Boost Your Immune System Naturally - Paula Owens, MS

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How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally - Paula Owens, MS A healthy functioning immune system is crucial in resisting disease and reducing susceptibility to colds, the flu, viral infections, healthy aging and reducing risk of disease. The health of the immune system is influenced by dietary habits, lifestyle choices, mental and emotional stress, gut health, sunlight, chemical exposure, environment and nutritional status.

How to Boost Your Immune System Naturally

Use food as medicine

  • Nutrient-density and diversity are crucial! Organic foods contain more nutrients, less pesticides and chemicals.
  • The first 40gm of protein you eat every day goes toward rebuilding your immune system. Include organic, grass-fed, free-range, pasture-raised sources of protein at every meal.
  • Grass-fed, organic whey protein boosts glutathione and supports the immune system for those who are not sensitive or intolerant to whey. Look for non-pasteurized whey that contains no pesticides, hormones, artificial sweeteners or antibiotics.
  • Include 12-15 servings of leafy greens, colorful plants veggies, and fruits every day from a variety of in-season, locally-grown, organic sources. Plant foods optimize the microbiome and positively impact intestinal health by delivering protective factors to the cells of the immune system.
  • Healthy fats help fight infections, particularly viral infections like the flu. The media and medical advice to avoid saturated fats, lower your cholesterol, and use margarine instead of butter actually weaken your immune system making cells more vulnerable to attack by viruses. Organic, grass-fed butter is a wonderful source of butyrate, a primary fuel source for coloncytes.
  • Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-vital properties. Coconut oil boosts immunity by improving white blood cell count.
  • Home-made chicken soup strengthens the immune system and reduces inflammation.
  • Green and white tea contain polyphenols, catechins and powerful antioxidants that clean up free radicals. Green tea has been shown to inhibit bacteria and viruses, and stimulate the immune system. Dandelion tea, Pau ‘d arco and astragalus tea are also beneficial for the immune system.
  • Natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral foods: garlic, turmeric, ginger, oregano, cilantro, coconut oil, raw organic honey
  • Mushrooms! Shiitake, reishi, oyster and maitake mushrooms are a great source of beta-glucans, a fermentable fiber that has been shown to increase populations of beneficial bacteria and reduce populations of non-beneficial bacteria in the GI. Beta-glucagon is known for its immune-boosting and cancer-fighting properties, and has also been shown to have favorable effects on lipid profiles.

Stay hydrated! Drink a minimum of half your body weight in filtered water every single day (away from mealtime). Dehydration suppresses the immune system.

Avoid immune-suppressing foods. Sugar, wheat, grains, gluten, soda, fruit juices, artificial sweeteners, factory-farmed animal protein, fructose corn syrup, and processed foods that weaken the immune system, increase inflammation, and trigger a variety of symptoms including fatigue, anxiety, depression, hyperactivity, skin disorders, sinus problems, bloating and digestive issues, plus many other symptoms that deplete the immune system.

Pasta, white bread, white rice, wheat, grains and white potatoes increase inflammation and quickly convert to sugar in the body suppressing the immune system.

The immune system is suppressed for 8-12 hours after consuming sugar!

Gut health. Approximately 70-80% of the immune system is in the gut. A healthy functioning gut, optimizing digestion, eradicating infections and a healthy microbiome are imperative for a healthy functioning immune system.

Avoid poisons that are known to disrupt or destroy your microbiome such as:

  • Antibiotics, unless absolutely necessary (and when you do, make sure to feed and reseed your gut with fermented foods and/or a probiotics supplement)
  • Factory-farmed meats and other animal products; CAFO animals are routinely fed low-dose antibiotics, GMOs, and glyphosate-treated, mycotoxic grains
  • Non-organic foods (if you’re not eating organic, you’re eating chemicals, GMOs and glyphosate that destroy healthy gut flora and damage your microbiome)
  • Processed foods (excessive sugars feed pathogenic bacteria)
  • Chlorinated and fluoridated water and toothpaste
  • Antibacterial soaps, hand gels, wipes and products containing triclosan

Sleep is one of the greatest ways to boost your immune system naturally. Sleep is nature’s greatest repair mechanism, a natural antioxidant, and a potent anti-aging antidote. Immune power builds the most during restful sleep, so lights out by 10pm. Growth hormone is released at this time, which boosts the immune system and aids in growth and repair. “The greatest antioxidant we possess is a good night’s sleep.”

Move your body. Often neglected for building strong immunity is the importance of moving your body every day and a healthy functioning lymphatic system, which carries immune fighting WBC’s and removes toxins. Boost your lymphatic system by practicing deep belly breathing, hot and cold hydrotherapy, lymphatic massage, bouncing on a mini-trampoline, dry brushing your skin before showering, and daily exercise.

