Nutrition and lifestyle have a huge impact on our bodies and our immune systems. The foods you ingest play a massive role in the way your body functions. If you have a weak immune system, you’re at risk of getting sick frequently, you often feel tired, and your wounds are slow to heal. This is exactly what we don’t want. Below are lifestyle recommendations and dietary tips to strengthen your immune system and keep sickness and lethargy at bay.
Immune System and Your Lifestyle:
- Stress can largely contribute to a weakened immune system. Avoid or reduce chronic stress and the frequency of stressful situations. Relax as much as can through daily habits, like meditation, yoga, or walking. There are countless free resources available online for guided meditations, yoga classes, and exercise programs.
- Remove or reduce refined sugars from your diet. Sugar is in more than you think -- be sure to check food labels often.
- Avoid exhaustion or sleep deprivation. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, regularly. Sleep is a major healer!
- Drink lots of water! Our bodies are mostly composed of water. We need to replenish our water often.
- Avoid alcohol, which weakens the immune system.
- Find an exercise program that you like, whether it’s walking or running outside (sunshine and the outdoors are great for us!), an online yoga class, or hitting the gym.
- Practice meditation, gratitude, and compassion. Our mindset dictates our health in more ways than one. Start your day with three things you’re thankful for and make it a point to show both love and compassion to yourself and others.
Immune System and Your Diet:
- Eat foods rich in lysine (an antiviral nutrient), like apples, avocados, beets, apricots, mangoes, figs, tomatoes, and papaya.
- Eat foods high in vitamin C, like strawberries, kiwi, papaya, oranges, kale, broccoli, blackcurrant, guava, green pepper, and red pepper.
- Consume foods high in zinc, like pumpkin seed, seafood, sea vegetables, lentil and legumes, and beans, if your diet allows.
- Avoid added hormones and antibiotics. Aim to buy organic, or better yet, grass fed and grass-finished, hormone and antibiotic-free animal products.
- Avoid high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which depletes lysine, the antiviral nutrient. Foods high in arginine are foods like chocolate or cashews.
- Steer clear of artificial sweeteners and refined sugars, and replace with a natural sweetener, like Stevia.
- Lower your intake of caffeine, fruit juices, and soda.
- Opt for whole grains instead of refined, white flour products.
- Consume antioxidants! Adequate amounts can be found through 5+ servings of vegetables and fruit, or through nutritional powders or supplements.
- Eat healthy fats—like nuts, seeds, or avocados—and proteins to balance your blood sugar.
Looking for other dietary tips, key supplements, or a lifestyle change to achieve optimal health? Book your FREE call with a Ketality health coach today to discuss how we can help you reach your goals and fortify your immunity.
The Science of Bad Habits (and How to Break Them!)
Habits can make or break a person. They train your body and mind over time to do what’s familiar, even if it’s not good for you.
Why does this occur?
Because your brain wants to optimize its energy use as much as possible. If you relearned your whole morning routine every day, you’d be exhausted by noon!
Your body and mind learn what to do over time. How you behave today affects the trajectory of your future—for the better or for the worst.
Looming bad habits that creep into our everyday lives are usually caused by a few things.
Sometimes, the perceived benefit is biological, like smoking. Sometimes, it’s emotional—like staying in a relationship that isn’t good for you. And in most cases, your habit can be the result of stress and boredom (think clenching your jaw, biting your nails, or stress eating).
Do you struggle with forming good habits? If you’re a human being, then the answer is probably YES.
Bad habits restrict your life and stop you from accomplishing your goals. They threaten your mental and physical health and waste your time and energy.
Have a bad habit you need to kick? Below are some behavioral tips to help you get rid of the habit once and for all, while retraining your mind to make better decisions:
Tip #1: Don’t remove a bad habit, replace it.
Since bad habits provide some sort of perceived benefit in your life, it can be difficult to remove them altogether. Instead of eliminating it, replace the habit with something that also provides a benefit.
Need to stop eating late at night? Determine a different activity you’ll do when the urge comes. This could be replaced with calming breathing exercises, hydrating by drinking some water, or picking a fun exercise to do for one minute.
Tip #2: Cut out triggers.
If you eat cookies when they’re in the house, throw out the cookies. If you pick up the remote when you sit on the couch, hide the remote in a different room. Make it easier on yourself to avoid bad habits by avoiding what causes them.
Your current environment makes your bad habits easier and your good ones harder. Change your environment and the outcome changes, too.
Tip #3: Visualize success.
Success starts in the mind, and the power of visualization is extremely useful. What will it feel like when you step on the scale and see the number decrease? Where will you be? What will you look like?
Visualize yourself eating healthy foods, throwing away cigarettes, or waking up early to exercise. See yourself breaking your bad habit with a smile on your face, while enjoying your much-deserved success.
Tip #4: Use the word “but” to conquer negative self-talk.
It’s easy to judge yourself for not acting better, but the reality is that we all slip up every now and then. If you make a mistake, change what you tell yourself. For example:
I’m overweight and out of shape, but I could be in shape a few months from now.
I'm a failure, but we all fail at times.
If you screw up and eat unhealthy foods or miss a workout, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad person—it means you’re a human. Be kind to yourself.
Tip #5: Join forces.
How often do we try and hide our dieting or simply not share our progress with others? That way, no one can see us mess up...right? Having accountability keeps you on track, and there’s nothing wrong with needing it!
Instead of doing it alone, pair up with someone who can keep you accountable, or have a Custom Health Centers health coach keep you focused on your goals. Your victories will be shared, and you’ll have a powerful motivator in knowing that someone else expects you to do better.
If you’re looking to lose weight, replace bad habits, and create a healthier lifestyle, then schedule a FREE virtual consultation with an expert Custom Health Centers health coach to learn about our virtual weight loss program.
Remember, every action you take is a vote for the kind of person you become. What kind of person do you want to be?