This time of year can be rough on our bodies. We are spending, shopping, partying and eating a lot. This can be stressful and tax our immune system. The following is a pretty simple list of things to do that will help you take care of your body so it can take care of you.
Eat a nutrient dense diet
Eating a nutrient dense whole foods diet is key to health and healthy immunity. You must also have adequate stomach acid to digest the food you are eating (including parasites, viruses and bacteria). Cruciferous veggies like kale, broccoli, green or red leaf lettuce and cabbage help your liver flush toxins. This makes for a healthy environment for the immune cells there.
Shitake and oyster mushrooms are a great immunity booster and they don't lose their health giving properties when you cook them. Add them to soups or stir fry.
Oregano Oil will improve gut health and boost the immune system by eliminating pathogenic bacteria that can overtake the digestive system.
Avocados support your adrenal glands which are key to many functions in the body.
Ginger root warms the body and helps break down toxins especially in the lungs and sinuses. Ayurvedic medicine believes it helps to cleanse the lymphatic system.
Staying hydrated is important too!
All major protective surfaces on and in your body are moist. Your eyes, nose, mouth, lungs, stomach and intestines all use mucus to form a protective layer which helps keep bacteria and viruses out. If you are dehydrated, so are these protective areas and the pathogens have a way in.
Drink plenty of filtered water to which you can add Celtic Sea Salt and some lemon. The salt will support your adrenal glands and the lemon will support your digestion. Your immune system is quite dependent on the movement of fluids.
While the Holidays seem to encompass much over indulgence in things like sugar and alcohol it is best to keep the consumption of both to a minimum. Too much of either will suppress your immune system. Over consuming both might make for a little weight gain too!
Manage Your Stress
This one is huge! Your susceptibility to illness of all kinds waxes and wanes based on diet, fatigue and, you guessed it, STRESS. As I said before, your adrenal glands do so many things in the body and they play an important role in managing your immune system.
These great little glands regulate your white blood cells which are the major players in protecting us against pathogens (viruses and bacteria).
Having consistently high blood sugar reduces white blood cell activity and depresses the immune system in general. This means your body has to make a decision to save your life in the moment by balancing blood sugar or fighting an infection. So, you get sick. Darn Christmas cookies!
Wash Your Hands
Along with keeping your hands clean with regular soap you can sanitize your phone, computer screen, keyboard, door knobs, appliance handles and light switches regularly. Also, think about all those public surfaces. Don't forget the bottom of your purse if you carry one! Think of all the places THAT sits!
Exercise, Sun, Sleep
Getting some light exercise like walking at your lunch break or taking a stroll after dinner with your partner and/or kids is a great way to get the lymph moving in your body. Keeping lymph flowing keeps pathogens from making their home there.
Expose yourself to some winter sunshine when possible and sleep 7-8 hours each night as much as possible. That is when your body resets.
Herbs and Bugs
Taking herbs like Siberian Ginseng root, Asian Ginseng root and American Ginseng will help boost your immune system to fight off the “bad” guys.
Taking probiotics of the highest quality can give a boost to the good guys in your gut fighting for your health. If you are not one for supplements or pills you can eat homemade sauerkraut with each meal or other fermented foods.
So, enjoy the holidays and remember to take some time to care for yourself! You deserve it!