Boost Your Immunity Naturally
The summer weather is here, finally! Which means that we are all spending more of our days running around between the beach, barbecues, events, work and other summer fun filled activities. This also makes it the perfect time to strengthen your immune system to prevent you from catching a cold or flu that would keep you from all the fun! In today’s blog post, we’ll be sharing our tips and tricks for keeping your immune system this season.
Tip #1: Eat a Healthy Diet
As Micheal Pollen famously said, “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” This quote summarizers in six words one of the easiest tips we can put to use to keep our immune system strong this summer. When you’re composing your meals, be sure to include foods that are rich in Vitamin A, C, E and zinc.
Vitamin A rich foods:
Spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers.
Vitamin C rich foods:
Citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, broccoli, brussel sprouts and potatoes.
Vitamin E foods:
Sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, peanut butter, collard greens, spinach, pumpkin and red bell peppers. Last but not least, zinc
Meat, shellfish, nuts, seeds, eggs and whole grains
After you’ve packed your diet with these nutrient dense foods, let’s focus on your gut! Your gut is responsible for the digestion and absorption of nutrients and the excretion of waste. It is also a major component of the immune system and our gut-brain connection. Taking a probiotic daily can replenish the good bacteria that we lose when taking antibiotics or being exposed to toxins. Other food sources rich in probiotics include fermented foods and drinks into your diet like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Once you’ve flooded your gut with healthy probiotics, it’s time to take a look at your relationship with sugar. Refined sugar dramatically decreases your immunity. Start by tracking your meals and snacks using an app like My Fitness Pal to see exactly how much sugar you consume in a day. Aim for fruits and natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and stevia to be your new go to sweeteners!
Tip #2: Exercise
Ready, set, move! It’s time to shake up your exercise routine and get your body into motion. Regular exercise can boost your immune system to help fight off infections – what better way to keep them at bay than dancing, running, lifting or cycling them away! Exercise helps to increase blood flow, reduces stress levels, fights inflammation, and strengthens the antibodies in our circulatory system. This primes us to be ready to fight them off when they try to take us on as their new germ host. Aim to perform 30 minutes of activity daily to continue boosting your immune system. Shake up your workouts with a mixture of weight training, cardio, mobility and stability exercises. Keep your body guessing and always up for the challenge to battle off a cold at any moment!
Tip #3: Stay Hydrated
Ideally, there is an 8-hour window in our 24-hour day where we are fasting – also known as our sleeping window. Upon waking up in the morning, the first thing we should turn to is water and lots of it. Our bodies are composed primarily of water and are a crucial component of our circulatory system that is needed to pump oxygen and nutrients to our tissues. Fluids not only transport nutrients to any site of inflammation or injury, but they also take toxins away for disposal. Think of water, rooibos and herbal teas as vehicles to help you flush your system with water and provide it with the necessary ingredients it needs to perform at its peak!
Tip #4: Vitamin D
Also known as the sunshine Vitamin! Depending on where you live, some people see more sun than others year round. Obtaining enough vitamin D throughout the entire year is crucial for supporting you’re getting enough of Vitamin D is a must in the summer season as it helps the body to ward off illnesses. Try spending some time in the sun to obtain Vitamin D. Expose your arms and legs to the sun for around 15 minutes a day before applying any sunscreen.
Tip #5: Sleep
Sleep, as boring as it sounds, is a crucial component of your immune strengthening plan. Studies show that people who consistently deprive themselves of quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also impair and decrease your recovery time. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality, deep sleep every night. If you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep, try using a sleeping mask, black out blinds and limiting screen time before bed. A general rule of thumb is “lights out, you out.” Light stimulates our bodies and leads us to believe it’s daytime. When we reduce our exposure to light, our bodies have the opportunity to release sleep hormones and adequately prepare our bodies for a restful night’s sleep.
Keep your immune system strong this season with these natural immune boosters. When you feel the slightest bit of a cold coming on, be sure to hydrate your body, eat whole food, nutrient dense immune supporting foods and turn to your go-to immune boosting supplement, Ki Immune Defence!