Your immune system is a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs. Together, they protect you against illness and infections. Every day, when you’re exposed to things that can cause disease and infection, such as bacteria, mold, viruses, and parasites, your immune system takes action.
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is one of the best steps you can take to make sure your immune system keeps working correctly. Especially today, amidst a pandemic, we need our bodies’ defenses to be as strong as possible!
How can this be done?
Check the list of 12 immune-boosting-behaviors below to see how you can support your immune system and where you, perhaps, could use some improvement. The list is in no particular order. I have included all these 12 aspects in my routine and help my clients to achieve the same.
- Eat a whole foods diet. Your immune system needs nutrient-dense whole foods to function well. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that boost your immune system. Try to eat the rainbow when it comes to fruits/vegetables. They’re all filled with antioxidants that support your immune system.
- Limit processed sugars and white flour. A diet containing processed sugar is associated with increased inflammation and impaired function of the immune cells. Limiting sugar will help your immune system function better and improve your overall health.
- Exercise regularly. Your body simply functions better when you’re physically active daily, and moderate exercise stimulates cellular immunity. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
- Sleep! It is sometimes easier said than done, but here’s the deal – when you sleep, your body restores and heals itself. Not enough or poor quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. It’s best to get 7-9 hours a night.
- Drink plenty of fluids! Clean water, your daily Juicebro juice, smoothies, and bone broths are all great immune boosters.
- Make sure to eat enough protein. Protein is critical for your immune system to function. Individual needs vary, but eat at least 1 gram per kg of body weight per day. If you eat animal protein, buy grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic when possible. This will limit your exposure to hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides. Some good plant-based options are nuts, seeds, legumes, tempeh, lupini beans, quinoa, and organic tofu.
- Eat more healthy fats. Healthy fats are highly anti-inflammatory and boost your body’s immune system. Think of avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, flax oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish (wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines)
- Eat fermented and prebiotic foods. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, and kefir support your microbiome and immunity as 60+% of your immune system is in your digestive tract. You also want to add prebiotic foods such as asparagus, leeks, onions, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes. This is what your gut bacteria eat.
- Get outside! Even a simple walk around the block can boost your immune system. Plus, spending time outdoors can help improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
- Minimize stress. Increased levels of stress make you more susceptible to illness. Activities that may help you manage stress include yoga, meditation, and journaling.
- Add all the herbs and spices to your meals. Garlic, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, basil, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, parsley, and cilantro are great. Add them to vegetable dishes or soups, for example.
- Consider immune-boosting supplements such as Fish Oil (omega-3), probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Zinc. Always consult your doctor first.
Let me know if you need help making these changes. This is what I do!
Juice tip: Grapefruit, oranges, lemons, and kale are all great sources of Vitamin C. They can be found in the following juices: Dragons breath, Dutch Spice, Force of Nature, and Easy Going.
Kim Bos, Health Coach