With cold and flu season still upon us and COVID-19 starting to really fire up, maintaining a top notch immune system is important for protecting not only ourselves, but our family and friends as well. While maintaining good hygiene (i.e. hand washing) is very important, developing and sustaining healthy lifestyle practices is vital for optimizing your immune system so it is strong when times such as this should occur. Below are some of the top ways I have managed to stay healthy and avoid both the cold and flu for TWO years straight (knock on wood)!
- Get 8-9 hours of sleep every night. Even one night of inadequate sleep can compromise your immunity.
- Regular movement or exercise. This increases circulation, allowing our immune system to work more efficiently. My favorite at home workouts include: going for a jog outdoors, YouTubing a yoga class, or doing a workout from my SWEAT or ToneItUp app.
- Eating whole, unprocessed foods. Mushrooms, garlic, ginger, bone broth, turmeric and berries are some immunity boosting superstars.
- Avoid sugar! This is huge. Sugar can decrease your immune system and is a major contributor to inflammation.
- Tongue scraping. This is a great way to help remove bad bacteria from your tongue that could lead to bad breath, tooth decay and gum infections.
- Stress management techniques. Did you know that stress can decrease your immune system?Going on outdoor walks, yoga, cooking, and meditation are all tools I find helpful to reduce stress. Also, the phone app Headspace is currently offering a free selection of meditation, sleep and other experiences designed to support you during this current global crisis.
- Immune boosting supplements. These are not a replacement for a healthy diet, but could help give you an extra boost when needed.
Here is a list of some of my favorite supplements to boost my immune system naturally:
- Just Thrive Probiotic and Antioxidant – great probiotic overall!
- Vitamin D/K2 (learn more on vitamin D here!)
- Beekeepers Naturals Propolis Throat Spray
- Chaga mushrooms from Four Sigmatic
This past week I made a huge pot of chicken vegetable soup (I used this recipe as inspiration!) and it was delicious. It was a great way to get in a variety of veggies and the broth was super soothing! It is also easy to freeze for use.
Tip: Maintain a supply of frozen fruit and vegetables to ensure continued access to produce in the event you are unable to go to the store for an extended period of time. Green beans, berries, broccoli, cauliflower and mixed veggies are all great choices!
What’s methods do you use to stay healthy?! Tell me about them below!