Our immune systems aren’t usually the popular topic of conversations when it comes to our health. Instead we like to discuss getting toned, our waist line and the circles under our eyes. I actually know a lot of people who claim to live a very healthy lifestyle (even those who are Paleo, vegan, vegetarian or those gluten-free) but seem to get sick ALL THE TIME. I used to be one of those people (although I was NOT trying to live healthy). Since I was in high school, I would get a sinus infection at least twice a year. Add in a few common colds, laringitis and migraines and I was just a big ball of fun!
Since I started addressing certain issues, I haven’t been sick. I did get a cold around Christmas due to lack of sleep, too much sugar and living in such close quarters with all of our families. If you follow these guidelines, I PROMISE you’ll see your immune system strengthen. I know for many of you who are busy starting companies, raising families, going to school or traveling – these simple steps would save you so much time!
1. Start prioritizing sleep!
Will I can definitely be a night owl, I still get 8-9 hours of sleep each night. I know for some of you that will be nearly impossible but you need to start shifting some of your priorities around. Too many people are sleep deprived and it’s affecting the quality of your day! Read some of Dr. Mercola’s tips for better sleep. I need to start following some of them!
2. No more sugar.
Sugar decreases the function of your immune system instantly. If you feel like you’re getting sick, DO NOT EAT SUGAR. We’ve posted about sugar in the past but beware of super sugary fruits, juices, condiments and baked goods.
As Dr. Mercola puts it, “When you exercise you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it has a chance to spread. In a sense, exercising helps your immune system to be more efficient in weeding out and acting upon viruses and diseases.” So you’re not only optimizing your physical features…you’re workout out your immune system too. Just don’t lick the kettlebell at the gym…
4. Wash your hands (but not with antibacterial soap).
Triclosan, an antibacterial compound that acts as the active ingredient in most antibacterial soap, not only kills bacteria, it also has been shown to kill human cells. Uh, no thanks. Because of this, we’ve seen an increase in the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It’s actually been shown that children who are exposed to some bacteria in their early years are less likely to get asthma or allergies.
5. Eat these specific foods:
- Garlic: You should be eating fresh garlic daily! The pills don’t work!
- Matcha green tea and tulsi tea: Best for fending off microinvadors.
- Mushrooms: They contain powerful compounds called beta glucans, which have been long known for their immune enhancing properties.
- Blueberries: Antioxidants!!
- Locally grown organic vegetables: Fresh, organic and raw is best.
- Coconut oil: It’s rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin. Monolaurin is the actual compound found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity.
- Grass-fed beef: Don’t think organic is better! A lot of organic beef was once fed corn.
- Fermented foods: Try kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt (watch for sugar), and olives.
Do you notice a change in your immune system when these habits are neglected? Do you get sick a lot? I promise if you start working on these 5 things…you WILL become healthier!
*Photo by martinak15