7-tips to Support Your Immune System for Better Health
Updated: Feb 11, 2020
Our immune system is one of the most complex, mysterious, and amazing systems in our body. It consists of millions of specialized cells, different types of tissues, and numerous organs and glands. In fact, every tissue and gland in our body has immune cells in them to protect against bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, cancer cells, and other pathogens. Our immune system adapts, learns, has a memory, and can change dramatically over a short period of time. It's goal is to protect the organism (you)... and it does an extraordinary job doing so.
Immune health is super important for overall health. An underactive immune system is ineffective at fighting-off pathogens including bacteria, viruses, and cancer. An overactive immune system attacks the body's own tissues, resulting in autoimmune disease, as well as reacting to "non-harmful" molecules causing allergies. It makes sense then that supporting proper immune function should be a priority for everyone! Below I share 7-tips for a better immune system.
Tip #1- Eat an anti-inflammatory diet
What do I mean by "anti-inflammatory"? Avoid "things" that can cause inflammation (sugar, gluten, dairy, processed foods, pesticides, etc.) and eat FOODS that heal the body (spices, herbs, whole foods), preferably local, humane, and organic. This is a HUGE topic. Here are a few links with much more info.
Tip #2- Get Sleep
Sleep is incredibly restorative to our brain and nervous system as well as our immune system. Poor sleep has been linked to parkinson's, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and likely plays a role in every disease process. Many of my practice members struggle with sleep. Check out these links for more information on sleep and a few tips on how to get a good night's rest.
Tip #3- Move Daily
We are meant to MOVE! Movement is life! Sitting all-day at work or in front of a screen is killing us and making us unhealthy. Exercise is good for our immune system, brain, hormone glands, muscle, heart, lungs... literally probably everything. So next time your struggling to decide whether to hit the gym after work, think about all the support your giving to our immune system and the rest of your body.
Tip #4- Manage Stress
Stress is normal and our nervous system is able to adapt in the short-term to keep us safe. Our nervous system does this by rerouting how we use energy and resources. However, long-term stress (the kind most of us struggle with) can result in an unbalanced nervous system that steals energy from our immune system (as well as digestion and reproduction). Managing stress is (again) a huge topic but can include meditation, prayer, exercise, taking time every day for fun, charity, volunteering, chiropractic adjustments, good nutrition, energy work, counseling, and much more. Check out these links for some awesome resources and tips.
Tip #5- Get Adjusted by a Chiropractor
As mentioned above, an abnormal stress response depresses our immune systems. If this happens long-term, our bodies "learn" this abnormal firing pattern and can become "stuck". Chiropractic adjustments can help push us out of the locked state so we are better able to adapt and rebalance. Never been adjusted before? Check out these informative links to learn more about chiropractic.
Tip #6- Clinical Nutrition
Just like every system in our body, specific vitamins, minerals, and compounds can help support our natural processes and boost immunity. I recommend working with a holistic, clinical nutritionist before starting any nutritional protocol. This is important for several reasons including supplement quality and efficiency. In our clinic Dr. Kandace Johnson uses applied kinesiology and muscle testing to create a specific program aimed at both acute and long-term immune support. Click below for more information on Nutrition Response Testing (NRT).
Tip #7- Practice Good Hygiene
Last (but not least) it's important to practice good hygiene and sanitary guidelines. This includes washing your hands frequently, keeping your home and work environments clean, and practicing good oral hygiene. This does NOT mean trying to kill bacteria on every imaginable surface and being a germaphobe. There are bacteria and viruses literally everywhere, including BILLIONS inside each and every one of us. In fact, regular use of antibacterial soaps and cleaning products have been shown to lead to chemical resistance in bacteria and altered skin flora which can lead to skin problems. Unless you have lowered immunity, these products often do more harm than good. See more resources below.