Naturally Boost Your Immune System This Winter, And All Year Long
Along with colder weather and shorter days, winter also brings cold and flu season. People spend more time indoors and in close proximity to others, which also means closer proximity to more germs. This winter, take steps to naturally boost your immune system for better health.
Maintain Optimum Gut Health
An astonishing 70% of the immune system is in the gut, therefore, maintaining a healthy, happy gut is vital to overall health. This means reducing inflammation and restoring balance to the gut microbiome.
A Healthy Diet Can Balance The Gut And Boost Immunity
A well balanced, healthy diet rich in plant-based foods not only maintains gut health but provides the body with the necessary nutrients that add immune protection. Vitamin C, for example, is an important immune stimulant. At Shakthi, we measure amounts of essential vitamins and nutrients in the body to ensure no deficiencies exist. For patients who need a nutrient boost, high quality supplements help maintain a strong immune system.
Additionally, inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, soy, sugar and even eggs, peanuts and red meat in some cases, can negatively impact gut health and immune response. These inflammatory triggers are different for everyone, however, which is why we work with each individual to assess gut health and develop a personalized elimination diet which removes foods that trigger inflammation. This functional approach also helps us to identify food sensitivities that lead to poor gut health. A healthy gut and low inflammation helps boost the immune response and keeps all systems of the body in balance and working effectively.
There is a big difference between restorative sleep and the restless and interrupted sleep that many individuals experience. Restorative sleep, which allows the body to regenerate for a good eight hours, has a major, positive impact on the immune system. Take steps to unplug from devices at night and help the body unwind from the day by quieting the mind with meditation or yoga, a book (not an electronic reader that emits sleep-disrupting blue light) or a cup of herbal, decaffeinated tea to help you relax before bed. A restful night’s sleep keeps the body strong to fight infection.
Stress is a source of inflammation. It becomes a cycle where stress leads to inflammation often caused by consuming foods that make people feel better temporarily (think sugary snacks or caffeine to stay alert and awake when sleep deprived). Stress also impacts hormones like cortisol and melatonin which disrupt healthy sleep patterns. Break this cycle by incorporating techniques that calm the mind and body such as yoga and meditation. In fact, studies have shown that yoga helps heal an unhealthy gut, promotes better sleep patterns, reduces stress, and provides hormone balance, all factors that help keep the immune system and body resilient.