We’re all doing our best to limit the spread of illness, but it’s just as important to keep your immune system strong and healthy. The better your body’s defenses, the easier it will be to fight off an infection if you do get sick.
There’s so much information out there on what we should be doing and it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, these simple tips will help prepare your body for battle:
1. Sleep. This “simple” strategy is easier said than done, but if you’re only getting 6 hours of sleep a night, your immune function will slow way down. Put down the phone, turn off the TV, and go to bed early so you get the zz’s you need.
2. Eat real food. Opt for nutrient-dense whole foods (fruits, vegetables and simple proteins like meat, fish and legumes) and cut processed foods filled with sugar and other inflammatory ingredients to keep the body strong. Make it easy by grabbing this e-book filled with 20 delicious immune-boosting recipes and tips. Some helpful micronutrients and smart foods (included in the e-book):
Vitamin A – carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, cantaloupe
Vitamin C – leafy greens, peppers, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, kiwi
Vitamin E – almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli
Vitamin D – sardines, tuna (few food sources, so supplementation helps)
Vitamin B6 – bananas, chicken, tuna, chickpeas
Zinc – oysters, crab, meat, poultry, chickpeas
3. Probiotics. Healthy bacteria fight off unhealthy bacteria, so when those pesky germs try to creep in, you’ll want an army to fight back. Take a daily probiotic and/or eat fermented foods, like sauerkraut, lacto-fermented pickles, kimchi and kefir.
4. Vitamin C. This vitamin boosts immunity and can decrease the severity of viruses. Its antioxidant properties reduce inflammation and it has been shown to reduce respiratory distress in times of illness. Vitamin C is easily denatured by heat, so eat C-rich foods in their raw form when possible, like peppers, strawberries, kiwi, citrus fruits and papaya.
5. Manage stress. When your body is stressed out, your immune defenses become a lesser priority. Do one thing a day to lower stress, whether it’s a 10-minute meditation, deep breathing, a bath or a cup of soothing herbal tea.
Feeling overwhelmed? My e-book has 20 recipes (5 each of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks) packed with nutrients that support immune function to battle viruses and heal efficiently. Many of these recipes use shelf-stable ingredients that can be found in your pantry or freezer, in case you can’t make it to the store. In addition, it highlights certain powerhouse foods to look for and lifestyle tips to keep you on track. You can pick it up here for just $19 and start cooking right away!
If you have any questions, you can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance or individualized plans and recommendations.
Yours in health,