At this time of the year, many of us have become accustomed to “spring cleaning.” After all, the earth is wakening from her slumber and for most of us who have been cooped up in our homes, it is time to clean out and start fresh.
Well, you know what else needs a tune-up this time of the year, and it isn’t your car - it is your immune system. You see, each season, presents a different set of challenges for your body. And no matter where you live, there are seasons - some are just more subtle than others.
To give you an example, as a general rule, with the advent of spring comes the assault of flower pollens. And, what most people don’t realize is that even though there may not be a bloom anywhere near you, pollen travels on the winds and this could affect you long before a daffodil has bloomed.
Then comes summer with the assault with grasses and trees; fall brings us molds and winter brings flus/colds/and dust. And this is just the tip of the iceberg for what awaits our immune system each time the season changes. Therefore, one must reboot your immune system for each potential assault.
So, I have compiled a list of 10 things you can do to spruce up your immune system:
- Clean up your diet - get rid of all the sugar, white bread, white rice, white pasta, etc. Sugar is a killer for the immune system. Sugar depletes your body of B vitamins and directly suppresses the ability of your white blood cells - the body’s first line of defense - to do their jobs by up to 78%.
- Exercise - a fit body is a sign of a healthy immune system. Our bodies crave attention that isn’t often fulfilled in our sedentary jobs that many of us have. So, get out and do a little walking, running, biking - anything that gets you moving. Light weights help too. Chair yoga - the list is pretty endless but study upon study show how important exercise is to supporting a healthy immune system
- Diagnose your Inflammation - this entails going to the doctor or going to an on-line blood lab and ask for the following tests: High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein; Sedementation Rate, Fibrinogen and Homocysteine. These four blood tests will help you determine which nutritional supplements you may need to correct your inflammation. Conquering inflammation is a key component of good immune support. Speaking of which leads me to number 4
- One Tablespoon of Manuka Honey each day - while this may be a form of sugar, this particular type of honey has anti-microbial properties, shown in lab tests to kill certain types of bugs and bacteria. Studies have shown that Manuka honey also attacks harmful oral bacteria associated with plaque formation, gum inflammation and tooth decay. Hidden gum disease is a major source of inflammation.
- Get Enough Sleep - studies point to 7 to 8 hours per night as ideal.
- Move Your Bowels Every Day - if your gut isn’t healthy, then neither is your immune system. Up to 80% of all immune cells are produced in the gut. so make sure you are getting enough fiber and vegetables to ensure that happens.
- Drink enough Water - my golden rule is to simply take your weight; divide it by 2 and that is the number of ounces of water per day your body needs just to function normally - without water, our immune system withers.
- Take Vitamin D3 - as a supplement. I personally take 10,000 IU per day. Get your levels tested before you start though. I shoot for a level of between 60 and 80. This is a sure-fire method of helping support your immune system.
- Have a drink if you may safely do so - this is another science proven way to boost your immune system as even some alcohol like red wine can have anti-oxidant properties. Keep it to one to two drinks per day max.
- Laugh - They don’t say laughter is the best medicine for no reason.