Feeling under the weather? Here is my all-inclusive system for naturally boosting your immune system so you can feel normal again!
Most over the counter medications have artificial sweeteners which cause inflammation and can keep you sick!
I'm going to share what to do once sick AND what to do to prevent sickness.
REMEDIES (once you're sick):
* Probiotics + Nourish. 70% of your immune system is in your gut. So while it's great to wash your hands, you also need to take a probiotic daily. I even do a morning pill and another again in the afternoon. Since most of your immune system is in your gut, monitor your nutrition. Often we have to shift to survival mode and eat what we tolerate (Sprite and crackers), but let's not downward spiral into all the junk foods to comfort us.
* Hydrate. Flush the system of the funk. And go ahead and enjoy some hot tea with honey as well as soothing broth. For a sore throat, gargle warm salt water throughout the day.
* Rest + De-Stress. Conserve energy and let your body work on recovery. You'll be too tired to do much anyway. I often get asked if it's okay to walk/exercise when under the weather. There's the expression, "If it's in your head, go ahead. If it's in your chest, it's best to rest." But honestly, I say go with your gut. If you have the energy and desire for a slow stroll, try it. If you know you can't function for even 5 minutes, stay on the couch. I've sometimes compromised by doing a shorter, less intense workout, just to stay moving in hopes of boosting wellness. Stress is an invisible force that's out to attack every system of our body. It wants to destroy you. In order to improve our immune system, we need to reduce our stress through self-care and stress management. Take time to say no, have sex, pray, cuddle pets, take a walk, and read a book.
* Bathe. A warm bath and/or a steamy shower will require energy, but if you can, it can bring comfort. Speaking of steam, go ahead and get a humidifier running in the room where you're quarantined.
* Elevate. Use an extra pillow to assist drainage and ease a headache.
* Eat. If you have an appetite, typically bland foods are tolerable. Just make sure you're not causing inflammation (like in the medicine example I shared). The goal is so survive sickness with whatever you can keep down, but be aware that some foods with a lot of sugar / carbs / dairy can slow the healing process.
* Elderberry. Try to get your hands on locally made syrup if you can. We start using lozanges the instant we feel "off" to try and prevent worsening.
* Essential oils. I am pretty ignorant about essential oils, to be honest, but many swear by them, so ask some friends in the know which ones to try.
* Zarbee's. I love this brand because their ingredients are healthy. We use their Vitamin C drink mix, lozanges, and syrups at our house.
* Vitamins & Minerals. While there can be some different schools of thought here, I am a big fan of Vitamin D (more important than Vitamin C) which requires Vitamin K in order to absorb. GET OUTSIDE MIDDAY for natural Vitamin D from the sun as well.
I also like zinc (found in Zarbee's lozanges).
And I use 1 teaspoon of colloidal silver each day.
I also use EZC Pak + D 5-day Immune System Support with Echinacea, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc.
I also take "Wellness Formula" (by Source Naturals) vitamins for immune support.
Boiron has amazing homeopathic medicines (cold, cough, flu, allergy, pain, etc)
* Pray. Get others praying for you, since sometimes praying for yourself calls for too much energy.
PREVENTION (SO YOU DON'T GET SICK AGAIN LATER):
Get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Studies show not getting enough quality sleep makes you more susceptible to getting sick.
Make sure your diet is packed with whole plant-based foods (fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, etc.) because they contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and vitamin C, which all can help you fight illness.
Get some fiber, too. Your gut microbiome is a big part of your immune system – the healthy bacteria in your gut can improve your immunity while keeping pathogens from getting into your body through your digestive tract.
Cut back on added sugar. This one is a one-two punch. First, added sugars contribute to disease-causing inflammation. And second, they contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, all of which can affect your immune system.
Don’t get dehydrated because it’s linked with lowered immunity. Try to drink at least 10 cups of water a day.
Make time to destress by building stress management into your routine. This could be prayer, reading, napping, journaling, exercise, or anything else that helps you burn off stress. Being chronically stressed is linked with inflammation in your body, plus it can affect your immune cell function.
Moderate exercise can cut inflammation plus promote the turnover of immune cells in your system. Aim for 150 minutes a week (5 x 30-minute sessions of exercises like walking, swimming, weight lifting, biking, etc.).
→ It can keep your body’s lymphatic system moving. This system is a huge part of your immune system, keeping all your disease-fighting white blood cells and antibodies flowing through your body, and helping to get rid of waste.
→ Being physically active can flush invading bacteria out of your respiratory system, cutting your risk of getting sick.
→ The slight increase in body temp caused by vigorous exercise might stop bacteria from growing, helping your body fight infection.
→ Also, exercise can reduce stress and help you sleep better!
That’s great, but you might be wondering how to put it into action?
* Acute exercise (defined as moderate-to-vigorous intensity that lasts less than an hour) is an important immune system booster, especially if you workout on a near-daily basis. For example: a walk, riding a bike, or quick weights session.
* Too much exercise (like an athlete prepping for a major event) OR if you work out hard while under a lot of other stress (not eating enough, traveling, too little sleep, etc.) can actually harm your immune system because it can overstress your system.
The takeaway: Definitely MOVE and be ACTIVE most days of the week, but don’t do it too long or too intensely too often. Find your sweet spot!