Give your immune system a boost!
Immunity Boosting Tips from your Registered Dietitians at Nutrition in Motion
Do you ever notice that some friends can be exposed to all types of germs, viruses, flu bugs, and other intruders with no dire consequences? They can practically roll around in these bugs, not wash their hands (not that we recommend that!), stay up late, eat all types of junk food and it’s as if they are encapsulated in a high security vault which is impenetrable to any illness. Frustrating, isn’t it? Why can some people get away with this type of lifestyle and not get sick? There are many components that we cannot control such as genetics, so instead let’s focus on what we can control, our diet and lifestyle and how they affect our immune system. In the days of the coronavirus/COVID-19 and influenza A and B, we all need to be diligent and take care of our immune system.
The immune system is like an internal police force that helps you fight off infection. It’s no surprise that about 70% of your immune system lies within the digestive tract, where we are most vulnerable due to all the food we eat. Our immune system relies heavily on certain nutrients to function optimally, such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin D, and vitamin A, just to name a few. Probiotics are also important to help build a robust microbiome which directly influences the health of your immune system (and many other systems within the body).
Our food, our environment (think toxic exposure—pesticides, GMOs, pollution), and our stress level are some key triggers for unwanted effects through our body which can make it or break it when it comes to fighting any illness.
One of the most influential factors in our immune system is stress. Stress is associated with cortisol, our flight or fight hormone. When we are under attack, cortisol goes up and blood glucose follows suite then we crave. What do we usually crave–sweets, sugary drinks, lattes, carbs, etc. and we continue to throw logs on this proverbial stress-induced fire. We may gain weight but even worse, this continual influx of sugar feeds the bad bugs in our gut directly effecting our immune system. These bugs LOVE sugar and they party, proliferate, and crowd out our protective microbes which are essential to support our immune system.
So, if we happen to be born with a poor immune system or live our lives as stress-balls, are we all doomed? Nope, not at all! Factors that influence our immune system are stress, food choices, supplements and sleep habits.
Follow our helpful tips to boost your immune system and fight off illness:
- Go to sleep by 10 PM for the most restful sleep. Restful sleep supports the hunger hormones so we don’t crave and overeat.
- Practice deep breathing and mindfulness to help reduce stress. Other things like yoga, exercise, and doing something you love everyday also helps to combat stress.
- Get in good quality protein at breakfast. This will help keep you full and decrease sugary cravings mid-morning.
- Bump up your produce intake. Increase the amount of non-starchy vegetables and high fiber fruits.
- Revamp your supplement routine. Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, probiotics and elderberry are so important in helping support a healthy immune system.
Ready to boost your immunity? Nutrition in Motion is always here to support your health journey! REMEMBER, VISITS WITH A REGISTERED DIETITIAN ARE COVERED BY MOST INSURANCE CARRIERS. ASK US A QUESTION OR REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT TO LEARN MORE!