Top 7 Tips to Keep Your Immune System Strong

1. Sleep 

A good night’s sleep is probably the best medicine for the immune system! Sleep deprivation actually depresses our immune systems, which is why it’s so important to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep per night.

It’s best to fall asleep by 10 pm since your body makes the most melatonin from 10 pm to 2 am. Ensuring you avoid blue light from your screens will also optimize melatonin production which is required for healthy immune function. I also recommend wearing blue light blocking glasses when the sun goes down.

2. Sunlight 

Getting out in nature and in the sun is required for proper immune function. The sun is the best source of Vitamin D which helps to strengthen the immune system. Vitamin D is vital to proper immune function. Getting out in nature has profound immune-boosting benefits. So leave your phone behind and try to get out for a walk in nature every day!

3. Anti-inflammatory, Whole Food Diet

An anti-inflammatory diet helps to strengthen the immune system in several different ways. One of the most important ways is that it helps to balance the gut microbiome. When we consume a healthy anti-inflammatory diet, we ensure that our gut bacteria are well balanced. When our gut bacteria is balanced then our immune system is balanced.  Eighty percent of our immune system actually lies in our digestive tract so it’s super important to eat a healthy diet to maintain healthy levels of good gut bacteria that promote proper immune function.

An anti-inflammatory, whole food diet is also high in phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals to support the proper functioning of a healthy immune system. A diet high in sugar, gluten, and dairy can deplete important immune-supportive nutrients such as Vitamin C and zinc. Alcohol consumption can also suppress the immune system. Fermented foods are a great natural source of probiotics and they help to diversify the gut bacteria which helps to strengthen the gut.

4. Meditation/Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness help reduce cortisol levels and make us more resilient to stress. When we lower cortisol in the body, our immune system functions better. Increased stress has been shown to decrease immune function so it’s crucial for our health to become more resilient to stress.

5. Intermittent Fasting

Fasting helps to induce a process in the body called autophagy. Autophagy is the process whereby the body eliminates dead and damaged cells. Fasting induced autophagy also helps get rid of bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

One effective and sustainable way to fast is by following the 16/8 regimen. During this type of intermittent fasting, you can eat during an 8 hour period of time every day and fast for the following 16. It’s actually easier than you might think and the health benefits are profound!

6. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc
These supplements all help to support the immune system. Vitamin C helps to improve immune healthand it’s also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, lemons, limes, spinach, and strawberries.

Zinc is a required mineral for the proper functioning of the immune system. It helps in the formation and development of immune cells such as natural killer cells and neutrophils. Studies have shown that zinc shortens the duration of the common cold and flu. Zinc can be found in pumpkin seeds, legumes, nuts, and animal proteins.

  1. Vitamin C: 1000 mg twice a day
  2. Vitamin D3: 5000 IU once a day
  3. Zinc: 1 capsule once daily

7. Handwashing

Washing hands thoroughly (back, front, in between fingers and nails) with soap for the duration of 20 seconds (singing the happy birthday song twice) is the best way to keep pathogens from entering your body!

Implementing these practices on a daily basis will not only help to keep your immune system strong but will also help to increase energy, decrease inflammation, and reduce unnecessary weight!

Dr. Todd Sullivan

Dr. Todd Sullivan

Chiropractor & Acupuncturist

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