It seems as if many of us have forgotten that despite the amazing world-wide vaccination programs in place, we are still in the midst of this pandemic, and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
Perhaps if the pace of the programs hadn’t stalled and vaccine hesitancy wasn’t such a big issue, we may have been in a better position. But, as with most things in health, we must take things into our own hands - and that is especially true in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Now is not the time to give up on all of those healthy behaviors it has taken us 18 months to cultivate. There are still deadly variants everywhere you turn; so let’s take a few moments to review tips and tricks you can adopt (or continue using) to keep maintaining a healthy immune system.
The first thing to review is diet. That is the cornerstone of good health. Have you gained weight during the pandemic; have you used the time to get yourself in really good shape? Either way, a good diet is one of the main things that keep our immune system functioning at its optimal efficiency.
The best way to do this is to maintain a diet rich in proteins, vegetables, whole grains and fruits - in that order. The biggest offender to your immune system is white sugar - in any of its forms - white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc. Not only has sugar been linked to 13 different types of cancer, sugar directly impacts the ability of the white blood cell (your body’s first defense against any foreign invader) to do its job. One teaspoon of sugar decreases the effectiveness of your white blood cells by 56%; 2 teaspoons by 78%. The average American, at least, consumes 150 pounds per year or 33 teaspoons of sugar each and every day. Most other Western nations aren’t that far behind.
As I have written many books on diet and nutrition, I won’t delve into this further - simply cut out white and processed sugar.
If you do want some sweetness in your diet, Manuka honey is a great way to get that flavor sensation without sacrificing the health of your immune system.
Manuka can not only sweeten your favorite beverages or you can even cook with it in some of your favorite recipes, but, it has amazing wellness properties all on its own. Sugar on the other hand is a complete disaster on this front and can actually be considered an anti-nutrient as it robs the body of B vitamins.
Manuka on the other hand, may be important for your immune system according to published research papers. It has been shown to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties; plus it works as an anti-oxidant.
Some of the other things to do to help protect your immune system is to take certain nutritional supplements. My favorite is vitamin D3 in this regard but it is certainly not the only one I recommend. Some others include medicinal mushrooms such as rice bran arabinoxylan; Vitamin C, Zinc, Olive leaf extract and oil of oregano.
And let’s not forget about how important a healthy lifestyle is to our immune systems. So, that means getting enough exercise, making sure to get a good nights sleep, and of course, making sure you wash your hands, and surfaces with warm, soapy water.
While the pandemic has certainly made us all more aware of keeping our immune health up to speed, these behaviors should transcend any pandemic as you won’t be healthy or prepared for what lies ahead unless your immune system is healthy too.