The health of your body—to a great degree—is determined by the strength of your immune system. We're going to cover as many immune-strengthening factors as well as lifestyle choices, which decrease immune function. Before we start, two factors determine if you stay healthy or get sick with any disease:
- The bug, virus, or disease
- The host
Here are TIPS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY to strengthen the host (the wonderful you)!
- Avoid sugar! Not just table sugar but all foods and drinks that contain sugar. All breads, pasta, flour and cereals (CARBS) are broken down and digested as sugars. A glass of Tropicana orange juice has enough sugar to deplete your immune system for five hours.
- Avoid stress, including watching too much media. Stress and fear increase cortisol levels and other stress hormones, which suppresses immune function.
- Reduce stress levels with chiropractic care. Sheldon Cohen, Ph. D. was the lead author in a research study, Psychological Stress and Susceptibility to the Common Cold published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study revealed that the major reason why one person gets sick and one will not for the common cold and most respiratory ailments is stress level. Besides cortisol, stress will increase three other stress hormones; epinephrine, norepinephrine and catecholamine. These hormones suppress immune function. Several research studies have shown that spinal adjustments inhibit these hormones, as well as cortisol and particularly norepinephrine, boosting immune function and your ability to avoid disease and infection. This is the rationale as to why many of our patients inform us that they no longer get their annual cold/flu since they have started chiropractic care.
- Exercise has been proven to reduce stress hormones in addition to many disease processes, including heart disease, high blood pressure, blood sugar problems like diabetes, depression and cancer. Exercise not only reduces the likelihood of disease but also helps to improve digestion, sleep patterns, normalizes weight, and can increase energy.
- By getting 15 minutes of sunlight without sunscreen, you will give your body the amount of vitamin D3 three needed for the day. Some studies suggest that our daily intake of vitamin D3 should be from 1000 to 4000 IU. Many people have blood levels well under 1000 IU. Best dietary sources of vitamin D are fatty fish such as wild salmon, wild tuna (not too much tuna due to high mercury content), organic eggs, and mushrooms. The most usable sources of D3 are the sun or dietary; however, if you're not getting enough taking a vitamin D3 supplement may be needed to ensure optimum immune function.
- Getting adequate rest and eating a diet rich in multi-colored vegetables, fruit, good fats found in wild fish, avocados, raw or dry roasted nuts, good sources of protein such as fish, organic eggs, legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas) is crucial to optimizing your immune function! Some sources say mega doses of vitamin C help immune function as does zinc. Unless you're eating a variety of highly nutritious foods it is difficult to obtain adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals.
There are many things you can do to help improve your immune system. Your body is an amazing creation that knows how to stay healthy. Sometimes we give power to things we have no control over. Proper lifestyle choices are a choice! Each day we have choices that help us stay healthy or make us more vulnerable to getting sick. Use your power to make better lifestyle choices!
The Cross Island Chiropractic Wellness Center has built a foundation on being an Educational Institution as well as a Healing Institution. We ask that you consider Dr. Simonetti and Dr. Valenti as your personal “Health Coach”. Please feel free to ask any questions that you believe are pertinent to your health and well-being. Additionally, share what you now know with your family, friends and co-workers. You may improve the life of someone you care about.