With the good weather approaching, supporting your immune system may not be top of mind. Why should it be? The warmth of the sun is calling on you to dust off the shorts, sandals and break out the sunscreen! Sniffles only happen during the cold winter months, right?
Truth is, you need to be thinking about and supporting your immune system every day, all year long because it doesn’t stop working to keep you healthy.
And … as you get older, you want to ensure your immune system is running tickety-boo!
In this blog post, Surprising Ways to Maximize Your System, I outline some cool ways you can support your immune system, especially when the weather gets warm.
A healthy lifestyle will do wonders for your immune system. The same habits that keep you strong and fit will maximize your resistance to infection and illness.
At the same time, it’s important to follow the advice of public health experts related to contagious illnesses, such as COVID-19. Practice social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and call your doctor promptly if you have any symptoms that concern you.
Sensible precautions and healthy choices can lower your risk of disease. Here are some more simple ways to enhance your immunity that you may not have thought about!
Increase your Antioxidant Load
Vegetables and fruits are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help fight inflammation. An anti-inflammation diet can help you lead a longer and more active life, especially when you combine good nutrition with other positive habits like regular exercise and good quality sleep.
Drink tea. Tea contains a special kind of antioxidants called flavonoids that enhance immune function. Along with water, unsweetened tea also helps you to stay hydrated without extra calories. Bonus!
Sugar isn’t so Sweet After All!
In addition to empty calories, sugar can increase your risk for diabetes, heart attack and stroke. According to Statistics Canada, in 2015, the average Canadian consumed 85 lbs. of sugar every year. That’s the equivalent of 20 teaspoons per day! Americans consume between 100-125 pounds of sugar each year. That’s roughly a quarter of a pound every day. Excess sugar is inflammatory and can mess with your hormones.
It’s Gut Check Time!
The intake of probiotics has been suggested to enhance overall health and immunity. It is now recognized that the human gut microbiota may play a role in the development of metabolic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease. Interestingly, the administration of probiotics has been shown to improve the prognosis and management of those diseases.Kim SK, Guevarra RB, Kim YT, Kwon J, Kim H, Cho JH, Kim HB, Lee JH. Role of Probiotics in Human Gut Microbiome-Associated Diseases. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2019 Sep 28;29(9):1335-1340. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1906.06064. PMID: 31434172.
Fact is over 80% of your immune system is in your gut, so keeping your gut healthy is essential for your overall immune health! The best way to keep your gut healthy is by eating a healthy diet and including fermented foods which contain healthy gut bacteria, such as kefir, miso, tempeh, cultured vegetables and more. Additionally, I take a probiotic by USANA Health Sciences which I add to my daily shake.
Supplement to fill in the gaps
Consider supplements. It can be difficult for you to meet your nutritional needs through diet alone. The truth is our food supply today can be nutrient deficient despite our best efforts to eat healthy! You may want to consider taking supplements. Talk with your doctor about your individual requirements. A top quality multi-vitamin that I take is USANA’s CellSentials, which are included in USANA’s HEALTHPAK. These A.M. and P.M. packets give me my daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for optimal health.
Your mental and physical health depend on mutually supportive relationships. Make it a priority to spend time with family and friends. If you can’t physically be with them, take advantage of technology like FaceTime, Slack, Zoom, and other video chats. Even phone calls and texts can benefit you!
Your immune system works really hard to keep you healthy! In addition, there are times when it takes a beating! Show it some love by making the job a little easier with the above-noted suggestions!
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
USANA Health Sciences Wellness Ambassador
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DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.