised free range), beef liver and oily fish such as salmon & sardines and yes grandmas old go to cod liver oil . Mushrooms such as shitake to UV-exposed raw portobello and white mushrooms are good sources of vitamin D.
- Supplements – You can also supplement, making sure you’re having 5000 daily IU of high quality D3/k2. Kids should be having 2000 daily IU. The Thorne brand has a great D/K2 liquid form.
- Sunshine – Basically, the school of thought is 20 minutes a day around lunchtime is when you can maximize natures gift of vitamin D.
De Stressing: Stress is a big contributor to suppressing your immune system.
These are high-stress times! There are so many ways to de-stress while you are at home. It’s especially good to switch it up and find practices that resonate with you. Making yoga a daily practice and a morning routine really sets the tone for a productive day. Meditation, breathwork, gardening, cooking, even cleaning and organizing, or learning a language, taking that course you’ve been wanting to do for so long but haven’t had the time, watching a funny (laughter releases good for you endorphins) or uplifting movie, reconnecting with friends old and new–these are all great ways to decrease stress levels. Find that thing(s) that lifts your mood & vibrational state.
Acupuncture and Essential Oils: Eastern Medicine practices work wonders for boosting immunity.
Acupuncture specifically enhances production of natural killer cells, our primary defense mechanism when we are sick. Specific acupuncture points also act as immune builders through regulating white blood cells and helping to fight off infections, allergic reactions and autoimmune disorders. Combining essential oils with acupuncture, or using oils alone, have a strong positive effect on immunity.
One protocol that I love doing to boost the immune system is using specific oils on the spine mixed with a carrier oil.
- Respiratory health – My go to’s are rosemary and eucalyptus for stress related therapy I often use frankincense & lavender on the forearms and chest area.
- Overall immunity – I tend to use doterras on guard products which contain a mix of oils that boost overall vitality and health.
Sleep: The most powerful elixir of life and a biological necessity is sleep.
Studies show that short sleep cycles show a 70% drop of natural killer cell activity meaning there is a much higher likelihood of disease and infection. A great way to increase sleep during this time is having regularity in your schedule. Going to sleep at the same time each night and waking at the same time. Also avoiding alcohol, caffeine and electronic devices will assist greatly in improving the quantity and quality of your sleep each night. Studies show that EMF radiation exposure (wifi), has a huge effect on sleep quality. Our bodies sense the radiation and the pineal gland(gland producing melatonin (hormone that regulates sleep and circadian rhythm), slows down production. The body also craves cooler temperatures at night due to a drop in your core temperature of 3-4 degrees Fahrenheit. Sleeping in an environment that is about 65 degrees fahrenheit is optimal for most people and will allow longer sleep cycles.
Hope this helps, stay tuned for more on specific acupressure points to do at home for boosting immunity: )