Easy Ways to Strengthen your Immune System
Updated: Apr 5
It's frustrating to me that there is no talk in mainstream media during this global health crisis on how to prepare, build, or nurture our immune systems. Washing our hands is important of course, but that's the extent of guidance from the CDC?? It's pretty weak advise when there is SO much more we can do.
The ability to fight Covid-19 or ANY virus to which we’re exposed, is really about the health and strength of our immune system. Being able to kill viruses is the job of our immune system and it does so all year round. But even if you're not the kind of person who "catches" what goes around every year, this unique Coronavirus experience shows us it's time to amp up what is good for our immunity.
Fortunately, there are many diet, supplement, and lifestyle choices we can make that strengthen our immune system and its ability to fight diseases. Using foods and supplements on a regular basis that have immune strengthening properties gives us the tools to fight bacteria and viruses and stay balanced. All those listed here can be found at any health food store and most grocery stores.
Lifestyle behaviors are the best defenses against disease in the basics of preventative medicine. In her book, Life is Your Best Medicine, Dr. Tieraona Low-Dog states, “Based on the best of the scientific evidence, there isn’t any drug on the market that can come close to the power of a healthy lifestyle in preventing disease and improving the quality of our own lives.”
Stress is a huge factor in the health of our immune system so having fun, laughing, spending time with loved ones, being out in nature, having quiet time without electronics, and meditating are all ways to reduce stress. Sugar is an immune system depressant, so while "fun", it's the worst thing you can consume if you want to stay strong, happy, and healthy.
Drink less alcohol
Eat less sugar
Eat more raw fruits and vegetables, organic if possible
Moderate exercise: walk, yoga, casual bike ride
Sleep 8-9 hours a night
Drink more water
Garlic & Onions: High in phytochemicals that kill viruses
Berries: High in the antioxidant, resveratrol, and antiviral anthocyanins
Shiitake Mushrooms: Increase activity of natural killer (NK) cells
Cruciferous Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, arugula…
Fresh Ginger: Stimulates macrophage activity, and prevents viruses from attaching to cell walls
Supplements for Immune Strength
Vitamin D Recommended dosage is 5000 IU daily for adults. If you feel you’re coming down with something or have been exposed to someone who is sick, a 1-time 50,000 IU dose of vitamin D3 or 10,000 IU 3 times daily for 2 to 3 days has been shown to completely resolve symptoms in 48 to 72 hours. One-time doses of vitamin D at this level have been used safely and have never been shown to be toxic.
Zinc Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for immune function, hormonal regulation, and healthy bones, skin, and joints.
Probiotics Probiotics inhibit colonization of pathogens in the intestinal tract, degrade toxins, and produce antimicrobial substances.
Elderberry Elderberry has been shown to inhibit influenza virus replication in vitro and to reduce the duration of a cold due to the anthocyanins.
Fish Oil A source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, has immune boosting effects and provides vitamins A and D.
Medicinal Mushrooms Consuming a blend of medicinal mushrooms gives antiviral support and stimulates the production of t-cells. It increases our amount of immune supporting triterpenes and polysaccharides.
Astragalus Root This Chinese herb regulates the immune system and lowers inflammation among a host of other benefits.
Shown to interfere with viral replication.
Thieves: This anti-viral oil from Young Living can be used topically as a preventative to boost immunity and fight viruses. Oregano: Can be taken internally in capsule form as a strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal.
Eucalyptus: Diffusing eliminates airborne influenza droplets within fifteen minutes.
Tea Tree: Diffusing eliminates airborne influenza droplets within fifteen minutes.