Interval-style workouts and strength training increase endorphins in your body, thereby stimulating your immune system, reducing stress and boosting mood.

More isn’t better when it comes to exercise. The body perceives excessive exercise, particularly overdoing cardio, aerobic-style exercise and poorly designed crossfit-style workouts as an additional stress that deplete the adrenals, negative impact the nervous system, hormone system and compromise immune function.

Unplug! Electromagnetic pollution (EMFs, WiFi, 5G, dirty electricity, blue light at night, EMR) has been shown to alter the function of the immune system, increase anxiety, impair detoxification pathways, destroy mitochondria, and increase the risk of developing an autoimmune condition.

Sunshine! Research shows that a daily dose of the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D boosts the immune system and helps to reset your natural circadian rhythm. Aim for 20-30 minutes of sunlight exposure every day (without sunscreen) to strengthen immunity, improve sleep, balance hormones, improve mood, strengthen bones, and reduce risk of disease.

Thoughts and emotions. Mood, thoughts and attitude have a tremendous impact on the function of the immune system. The cells in your body respond to everything your mind says. Complaining and negativity lowers immune function whereas positive thoughts and feelings of gratitude, appreciation and optimism produce health-enhancing chemicals that strengthen the immune system, increase longevity, and reduce stress hormones.

Meditate and Stress Reduction. Stress is an inevitable part of life and comes in many forms. Practice stress-reducing techniques to support your immune system and prevent other damage caused by stress such as guided imagery, biofeedback, meditation, walking, getting out in nature, a daily dose of sunshine, listening to soft relaxing music, restorative or yin yoga, walking your dog, reading, journaling, prayer, talking with a friend, and deep belly breathing.

Relationships and connections. Several studies report that people who are connected to other people through healthy, loving marriages, friendships and communities live longer, are healthier and have better performing immune systems.

Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly throughout the day with soap and water, especially after restroom use or shaking hands.

  • Avoid hand sanitizers that are loaded with triclosan, a dangerous antibacterial chemical that has been linked hormone disruption, estrogen dominance and antibiotic-resistance.
  • Refrain from sneezing or coughing openly into your hands, and instead sneeze or cough into your elbow. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands since that’s often how viruses enter the body.
  • Wash your workout clothes after every workout. Wash your towels in hot water. Wash your sheets every week. Keep the lid on the toilet closed (it’s good feng shui too!). Replace your toothbrush every month.

Immuno-Nutrient support helps build resistance and strong immunity. It takes most people 6-12 weeks of use before the immune system becomes stronger. It’s very challenging to obtain adequate nutrition from food alone nowadays. Much of today’s food is overly-processed, void of many essential nutrients, and grown in soils that are depleted and saturated with synthetic fertilizers, GMOs, glyphosate, pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals.

A deficiency in any single nutrient impacts healthy immune function. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies trigger more diseases, accelerate the aging process, and weaken and impair the immune system.

Immune-boosting Nutrients

  • Vitamin D. Those with higher vitamin D levels have greater immune protection and less incidence of immune dysfunction compared to those with the lowest vitamin D levels.
  • Immune-enhancing multivitamin-mineral such as Bio-Immunozyme Forte. Research has shown that every day use of BioImmunozyme can reduce overall illness, infection and provide strong immune support.
  • Zinc helps develop white blood cells that fight off bacteria and viruses.
  • Vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E
  • Probiotics support immunity, a healthy microbiota and replenish important bacteria in the intestinal tract
  • Selenium and iodine are both important for strong immune function. Iodine is a natural antimicrobial that helps to break up mucus. Selenium, an important mineral is an immune stimulant and helps the body recycle and produce more glutathione.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Boost glutathione, the master antioxidant with the tips above and immuno-nutritional support such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC), grass-fed organic whey protein, lipoic acid (R-ALA), and methylated folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6
    • N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a sulfur-containing antioxidant and precursor to glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant made by the body. NAC is a potent antioxidant and immune booster as well. It has the ability to fight colds, flu and a host of viral infections. It’s the treatment of choice in hospitals for acetaminophen (Tylenol) poisoning, and it’s routinely used to break up mucus that collects in the lungs.

“Administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) during the winter appears to provide a significant attenuation of influenza and influenza-like episodes, especially in elderly high-risk individuals. NAC did not prevent A/H1N1 virus influenza infection, but significantly reduced the incidence of clinically apparent disease.” – Eur Respir J. 1997 Jul;10(7):1535-41

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