Boost your immune system6 years ago | Nutrition
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables generally provides your body with the nutrients it needs to fight off illnesses.
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D., Founder
It is the flu season and to complicate matters, we have a new virus to contend with - the coronavirus!
Many people are now more aware than ever of the importance of their immune systems which plays a very important role in protecting us from these viruses.
Signs your immune system needs a tune-up may be when you start getting frequent colds or have too many sick days. But you should be proactive even before the first sniffle. Why? Because your immune system has to fight the load of everyday toxins, pollutants, bacteria and viruses, along with the adverse health effects that accompany them, from fatigue to cancer.
So how can you make sure your immune system is in good health?
It starts with more awareness of your body, shifting the way you think about it and giving it what it needs to be its strongest.
- Pay attention to your vague symptoms. Most of above environmental onslaughts actually do not make you noticeably sick at first, but may do so over time. At first you might just experience general symptoms like fatigue, feeling low on energy, headaches, nausea, not feeling like getting up in the morning, less initiative to do things, moodiness, altered sleep, indigestion, weight gain, decreased ability to exercise and difficulty focusing. Effects tend to accumulate over time, changing shape from smaller nuisances into actual diseases.
- Think about your body like a machine. Don’t wait till your body actually breaks down with an illness. Feed it with the right ingredients. Treat it like your most precious possession. Learn to be observant of any new or subtle changes. For most changes in your body there are reasons why they are happening. Those may simply have to do with your recent food and physical activity habits, emotional and social health, work environment, balance between activity and recreation. And then there are the things that you know are obviously not good for you, whether it is alcohol, smoking, doing drugs, slacking off on your exercise regimen, excessive calories, lack of healthy sleep/excessive sleep, wasting time on low-value activities, getting caught up in unhealthy relations or unhealthy stress.
- Get the right nutrition. You want healthy cells that can protect your health and ward off illnesses. But sometimes your cells do not get enough oxygen, especially as you age. Blood vessels start to get narrower, plaque builds up insidiously, and lack of exercise decreases functional blood flow and delivery of oxygen and nutrients. But age is no excuse for letting your health go.To combat these types of issues, your body needs adequate levels of oxygen, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and amino acids to function smoothly. Antioxidants in particular are important for fighting environmental toxins and free radicals. Consume antioxidant-rich foods like spinach, apples, carrots, pomegranates, broccoli, kale and blueberries.
- Test for nutritional deficiencies and antioxidant levels. Take the guesswork out of it. Chances are, you will find areas where you are deficient, supplement these deficiencies, and fine tune your “machine.” This is the most definitive way to find out what your body needs.
- Get out in the fresh air and get moving. Cardiovascular exercise will increase the oxygen delivery to you cells and improve your immune system. Even just 30 minutes of brisk walking may improve your immune system compared to otherwise sedentary time.
- Support a healthy liver. The liver has multiple functions in breaking down many nutritional ingredients and metabolizing them into forms useful for individual cells. It helps to detoxify waste and toxins from the body. Simply put, your liver is a key organ for manufacturing the healthy stuff and eliminating the bad stuff. The liver produces many proteins and globulins, which have the ability to neutralize many harmful agents and pathogens. You can strengthen your liver with specific dietary plans, but also with herbs like milk thistle, burdock, turmeric and grape seed extract. Avoid any obvious liver toxins such as alcohol or certain drugs.
- Support a healthy lymphatic system. A recent study underscores the importance of the lymphatic system to support the immune system. Lymph drainage by certain exercises like “rebounding” as well as massages may be helpful.
- Consider supplementing with probiotics. Research shows probiotics may help strengthen the immune system. Read about it here.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.