It’s that time of year–when it seems everyone you know has some type of virus. Maybe you do too. Here are some things you can do right now to help strengthen your immune system:
1. STAY HYDRATED – Winter air is dry, which makes drinking enough fluids all the more important. You need to stay hydrated so your immune system can do its job. Drink herbal teas (ginger and echinacea are great choices), water (try it warm with lemon), and bone broths. Avoid drinks that contain sugar (like juice and soda) as sugar depresses your immune system.
2. AVOID SUGAR – Sweets and desserts, processed foods, and refined grains that turn into sugar upon consumption depresses your immune system.
3. EAT WELL – A nutrient-dense diet full of enough clean, organic protein and the rainbow of fruits and vegetables will support your immune and detoxification systems and keep them working properly. Include 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Maintain enough Zinc in your blood by consuming seafood (especially oysters), red meat, and pumpkin seeds.
4. GET ENOUGH SLEEP – Sleep restores and heals the body. Your immune system function deteriorates dramatically if you’re not getting enough. Get into the habit of ensuring you have 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
5. MANAGE STRESS – Include exercise, relaxation, meditation, and breathwork into your day to help you manage stress and keep your immune system strong. Too much of the stress hormone, cortisol, weakens your immune system.
6. SUPPLEMENTATION – Supplement with high quality, clean multivitamin/mineral to make sure you’re getting everything your body needs for day-to-day function, and consider adding additional Vitamin D3 for optimal immune function (it’s nearly impossible to get enough during the winter months). Also, consider adding Vitamin C, a high-quality Probiotic (containing at least 5-10 billion strains of bacteria per capsule), and a comprehensive Fish Oil supplement containing both EPA/DHA for overall good health and to bolster your immune system.
ALSO: Be sure to WASH YOUR HANDS often throughout the day. Use soap and scrub for a full 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly in hot water.
Here’s to good health and a strong immune system this winter! We hope you enjoyed these quick functional medicine tips.