Your immune system is connected with all of your bodies organs, cells, and proteins that protect and support your body against harmful viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
You need a healthy immune system to fend off these harmful invaders that circulate easily during the cooler months of the year.
Read more here about building a healthy immune system with Food as Medicine – How to Add Healing Power to Everyday Meals
Here are some tips that can help support your bodies immune system.
Natural Hand Soup and Lotion
It starts with your skin. Hand-washing is essential to avoid getting sick.
But using lots of water and soap every day during the Autumn and Winter months can dry out your skin.
With less moisture in the skin not only the can cause it to dry, but also causes chapped skin.
Washing hands with soap, and/or applying a hand sanitizer, can and does strip the skin of its natural protecting oils.
According to Dermato-Endocrinology (D-E), dry, cracked, or cut skin can give bacteria and viruses an entry point, which can result in illness.
D-E explains that there are glands under the skin called sebaceous glands that produce sedum, which contains substances that prevent bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms from causing infection.
It is recommended to use a hand soap and hand lotion that is all natural and plant based.
As does a natural hand lotion, a all natural hand soap can help keep you hands moisturize.
Most natural soaps contain moisturizing ingredients like, Shea Butter, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado oil, Coconut oil, and essential plant oils.
These can include, Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Basil, Honeysuckle, and Geranium.
Did you know that essential oils derived from plants can help to – Alleviate Headaches – Read more Here
Get Plenty Of Vitamin C
It is very important to maintain a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Your choice of produce should contain lots of vitamin-C.
This is essential, as a 2017 medical study reports that “vitamin C is necessary for the immune system to mount and sustain an adequate response against pathogens.”
Common signs of vitamin-C deficiency include:
• Rough, dry skin
• Impaired wound healing
• Painful joints
• Brittle bones
• Dry, splitting hair
• Weakened immune system
Try making this dish very high in vitamin–C as it contains both broccoli and cauliflower – Chopped Broccoli Tomato and Bacon Salad
Vitamin D and Your Immunity
The benefits of vitamin D are well documented.
The vitamin helps our bodies absorb calcium, vitamin D is good for your mood, and your immune system among many other health benefits.
According to Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, the cells of the immune system have receptors for Vitamin D.
These cells can kill bacteria and viruses with the help of metabolites from Vitamin D that regulate production of proteins that can directly kill microbes and help reduce infections.
Vitamin D can be found in eggs, beef, butter, fish and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereal, but it is difficult to get adequate amounts from these sources.
Thomas Jefferson University says your best bet for getting enough vitamin D is lots of sun exposure.
And that can be difficult to do in winter months. The University recommends taking a vitamin D supplement.
Before taking a supplement it is best to talk to your doctor about getting your blood level tested.
Most experts agree that optimal Vitamin D levels range between 30 to 60 ng/mL.
Knowing your blood level will help insure proper dosing and help prevent potential side effects of taking too much Vitamin D, such as high blood calcium levels and kidney stones.
Probiotics and Immune Health
According to the journal Current Opinion In Gastroenterology, the beneficial effects of probiotics have been demonstrated in many diseases.
One of the major mechanisms of probiotic action is through the regulation of host immune response.
Research has reported that probiotics showed therapeutic potential for diseases, including several immune response-related diseases, such as allergy, eczema, viral infection, and potentiating vaccination responses.
Eat probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables, kimchi, kefir, kombucha and yogurt.
You Could Make Your Own Yogurt – Very Easy To Do and NO Yogurt Making Machine Needed.
According to Journal of Sport and Health Science the immune system is very responsive to exercise.
Bob Jones University says that depending on the exercise intensity and duration, the number of circulating immune cells can increase by 50% to 400%.
However, this exercise-induced increase in immune cells is transient, as the immune system returns to pre-exercise levels within three hours.
Consequently, sustained and regular moderate exercise is key to improving the immune system’s response to pathogens and reducing the risk of infection long-term.
Go for a brisk walk (your heart should beat faster than normal) a swim, or a bike ride.
You can also work out in the comfort of your living room by trying out some online streaming workouts.
Eat More Fiber
According to the National Library of Medicine, dietary fiber, fermented by the gut microbiota into short-chain fatty acids, has also been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects, thereby strengthening the immune response.
It’s recommended by the Institute of Medicine that men eat 38 grams of fiber per day and women eat 25 grams of fiber per day, yet most Americans only get 16 grams of fiber per day.
High fiber foods include, Chia seeds, popcorn, oats, lentils, Brussels sprouts, apples, walnuts, almonds, leafy greens among others.
Try these recipes to get more fiber in your diet.
- Homemade Honey Barbecue Sauce
- Instant Pot Blueberry French Toast Casserole with Maple-Banana Syrup
- Pan-Fried Herb Citrus Almond Crusted Chicken Breast
- Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Sweet & Sour Chicken Stir-Fry