March 2, 2022
Keeping Your Immune System Strong and Healthy
Lindsay Atwood RD, LD, Certified Health and Wellness Coach

Many people are searching for new and creative ways to enhance their immune system. Though your immune system is effective against many disease-causing germs, it requires time to familiarize itself with the enemy. In many cases, it must be able to recognize an illness-causing pathogen as a danger before it can be removed from the body. This can happen once you develop specific antibodies after having been sick or receiving a vaccine. There are things we can control to help our immune system develop these antibodies to fight off these invaders. Here are five ways to start thinking about boosting your immune system:

Keep moving – every active minute counts.

  • Moderate-intensity physical activity can increase immune function and lower levels of anxiety and stress.
  • Moderate exercise recommendations are 150–300 minutes/week and two sessions of muscle building.

Eat healthy balanced meals that focus on wholesome foods.

  • Vitamin C has antibiotic properties which help fight against bacteria and infections.
    (Oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, strawberries, red bell peppers, tomato juice)
  • Vitamin D is used to fight off infections and maintain strong bones.
    (Salmon, mushrooms, fortified milk, cereal, bread)
  • Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protects against infections by keeping tissues and skin healthy.
    (Sweet potatoes, apricots, spinach, carrots)
  • Vitamin E is another essential antioxidant to fight cell damage.
    (Plant-based foods – nuts, peanut butter)
  • Zinc works as an antioxidant and boosts the metabolism along with helping to heal wounds.
    (Meats, fish, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds)

Make sleep a priority.

  • The longer we are in our deep sleep mode the more our systems and hormones will be regulated and ready to fight infections and diseases.

How has your stress been lately?

  • Decrease cortisol by managing your stress and find time to take care of yourself.
  • Increase dopamine and serotonin to feel good and motivate yourself to make healthy choices and stay healthy.

Avoid or limit toxins such as alcohol and smoking.

  • Chronic heavy alcohol use can lower levels of B cells and T cells in your body, thereby weakening your ability to fight infection and slowing your recovery time.
  • The chemicals released by cigarette smoke — carbon monoxide, nicotine, nitrogen oxides, and cadmium — can interfere with growth and function of immune cells, like cytokines, T cells, and B cells.

If you would like to explore in more detail ideas to strengthen your immune system, join Health Coach Lindsay for a four-week series, “How to Strengthen Your Immune System!” starting April 7  from noon to 12:30 p.m. In this group health coaching series, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about how the immune system works and what areas of your health you can control to keep your immune system healthy and strong. Click here to register in Link to Health.


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