Support Your Immune System: The Key To A Healthy You!
Our immune system navigates how we feel, how we heal, and overall impacting and supporting how our “engine runs”.
The immune system is a complex integrated system of cells, tissues, and organs that have specialized roles in protecting the body against pathogens. Numerous factors contribute to maintaining healthy immune function, including adequate and restful sleep, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a regular exercise routine, while avoiding excessive exposure to stress, nutrient-poor diets, environmental toxins, and the importance of gut health.
The immune system is now understood to play an immense role in all aspects of the function of the body. Despite the current recognition of the importance of a healthy immune system for optimal health, the impact of hormones on its functionality is typically absent in most discussions. Males and females have very different hormonal balances and their immune systems also manifest many differences.
We have weathered some serious concerns about our health and how to protect ourselves from viruses over the past couple of years. We know the fight is not over and that having a strong and healthy immune system is your first defense in preventing invaders from taking over. As we enter into the cold and flu season (yes these germs still exist) and as we continue to battle new variants of this virus...our best foot forward is knowing what we can do ourselves to support our bodies innate ability to heal. When we think about our immune system, we do need to think about how healthy our bodies are, how healthy our lifestyles are, and how healthy our diet and movement are. It all matters and here at Innovative Wellness Inc. we take a personalized approach to taking care of you!
Support Your Immune System: Proven Strategies
Being resilient is what we need to aim for. We know we can’t control everything but ensuring you do what you can to keep your body strong will help support your immune system for the months ahead (and for the long term).
Support your gut health
It all starts in the gut (probably why the gut is often referred to as the second brain!)
Did you know that over 70% of your immune system runs through your gut? If we don't have a healthy gut, it affects every aspect of our body and its functions.
Probiotic supplements and fermented foods also contribute to your gut bacteria. Good choices include sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, and kefir.
Probiotics are the key for helping reduce gut dysbiosis, balancing Ph, increasing immune health, and decreasing risk for recurrent infections like UTI’s. Over our lifetime, our gut can be exposed to toxins, disease, inflammation, illness, disease and medications which can cause the gut microbiome to be altered. This is when the immune system can become compromised through increased inflammation, oxidative stressors, poor diet and nutrient intake.
Focus on fiber
Food is always our first tool. A diet rich in high-fiber foods encourages the development and maintenance of the gut microbiome, which stimulates your immune cells. A diet centered around fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes is one of the best ways to develop stronger immunity.
However, it can be very challenging to take in the required doses of fiber daily for most people. I have patients that tell me “Rachael, I eat the garden” but still suffer from constipation, which can also impact the immune system. This is why supplementing is commonly needed.
New human clinical research, published in the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, suggests that by supporting a healthy gut microbiome, including taking a daily fiber supplement may also help limit common cold symptoms.
Did you know over 50% of the population is insulin resistant…
Reducing sugar intake can lower the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, both of which are risk factors for a weaker immune system.
In one study, obese patients were twice as likely to get the flu following a flu shot, and eliminating sweets can go far in any weight loss strategy.
Favor healthy fats
Certain fats can reduce inflammation, which is stressful for your immune system. Research shows that extra virgin olive oil and foods with high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and flax seeds, are beneficial.
Get your hormones checked!
We often talk about inflammation in the body, but what does that really mean?
Inflammation can be induced by anything that can cause stress to the body, whether that be external or internal factors, like depression, anxiety, illness, disease, infections, medications, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or thyroid disease.
Cortisol, which is our stress hormone, constantly chases inflammation and tries to keep balance. When inflammation is consistent, cortisol levels will be affected.
Going through peri-menopause through post menopause can increase inflammation in the body from hormone imbalances. The body does not like imbalance, and that is why we have so many symptoms and often don't feel like ourselves.
What does this have to do with immune health? Inflammation and imbalances in hormones, impacts our immunity and makes us more susceptible to illness!
Getting your hormone levels checked will help determine if a hormonal imbalance may be triggering lowered immune response.
Find time for moderate exercise
Movement is Medicine!
Get oxygenation and blood flowing! Even a single session of moderate exercise improves immune response. Of course, everyone has a different definition of “moderate,” so pay careful attention to your body. You should feel refreshed and energized afterwards, not exhausted.
Sleep is such an amazing function in our body. Did you know that every 90 minutes of your sleep your body resets a specific function in the body? From hormones, cortisol, muscle recovery, gut health and even brain health.
It’s always been a commonly held belief that getting enough sleep helps prevent illness, but new research suggests the relationship is even stronger than previously assumed. According to one study, a difference of less than one hour in the amount of sleep a person gets can significantly affect their susceptibility to colds. In particular, sleep helps strengthen T cells, a type of immune cell. It also slows production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline that compromise immunity. If you find yourself hitting the snooze alarm every morning or you frequently feel exhausted, it’s time to take a look at your sleep hygiene and perhaps make scheduling more time to sleep a priority.
Add supplements if needed
Here at Innovative Wellness Inc. Rachael has dedicated years of studying nutraceuticals and what supplements have the highest efficacy with improving our overall health at the cellular level…that's right down to the mitochondria!
Supplements should fill the gaps of what our body sometimes can not get through food, and/ or boost while we are feeling compromised. It's not about how many supplements you take, it's about taking the right ones!
Our supplements work at the cellular level, with bioavailable efficacy that treats health at root cause, improving quality of life and longevity.
I have had patients cover my desk with 20-30 supplements they are taking, and after consulting with them, we usually get down to 4-5 of what they actually need, and will make a difference in their health.
Daily supplementation with certain immune supportive supplements can be beneficial. Some supplements that have been proven to help immune response include vitamin D [must be accompanied with K2] , vitamin C, zinc, and echinacea.
Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider before including any new supplements. Feel free to get in touch with us and we can help find the right ones for you! We use the highest-quality science based-nutrition supplements, backed by evidenced based clinical research, that provides the purest, synergistic, and patent formulation.
Don’t undermine your efforts to support your immune system by exposing your body to harmful toxins like cigarette smoke, excessive amounts of alcohol, or harmful pesticides. Be mindful of hidden toxins in household cleaning products, detergents and cosmetics too! Read labels and choose all natural products when possible - check out the Environmental Working Group website for more information on what could be hiding in typical household products, cosmetics and more! https://www.ewg.org
A good Detox is always supportive of your immune system. It helps decrease inflammation, support gut health, liver health, metabolism, and ultimately improve your immune system. Detoxing 1-2 times per year should be on your calendar.
Remember - You’re in Control
By taking proactive steps to support your immune system, you can ensure you’re ready for whatever the next few months hold, and stay healthy for longevity!
Here at Innovative Wellness Inc. we dedicate our care to helping you create a personalized health plan that fits your goals and lifestyle.
Give us a call - we are here to help! 925-954-8209
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