The research shows that the virus is affecting the elderly and immuno-compromised primarily. All others should be safe and cautious and follow general immune-strengthening practices. The research has shown that the elderly have lower antioxidant status which is why they may be more susceptible to viruses and other pathogens.
Irrelevant to what’s going on in the media, there are so many things that I enjoy doing on a regular basis to keep my immune system strong. Having a strong immune system year-round helps with reducing the common cold, keeping parasites, bacteria, and other viral infections at bay.
Top 10 Tips to Keep Your Immune System Strong
A good night’s sleep is probably the best medicine for the immune system! Sleep deprivation actually depresses our immune systems, which is why it’s so important to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night.
It’s best to fall asleep by 10 pm since your body makes the most melatonin from 10 pm to 2 am. Ensuring you avoid blue light from your screens will also optimize melatonin production which is required for healthy immune function. I also recommend wearing blue light blocking glasses when the sun goes down.
Getting out in nature and in the sun is required for proper immune function. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D which helps to strengthen the immune system. Vitamin D is vital to proper immune function. Getting out in nature has profound immune-boosting benefits. So leave your phone behind and try to get out for a walk in nature every day! Pulse dosing 10,000 IU of Vitamin D a few times a week has proven to up-regulate the immune system.
3. Anti-inflammatory, Whole Food Diet
An anti-inflammatory diet helps to strengthen the immune system in several different ways. One of the most important ways is that it helps to balance the gut microbiome. When we consume a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, we ensure that our gut bacteria are well balanced. When our gut bacteria is balanced then our immune system is balanced. Eighty percent of our immune system actually lies in our digestive tract so it’s super important to eat a healthy diet to maintain healthy levels of good gut bacteria that promote proper immune function.
An anti-inflammatory, whole food diet is also high in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support the proper functioning of a healthy immune system. A diet high in sugar, gluten, and dairy can deplete important immune-supportive nutrients such as Vitamin C and zinc. Alcohol consumption can also suppress the immune system. Fermented foods are a great natural source of probiotics and they help to increase the healthy gut bacteria which helps to strengthen the gut.
Meditation and mindfulness help reduce cortisol levels and make us more resilient to stress. When we lower cortisol in the body, our immune system functions better. Increased stress has been shown to decrease immune function so it’s crucial for our health to become more resilient to stress.
Fasting helps to induce a process in the body called autophagy. Autophagy is the process whereby the body eliminates dead and damaged cells. Fasting induced autophagy also helps get rid of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
One effective and sustainable way to fast is by following the 16/8 regimen. During this type of intermittent fasting, you can eat during an 8 hour period of time every day and fast overnight for the following 16. It’s actually easier than you might think and the health benefits are profound!
6. Cold Showers
Cold showers put us in a state of hormesis. Hormesis is when we expose our bodies to low doses of something that might be harmful to the body, but that low dose actually produces a benefit to the body instead of harm. The mechanism is that it kills off weak mitochondria and makes room for the well functioning cells.
Cold showers help to increase natural killer cells and help to strengthen the immune system. We usually try to shower in cold water a few times a week for up to 2 minutes at a time. You can start slow and work your way up to 2 minutes! I am the first to say, its very challenging in the beginning, but in about 2-3 weeks you start to crave the cold bursts and they become easier to go for longer.
7. Medicinal Mushrooms
Chaga and Reishi are two medicinal mushrooms that are scientifically proven to keep the immune system strong. Both of these mushrooms are immunomodulators so they “boost” the immune system when needed and they also slow it down when it is overactive.
Chaga helps with the formation of beneficial cytokines that help to regulate the immune system. It also helps to stimulate white blood cells to fight off bacteria and viruses. Reishi helps to increase the activity of natural killer cells which helps to fight infections in the body.
8. Vitamin C, Elderberry, and Zinc
These supplements all help to support the immune system. Vitamin C helps to improve immune health and it’s also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, lemons, limes, spinach, and strawberries.
Elderberry is a dark purple berry and is known for strengthening the immune system and helping to fight the common cold and other viral pathogens.
Zinc is a required mineral for the proper functioning of the immune system. It helps in the formation and development of immune cells such as natural killer cells and neutrophils. Studies have shown that zinc shortens the duration of the common cold and flu. Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, legumes, nuts, and animal proteins.
For US clients you can purchase these supplements on our online dispensary HERE. Once you have created your account, you can find the supplements we recommend below for immune health:
- UltraFlora® Immune Booster
- Vitamin C 500mg with Bioflavonoids
- Vitamin D3 5000IU Liquid
9. Far Infrared Sauna
The Far Infrared Sauna is an amazing machine that boosts your immune system as it gently raises the body’s core temperature level a few degrees, stimulating the immune system like a low-grade fever. This improves the immune system health by boosting the production of infection fighting white blood cells and killer T-cells. Also, there’s nothing like a sweat session in a sauna to get you feeling more peaceful and relaxed!
You can use our regularly sanitized Far Infrared Sauna in Basalt and its only $1/minute. Advanced sessions are 30 minutes each. Its a perfect thing to boost your immune system a few times a week until the Corona virus goes dormant.
Let us know if you just want to try it out for the first time for free, we can do that for you by scheduling HERE.
10. Hand Washing
Washing hands thoroughly (back, front, in between fingers and nails) with soap for the duration of 20 seconds (singing the happy birthday song twice) is the best way to keep pathogens from entering your body!
Implementing all of these practices on a daily basis will not only help to keep your immune system strong but will also help to increase energy, decrease inflammation, and reduce unnecessary weight!
Minimize EMF exposure! A lot of research is showing that EMF exposure is actually causing viruses to replicate. Easy ways to minimize EMF exposure are to turn off your wifi router before you go to bed and to minimize cell phone use as much as possible.
Even though the media likes to try to hype us up and scare us, we can all choose to stay calmly informed while using the tools we have right at our fingertips to strengthen our immune system.
Are you interested in what we do as a business and how board certified Functional Medicine doctor, Amy Denicke, can help you improve your immune function and keep it strong for the rest of your life?
Schedule a complimentary Discovery Consultation HERE to find out how we can help you.
Yours in Health,
Amy Denicke DC, IFMCP