The world changed drastically in 2020 following the start of the pandemic. But one of the biggest changes was the priorities. The one priority that rose above all the others was how much we value our health. And while the world has changed yet again—returning to a sense of normal—health is just as important as it always has been.
A healthy immune system is your main line of defense against illness. It serves many different functions, in different ways. Just like every part of the body, there are ways to support and strengthen your immune system so that it can do its job of keeping you healthy. A strengthened immune system is not overactive any more than it is underactive. An underactive immune system has lowered defenses—-you may fall sick more easily, struggling to recover. But an overactive immune system may, in a misguided attempt to heal you, target the body itself in its attacks and this can result in chronic inflammation and even allergies!
A balanced diet sets your body up for success in more ways than one and an anti-inflammatory diet, in particular, helps regulate your body’s immune response. Healthy foods, consisting of most fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and foods high in omega-3s are considered anti-inflammatory, while foods like salt, dairy, alcohol, sugar (read more here), other processed foods, and even fresh foods in the nightshade family are considered to be inflammatory.
For some, this healthy diet is just a starting point. If you’re having consistent issues with your immune system, such as chronic illness or an autoimmune condition, introducing supplements and even herbs can aid your body’s natural defenses (note: if you do have underlying health issues, always check with your healthcare provider first). Dietary supplements like vitamin C and zinc and herbs such as echinacea, elderberry, ginger, garlic, among others, may be effective in preventing or treating many common illnesses and offer a boost during cold and flu season.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that regular exercise, lots of water, and adequate sleep are also key steps to improving your immune function. If you would like to read more about the impact of sleep—and lack thereof—on your health, click here.
Stress is also a factor, as chronic stress can tax your immune system (and every other system of your body). You can help manage your stress with mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, or bodyworking practices. These practices alone can help minimize stress and boost our immune systems.
If you want to learn more about simple steps to healthy living and strengthening your immune system (this is, after all, only the tip of the iceberg) then we recommend you sign up for our Health Transformation Package, to get personalized monthly sessions with our coach, Courtnee. When navigating tricky immune issues like auto-immune diseases, chronic inflammation or pain conditions, and even allergies, having a plan tailored to you is important.