As you learned in part one of this blog, a crucial part of winning the battle against pollen is boosting your Immune System. As promised, here are five easy and quick ways to fortify your Immune System naturally!
Five Easy Ways to Fortify the Immune System
Begin to incorporate more nutrient-dense, whole foods. Avoid a diet filled with excess sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, & GMOs (genetically modified organisms). In fact, sugar has a direct NEGATIVE impact on the immune system by suppressing it. Finally, try to incorporate at least one super food with each meal (i.e. kale, avocado, any berries, garlic, tumeric seasoning, etc.).
Begin to consume at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. Water hydration will be your secret weapon! Be very intentional about getting in the right amount each day. You can also take it a step farther by consuming mainly spring or alkaline water. Feel free to infuse your water, as well, for flavoring with berries, lemons, key limes, grapefruit, mint leaves, etc.
No time to get to the gym? Personal trainer not in the budget? No problem! You can do workouts in as little as 30-40 minutes in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Exercise doesn’t have to look a certain way, you just simply need to engage in an activity that elevates your heart rate and causes some sort of muscle resistance. This will help you release toxins, enhance circulation, tackle some free radicals, and boost your over-all immune system…just to name a few!
Yes, there is a definite correlation between the quality of your immune system and how much good old natural sleep you are getting each day. It is an old wives' tale that if you don't sleep well, you'll get sick...but year after year, study after study, this concept has been shown to carry truth behind it. In fact, sleep deprivation directly suppresses the immune system! Furthermore, inadequate sleep not only plays a role in whether you get sick or not, but it also has a direct impact over how well you fight infections and illness-related symptoms when you DO get sick. This is why when you have a cold, the flu, a fever, etc. getting plenty of rest is always at the top of your doctor's orders. When you sleep, you in turn get a better response from your body to fight off the infection and win the battle (i.e. when your body produces a fever, that's one of its "battle weapons" to kill off the infection...hence why fevers tend to rise at night time...the time of day when you should be getting the most sleep).
Supplements are a great way to get in all of the nutrients missed in diet, missed in our produce from over-farming and excess pesticide use, and/or lost during our food preparation process. You want to make sure you are taking high quality, Immune System enhancing supplements daily (i.e. a potent multivitamin, probiotics, mushroom complex, garlic, vitamin D, vitamin C, etc.).
It’s also a good idea to just get in the habit of knowing about the pollen trends in your area, and developing habits to help you minimize your exposure. For instance:
- - Monitor the pollen count.
- - Keep windows and doors shut at home and in your car during allergy season.
- - Stay inside midday and during the afternoon (this is when pollen counts are typically highest).
- - Take a shower and change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing outdoors.
- - Get in the habit of changing out of your “outside clothes” before sitting or laying on your bed.
- - Wear a face mask when mowing the lawn or doing other chores outdoors.
Katherine Igah-Phillips, MD, MHA
Returning to Nature, LLC.