With all the news coverage of the development of the COVID-19 virus, we at Custom Health Centers thought it would be beneficial rather than spreading fear, to spread useful tips for boosting your and your family's immune systems to help you thrive throughout this flu season.
First, let's look at what causes weak immune systems.
Outside of genetic conditions, and old age there are lots of contributing factors to a lowered immune system including severe burns, chemotherapy, radiation, diabetes, and malnutrition.
If any of these conditions apply to you, you have probably already received doctor guidance on how to prepare and protect yourself during this outbreak.
But steering clear of large public gatherings, and regularly washing your hands are great ways to not only avoid contracting the virus but also spreading the virus to society's most vulnerable.
Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes Put Your Immune System at Risk.
These are both conditions that we are in control of.
Eating a balanced diet full of fresh vegetables and low amounts of sugar can heavily impact many health conditions and ultimately increase your immune system. People who are obese have a higher chance of contracting an illness.
“Diets high in sugar, or eating too many calories in general, make you more prone to infection. This is because it can lead to increases in blood sugar or may cause oxidative damage. Oxidative damage is an overproduction of reactive oxygen species compared to the body’s ability to detoxify cells. This type of damage from oxygen increases your chances of infection.”
By living a lifestyle of overeating, and improper foods, people are actually hindering their body’s ability to detoxify leading to more infections, and illnesses.
The best thing to remember is that WE can control this with proper nutrition and exercise.
If you need some help mapping out a weight loss plan, reach out to the Custom Health Centers. Let’s together start putting your health first.
Summary: Diets high in sugar, obesity, and type 2 diabetes are all risk factors that severely decrease you immunity against viruses. Poor nutrition hinders your body's ability to detoxify.
Now let's look at 4 easy & natural ways we can boost our immune system.
1. Eat More Citrus fruits
For many people, Emergen-C and other vitamin C supplements are the first things you turn to when you are ill.
This is because we have learned Vitamin C helps build up your immune system.
How you might ask? Well, Vitamin C has shown to increase the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections.
In the next few months, load up on these natural immune boosters or consider a Vitamin C supplement:
Grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, clementines and more!
2. Eat More Vegetables
Vegetables are LOADED with nutrients that we need to prepare our bodies to fight off viruses and bacteria.
What you do consistently is what matters so make sure you are incorporating them daily into your diet.
The health of your liver ensures the body's natural detoxification process which helps us fight off illness.
Foods for a healthy liver include cruciferous vegetables like Kale, Broccoli and Cabbage and are packed with vitamins A, C, and E.
Pop some kale chips in the oven and decrease your alcohol intake to ensure your liver is ready for detoxification.
If you’re having issues incorporating these foods try a supplement to ensure your vitamin levels are in fighting shape.
3. Get Proper Sleep
Immune function is also linked to proper rest.
Sleeping on average 8 hours per night can help increase your immune function.
A study of over 22,000 showed that people who slept less than 6 hours a night had a higher likelihood of developing colds and flu than well-rested people.
If you have a hard time sleeping consider our “RELAX” formula designed to help improve sleep and decrease restlessness at night.
4. Get Outside in the Sun
The biggest deficiency this time of year is Vitamin D. After a long cold winter our bodies could be lacking in Vitamin D.
This is commonly attributed to seasonal depression but also leads to a weakened immune system.
Take a walk in the sun if possible, and try a Vitamin D supplement to restore your Vitamin D levels and boost that immune system response.
If you can't get enough Vitamin D3 through your diet or live in an area that does not get a lot of sunlight, such as northern climates in the winter, it may be beneficial to supplement with Vitamin D3. The best way to know if you need additional D3 in your diet is to have your doctor run a blood test called 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D. It is recommended that optimal levels for this test are 80 ng/ml, to 110 nmol/L. One quick word of caution, don't over supplement Vitamin D because it can build up over time causing a condition called Hypervitaminosis D.
The best news is that when you have optimal Vitamin D levels in your body, you are strengthening much more than just your immune system. Vitamin D has the ability to go into cells and turn on and off genes helping to bring balance to many systems of the body.
5. Proper Supplementation
In times like this where your kids come home with germy hands, and flu and viruses are at an annual high, taking the right supplements in the right quantities has shown to increase your immune system. Each of our weight loss programs includes a supplement plan that is designed to boost not only general health but also your immune system.
For daily immune health and health in general, I suggest taking: 5,000-15,000 units of Vitamin A (not beta-carotone), 4000-8,000 units of Vitamin D3, 25 mg of Zinc, and 1,000-5,000mg of Vitamin C per day (or up to bowel tolerance).
At the first sign of illness, double the amounts in this regimen for a period of 3 days.
Keep in mind that we are in control of how we care for our bodies so that we are ready for whatever virus comes next.
This fall lets take steps to boost your immune system so you are not living in fear of illness or for the safety of your family.
Medically reviewed and written by:
Dr. Jason Olafsson
Founder & CEO
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