Winter might be in our rear view mirror, but focusing on your immune system health is something that should take precedence all year long.
There are plenty of benefits of chiropractic care when it comes to your immune system, and treatments have shown it’s an effective way of getting your body’s defense mechanisms back on track.
But not everyone has the benefit of having a trusted chiropractor close by, and some may not be able to afford care. We compiled a list of the best ways to naturally boost your immune system, to keep you feeling your best year-round.
How to Naturally Boost Your Immune System – Get Your Rest
The single most important thing you can start doing RIGHT NOW to naturally boost your immune system is increase the amount of sleep you’re getting – ideally, at least an additional half-hour every night.
Ever heard of cytokines? These are a form of protein in your body that target inflammation and infection – in other words, they create a big time immune response. It just so happens that cytokines are produced and released during your sleep, so if you’re not sleeping or just not getting enough sleep, you’re missing out big time.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults aged 26-64, and even more for older adults. So make sure you’re getting your shut eye!
How to Naturally Boost Your Immune System – Vitamins D & C
It turns out that when your parents were often encouraging you to take your vitamins, they were really onto something.
Vitamin D and Vitamin C form a formidable tag team against illness, and will give your immune system a supercharger that will keep illness at bay. How? Vitamin C is a necessary factor for several cells in your immune system to do their job effectively, namely phagocytes and t-cells.
Vitamin D is also synthesized by the immune system, and helps regulate normal function. Of course, the immune system can have overarching issues that you need to address if you are dealing with auto immune issues or have food allergies or intolerances. But from a purely supplemental perspective here are some guidelines.
Ideally, you want to be taking in around 10,000 mg per day of Vitamin D, and 4,000 mg Vitamin C liposomal (we prefer the liposomal version of the latter as it delivers more Vitamin C into circulation).
It’s fairly easy to find these vitamins in stores, and a daily supplement of the recommended amounts is fine to get your fill. But if getting to a store is difficult right now, there are plenty of foods you can work into your diet that will get the job done. Including:
- Chili Peppers
- Brussel Sprouts
- Thyme (3x the amount of Vitamin C as oranges!)
- Fresh Fruit
Generally speaking, it’s best practice to try and work as many of these whole foods into your diet as possible!
How to Naturally Boost Your Immune System – Decrease Stress & Sugar
Stress – who among us doesn’t deal with some level of stress every single day? But did you know that the stress you’ve been carrying around can actually, legitimately, be making you sick?
When we’re stressed out, the body will release a hormone called cortisol to try and calm us down. In short bursts, cortisol isn’t all that harmful. But if you’re someone that lives with a high, constant level of stress, your body eventually becomes used to having increased levels of cortisol in the blood. In turn, this leads to an increase in inflammation, which can hurt your immune-function.
By the way, what do so many of us do when we’re feeling stressed out? We eat – and I’m not talking about a nice big bowl of vegetables. We’re prone to seek out the most sweet, savory, fatty dishes we can find to soothe our anxieties. This compounds the problem.
Coping by indulging in a nice sugary treat can have a bad impact on your immune system. Too much sugar in your system leads to a decrease in function of your immune system cells that fight bacteria. In essence, sugar suppresses your immune system, and this is compounded even more in those of us that have some sort of autoimmune disease such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
For stress, come up with a lifestyle change that is easy to implement as often as you can. Light to moderate exercise, prayer, brisk walking – all can be effective in keeping stress levels at bay. Limit your intake of processed sugars as well – this means no sugary drinks or snacks, supplement your sweet tooth with fruit instead!
How to Naturally Boost Your Immune System – Prayer & Bible Reading
Of course, being at peace spiritually is going to be an effective strategy to cope with all sorts of stressors in life, and will bring you an incredible peace of mind that will keep your body in check.
If you aren’t already in the habit, developing and setting aside some dedicated time to get more in touch with God through prayer and Bible reading is a good place to start. This can be anywhere and involve anyone – either find a nice quiet place you can pray alone, or get your entire family involved and make a routine out of it.
Whatever the case may be, there’s no doubt that prayer and Bible meditation will play a big role in keeping your mind and body centered, and can serve as an excellent starting point for some positive lifestyle changes.
Think you can use additional help or guidance when it comes to your immune system? Call us today or schedule an appointment with one of our registered dietary coaches to see how we can help you!