8 Ways to Rock Your Immune System
Whew! What a time we are living in. And it’s during times like these when it’s more important than ever to NOT hit the panic button; to relax (I know, I know…easier said than done, right?!).
I’d like you to think about taking this opportunity to feel empowered, because you really DO have control over your lifestyle choices.
Here are eight ways to help you give back to that amazing vessel that unselfishly carries you through this world—protecting you while asking nothing in return.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds—especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing and/or using the phone. Yes, I know– this is such an obvious one! But guess what? I discovered that I fell short on the 20 second rule! Lately, I’ve been using the following songs to get me through hand-washing:
- Happy birthday to you (sing it two times to reach 20 seconds)
- Twinkle, twinkle little star…
- And my personal favorite…High Hopes: Just what makes that little old ant, think he’ll move that rubber tree plant. Anyone knows an ant, can’t move a rubber tree plant. But he’s got high hopes, he’s got high hopes. He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes! 🐜 😀
2— Move your body 🚲
Aim for 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Get outside in nature, it’ll do your mind and body more good than you realize. Watch the wildlife before you and ponder at the wonder of it all. Listen for the sweet whistle of the cardinal or the gentle coo of the mourning dove. Delight in those squirrely squirrels…who I am convinced were put on this earth to make us smile. Open your eyes…miracles are all around you.
3— Sleep, sleep, SLEEP 😴
Research shows that sleep keeps your immune system in tip-top shape, but if you are sleep-deprived (less than 7 hours of sleep per night), you’re more susceptible to viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections. It’s no joke. And NO excuse is good enough to skimp on it!
4— Lemonize 🍋
Lemon is Mother Nature’s detoxifier. It supports the liver in pulling toxins out of the body and is especially powerful when taken first thing in the morning. So start your day with a glass of lemon water (1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice mixed in 16 ounces of water). I like to drink mine lukewarm.
5— Eat Earthfoods + other immune-friendly foods!🥦
- Garlic: crush one or two garlic cloves, add vinegar, spices and olive oil for a flavorful and healthy salad dressing. Check out this Immune-Boosting Tonic using garlic, lemon, ginger, and raw honey.
- Green leafy veggies: Arugula; cabbage; collard greens; dandelion greens; endive; escarole; kale; mesclun; mustard greens; radicchio; Romaine; spinach; Swiss chard; turnip greens; watercress
- Toss a big handful of spinach or kale into your breakfast smoothie.
- Eat a tossed arugula salad with your dinner.
- Snack on dehydrated kale chips. I love THIS brand!
- Add greens to soups, stews or sauces. Try my Nourishing White Bean Chard Soup!
- Make healthy coleslaw out of shredded red and white cabbage and toss with apple cider vinegar.
- Add a scoop of greens powder to your lunch smoothie.
- Fold cooked spinach into your Sunday omelet.
- Enjoy a big Romaine lettuce salad for lunch, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, fresh blueberries, nutritional yeast, and broccoli sprouts. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with avocado slices.
- Cruciferous veggies: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale
- Add roasted broccoli to wild rice or quinoa dishes.
- Steam and puree cauliflower and enjoy in place of mashed potatoes.
- Berries (fresh or frozen): blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, goji berries
- Add a handful of raspberries to cooked quinoa and eat for breakfast.
- Toss a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries into your morning smoothie.
- Functional foods:
- Herbs and spices: ginger, oregano, turmeric (try my recipe for Golden Milk!)
- Mushrooms/mushroom powders: try my Immune-Boosting Mushroom Soup!
- Fermented foods: kefir, kimchi, tempeh, kombucha, raw sauerkraut, Bragg apple cider vinegar (dilute a tablespoon in 8 ounces of hot or cold water and drink it once a day!)
6— Supplement with these 5 immune-boosters* 💪
- Fish Oil
- Magnesium Glycinate
- Probiotic: particularly those including the following strains: B. infantis, S. boulardii, L. casei, L. Salivarius
- Vitamin D3
*As always, please be sure to check with your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
7— Chill out! 🧘♀️
Take 5-10 minutes each and every day to practice quiet meditation. If the word “meditation” doesn’t resonate with you, call it: breathing, contemplation, reflection, or prayer. Don’t get hung up on the title…they all point to the same end result. A regular meditation practice has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce stress, provide you with a calm and easy state of mind, and guess what else? Increase your immune function!
8— Practice gratitude 🙏
According to Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis, “Clinical trials indicate that the practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life. It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Studies further indicate that grateful, optimistic people actually have more disease-fighting cells in their bodies!”
So open up a fresh Word document or notebook, write today’s date, followed by three things you are grateful for. It helps to do this first thing in the morning. You can also start a gratitude journal on your smartphone using one of the many free apps out there. I like the “Gratitude Happiness Journal”. Give gratitude a go…it’s free, so you have nothing to lose and a stronger immune system (and so much more) to gain!
Well there you have it my friend! Eight opportunities to give your body some love. One thing I know for sure: take care of that beautiful body of yours, and it will indeed take care of YOU.