It is essential to make our health and wellness a priority, now and always. We shouldn't wait until there is a health scare to take it seriously. Prevention is the key.
Health is not made in a lab, it is created by our daily habits.
It is critical to support our immune system naturally so we can protect ourselves from illness. Our immune system is designed to protect us and if we nourish our bodies with nutrient-rich foods, plenty of sunshine, reduced stress, and natural remedies we will have a better chance of remaining healthy.
As a certified holistic nutritionist and someone who has worked in health food stores for most of my life educating others on the importance of wellness, I would like to share my top tips for supporting your immune system.
I hope these tips are helpful and encourage you to make your health a priority. Always remember that health is our greatest wealth and it is better to take action today to protect ourselves from illness.
Trust your body and your intuition at all times. You are your best health advocate and know what is best for you.
Try these healthy tips to support your immune system
* Make sure to read the bottom of this post for my immune-supportive herbal remedies and supplement recommendations.
Garlic is an incredible immune system protector, especially when consumed raw. For centuries garlic has been used for its medicinal properties, especially for fighting bacteria and viruses. It is naturally antiviral and does a great job at warding off illness due to its ability to improve the activity of natural killer cells.
The best way to consume garlic is raw or in pill form. It loses some of its immune health properties when cooked.
Chop it up and add it to a spoonful of honey or olive oil and swallow it. You can also buy your own gelatin capsules and add fresh garlic to them. And of course you can try garlic supplements.
Consume Vitamin C Rich Foods
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and is not stored in the body. This means we need to consume it regularly to maintain our health. The antioxidant properties found in vitamin C-rich foods help to fight free radical damage, reduce inflammation, and reduce stress to help support a healthy immune response. Vitamin C may also promote the production of white blood cells to help ward off illness.
Whole food vitamin C sources are much healthier than taking a supplement. Try incorporating as many of these foods into your diet each day.
Top 20 Foods with the Highest Vitamin C Content:
Vitamin D is a hormone that is essential for optimal immune health. The best way to get a healthy dose of Vitamin D is direct sunlight. Aim for 15-20 min daily so your body can naturally create vitamin D. I am not suggesting that you bake or burn your but simply get adequate unfiltered sunshine each day to support your health and mood. The morning is an ideal time as it will also support your hormones. Sunshine is vital for good health. Please do not fear it. Practice safe sun exposure always.
Consume Vitamin D Rich Foods:
Pasture-raised eggs are a rich form of vitamin D.
Make sure to consume the egg yolk as this is where the majority of nutrition is found.
What makes pastured raised eggs different than the conventional ones you find at most stores? Pasture raised eggs come from chickens that roam around in the sunshine all day and eat their natural diet. This makes for healthier vitamin D rich eggs. Chickens that are caged up all day and fed an unhealthy diet will not be as nutritious.
Other Vitamin D Rich Foods
Fatty Fish such as Salmon
Mushrooms (especially shiitake mushrooms)
Pro Tip: Place your mushrooms in the sunshine for an hour to increase their levels of vitamin D.
Consume Zinc Rich Foods
All animal meats
Drink More Water
Make filtered water your main drink throughout the day.
It is important to sip water every 15 - 20 minutes to stay hydrated. Avoid chugging large amounts of water at one time, because It can throw off the body's electrolyte balance.
The human body repairs itself while sleeping. Protect your immune system with 7-10 hours a day.
Sleep also helps to improve digestion, improve hormonal balance, supports a healthy detoxification process, helps to ward off illness, can improve mood.
Support your Gut Health
Read my article in EMEDIHEALTH:
70% of the immune system is found in the digestive tract. Without a healthy gut it is incredibly hard to stay healthy. With the rise of processed foods, toxins, and stress, many people suffer from gut issues.
Most people don't realize they have gut issues because we have normalized bloating, digestive disturbances, and weight gain.
It is essential to work with a trained professional who can order in depth lab work to identify any gut issues. A proper stool test that indicates the markers of gut inflammation and bacteria in the gut is essential.
You can also support your gut health with healthy foods.
Foods that Support Gut Health
Bone broth: (An incredibly nutrient rich food that supports the lining of the gut and is packed full of vitamins and minerals)
Probiotic rich foods: Kefir, Sauerkraut, Pickled veggies, High quality probiotic supplements
Prebiotic rich foods: Jerusalem artichokes, Green bananas, Plantains, Jicama root and Asparagus.
These foods are beneficial for supporting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and protecting brain health.
Cod Liver Oil
Did you know that stress lowers the immune system?
Of course stress is unavoidable, however we can take extra healthy steps to mange our stress
Watch a funny show or movie. Laughing boosts the immune system for up to 24 hours
Take a bath or relaxing shower
Read a good book
Enjoy a cup of tea (my favorite is Tulsi Tea. It helps manage stress levels and is immune boosting)
Exercise at home. YouTube has wonderful at home exercise videos. Exercise helps to reduce stress, increase the immune system, and eliminate toxins from the body
Turn off the news
Find what works best for you
My Top Favorite Natural Remedies to Support the Immune System:
Used to treat bacterial and viral respiratory infections. A powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent, Osha Root is used for respiratory infections. Its anti-inflammatory actions work to alleviate mucous membrane inflammation, opening bronchial airways to ease breathing. Osha root is used to help coughs become productive and can relieve congestion.
Used for Respiratory Issues. It can help with asthma, bronchitis. cough cold, inflammation. It is wonderful for loosening up phlegm to relieve congestion.
It works really well if you have a cough and need to get the phlegm up. It can be found in whole leaf form and brewed in to a tea, liquid tincture, and capsules.!
Tulsi (aka Holy Basil):
Tulsi is an ancient traditional herbal remedy originating in India. It is considered a medicinal herb and sacred plant in Ayurvedic medicine. It is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it helps to bring the body to a state of balance. If you feel stressed it will lower your stress levels and if feel low energy it will bring you up. Adaptogens are wonderful because they adapt to what your body needs in that moment.
Tulsi is a wonderful herb with a great deal of health properties. Here are some of its beneficial health properties:
Can help improve respiratory disorders
Can support a healthy stress response
Can relieve anxiety
Can supports balanced blood sugar levels
Can improve cognitive functioning
Can support liver health
Can support heart health
Can reduce inflammation
Cupports healthy skin
A good source of vitamin K
Rich in antioxidants
And a long list more.
Tulsi is an herb I hold near and dear to my heart. It has helped me so much in my life to stay healthy and to reduce stress levels. I even have a plant in my home. Out of all the herbs I have tried, Tulsi is my favorite.
Has been said to be one of the most powerful immune boosting plants, ever! It is a wonderful adaptogenic plant that helps the body fight off stress and bring it to a state of balance.
Astagalus has been shown to:
Help reduce virus symptoms
Boost the immune system
Protect cardiovascular health
Is anti aging
Prevents collagen degradation
Can help fight free radical damage
Can help reduce asthma symptoms
Pro Tip: Astragalus root is not something you take once for a cold and hope to get better. You take it over a period of time so it builds up in your system. It works much better that way.
Mushrooms contain properties that help to support a healthy immune response.
Immune Supportive Mushrooms
Other Natural Remedies:
Manuka Honey (look for a high MGO Factor)
Adaptogens work better if you only take them for 6-8 weeks then take a break or and then switch to another. Otherwise you will build up a tolerance.
I really hope these tips were helpful and encourage you to incorporate a few healthy lifestyle tips into your routine.
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This information is not intended to be medical advice. Always consult with you,r health care provider before starting a new health regime.