Your Immunity Checklist
First, let’s remember that your body’s immune system is perfectly designed to fight off illness and viruses. The key question then becomes what you can do to best support your body’s natural disease defense abilities.
The answer: Focus on the things that make your body work harder than it should to stay in balance.
Here are the big ones:
- Unmanaged Stress
- Poor Quality Eating
- Not Enough Sleep
- Insufficient Movement
- Environmental Toxins
#1 REDUCE STRESS t
The #1 thing to remember when it comes to your immune system is that it’s directly connected to your nervous system. For a long time, it was believed that our immune system was a discrete autonomous system. Today, we know this is not the case. Over the past few decades, science has mapped out the depth of integration between our psychology and our immunity. What goes on in our brain has a very profound impact on our immune system.
The fight or flight stress response in the body, either physical, mental or emotional triggers a number of metabolic changes in the body including suppressing the immune system. Over time, chronic stress wears down its capabilities to protect us. Stressors can be physical or psychological, there’s no difference biochemically.
Therefore, in a very real way, managing levels of stress is one the most important ways you can maximize the potency of your immune system
Stress reduction techniques such as conscious breathing exercises, meditation, yoga and mindfulness practices are absolutely essential when it comes to navigating a healthy lifestyle in 2020.
#2 EAT REAL WHOLE FOODS
Your body was designed to thrive on a nutrient dense plant centered way of eating. Cut the sugar and processed carbs which can wreak havoc on your stress hormones. Furthermore, understand that on their own key vitamin and mineral deficiencies create a very significant stress on our immune system. Immune boosting foods include dark leafy green vegetables, brightly colored fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and bell peppers, all varieties of mushrooms and anti-inflammatory spices such as ginger, garlic and turmeric. To keep inflammation in check, make sure your eating includes healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds and that you stock your pantry with olive oil and coconut oil for your everyday cooking needs.
#3 PRIORITIZE SLEEP
Don’t underestimate the importance of time your body needs to heal and repair itself. Too many people are walking around chronically exhausted and overworked living on artificial energy sources like caffeine and sugar. Lack of rest increases your stress level and compromises your body’s abilities to fight infection.
#4 YOUR BODY WAS DESIGNED TO MOVE
Habitual moderate exercise appropriate for your body and lifestyle is essential and has shown to improve immune regulation. The key is to listen to your body to find movement that is enjoyable. Whatever you choose it should exercise your heart and lungs to help your blood and lymphatic system do its jobs. Studies show that just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day significantly increases immunity.
#5 CLEAN UP YOUR ENVIRONMENT
According to the nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average newborn baby has almost 300 known toxins in its umbilical cord blood, so imagine how many you have been exposed to in your life. Modern day living has our bodies working harder than ever before to detoxify ad stay healthy . We can help reduce this massive toxic load on our immune system as well as our planet. Try to limit your exposure to chemical additives in your food by eating organic foods, opt for botanically based skin care and eco-friendly household cleaning products.