Why is it we don't think about our health until it is too late? Probably because it isn't sexy to tell others about the great workout we just had or that you are eating more salads for dinner or that you are cutting down on how much meat you eat.
We've been conditioned through the media that sexy is partying after a run (how many people really grab a beer after a run?). We've been told that eating a hamburger or chicken sandwich served in a bag through a window is how we must eat since we are too busy to cook. We often don't think about our health until it is gone or threatened.
Truth is choosing our health first and re-prioritizing where we invest our money (think of all the stuff we've accumulated) should be at the top of our minds. Especially right now during the only pandemic I (and I am sure you) have ever experienced.
The immune system is a HUGE topic right now. People are trying to figure out how to "boost" their immune system during this global health crisis. Hoping they can figure out a miracle supplement, juice or food that will offer protection. Unfortunately, for so many of us, the immune system has not been a priority and has been weakened through our lifestyle choices.
Think about your own health for the past several years. Have you experienced gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue, lack of energy, brain fog, moodiness, skin rashes, abdominal pain, anxiety, frequent belching or stomach gurgling?
If so, your immune system has been weakened. Why? Because 70% of our immune system lives in our gut. If we are not eating foods that are right for our bodies, our immune system suffers. If we aren't hydrated and exercise regularly, then our immune system suffers.
I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist teaching people just like you how to stop suffering so you can get back to living. The TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK coaching call is a FREE 30 minute call where we will talk about your specific symptoms and start creating a plan that is unique to your situation using the Simply Great Gut Health program.
Simply Great Gut Health is a customized 5 Step plan that fits your busy lifestyle helping you to achieve optimal health.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing your gut.
Notice how many physical symptoms that can affect our immune health. Since each of our bodies are different, we will react, strengthen and achieve optimal health by finding the right individual mix of foods, supplements, activities, self-care and hydration.
Just think how eliminating your symptoms could improve your life. You could:
✅Be more present with your children
✅Thrive in your career
✅Improve your communication and your relationships
✅Have more fun!
✅Move your body and improve your fitness
✅Lose weight and feel better about yourself
✅Be able to cook healthy meals for you and your family
✅Take an active vacation
✅Reclaim your life!
Here are 10 Quick Tips to get you started to building a healthy immune system. One note of caution, building a healthy immune system is a life-long activity. While you may start following some of the tips below, it does not mean you won't get sick.
The body is an amazing thing! We can mistreat it for a really long time and when we decide to start focusing on helping it be healthy, it will respond. It took a lot of years for your immune system to be where it is in today. It will take time for it to recover.
#1 BUY ORGANIC
If you think you can't buy organic, think again. Organic foods, fresh, frozen and canned, have come way down in price. There are times when the organic option is actually cheaper than the conventionally grown food that is full of chemicals and pesticides. Chemicals and pesticides interrupt our bodies normal processes. Our body starts attacking unknown substances that it doesn't recognize. Over time, this constant fighting leads to a weakened immune system.
#2 EAT VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
You may or may not like a lot of vegetables and fruit. You may not have access to a wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables. But you can rely on a mix of fresh, frozen and canned to build a strong immune system. Buying the best quality vegetables and fruit you can afford is critical. Vegetables have an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, all of which helps support a healthy immune system.
We are constantly dehydrated. The general rule of thumb is to drink half you body weight in ounces, every single day. Don't think you can drink that much water? Add fruit, cucumbers or mint to add a natural flavor to the water. Also, make sure it is clean water. The filters that are found in refrigerators and installed on kitchen sinks are usually just for taste. Find out what chemicals are in your local water source by going to EWG. Enter your zip code to find out what chemicals you need to filter out of your water.
#4 TAKE A FOOD ALLERGY TEST
Just because a food has been deemed "healthy" does not mean it is health for you. The easiest way to find out if you have an allergy or food sensitivity is to take an at-home test from EverlyWell or The Great Plains Laboratory. A simple pin-prick and in a couple of weeks you'll know what foods to reduce or cut out of your life altogether. This is important for your immune health because if you are eating something regularly that the body is constantly fighting, it will weaken your immune system.
#5 MOVE YOUR BODY
I know, you are probably rolling your eyes. We hear it all the time, that we need to exercise. It is one of the easiest things we can do for our body's overall health, yet it is so hard. Why? Because we are busy. Why? Because we aren't motivated when our favorite series can be binge-watched on NetFlix. Here is where I will ask you: how can you schedule 30 minutes 5 days a week to move your body? I know you can! Moving your body doesn't mean you have to belong to a fancy gym or have a personal trainer. YouTube has so many free classes. Here are a few I've been doing while the gyms have been closed:
Not convinced you can commit to a YouTube class? Try standing while watching your favorite NetFlix series and simply marching in place. Now you are multi-tasking and moving your body.
#6 TAKE SUPPLEMENTS
I believe in the power of supplements. I've had my own measurable success. When I couldn't regulate my blood pressure, I didn't take a prescription. I researched the most common reasons why blood pressure can be elevated and learned most of us are deficient in magnesium. I started taking it and 6 months later, saw results. I haven't had a problem since.
Our food supply, even if we are eating organic, is not high enough in key nutrients to keep our bodies healthy. You don't have to take a lot of supplements. Some of the basics are a Vitamin D to support the immune system, Magnesium since it is responsible for over 300 actions in our body and a Probiotic. Probiotics keep our gut healthy, which translates into a healthy immune system. There are a lot more supplements you can take regularly but depending on your unique situation, working with a Holistic Nutritionist will help you navigate what supplements you should take regularly.
#7 SELF CARE
Regular stress weakens our immune system. While stress is important to keep us safe, we live in a world that is bombarding us with negative information constantly. Place what we see every day on top of the daily stress of keeping our family and loved ones healthy and safe, you can see why it stress can be so damaging to the body.
Self-care is defined as any activity that makes you relax. Meditation, yoga, a hot Epsom salt bath, a sauna, taking a walk, reading a book, journaling, the activity doesn't matter as long as you relieve your stress levels.
Constantly watching news and social media has a negative impact on our health. Not only can it stress us out, but it can interrupt sleep patterns. You may not realize that you are stressed or worried until you can't sleep or you feel anxious. By then it is too late. Right now, I am practicing unplugging. I am watching enough news to stay informed but then I am turning it off. I am on social media to connect for just a couple of hours a day. By limiting my exposure to stressors, I am helping to keep my immune system strong.
#9 GET A SUPPORT SYSTEM
One major barrier to making a healthy change in your life is when you don't have a support system. This is where social media can help in a positive way. There are a lot of Facebook groups that focus on specific healthy content.
On the Heather's Health Habits Facebook page, I share healthy living tips and recipes. There are other Facebook pages that focus on self-care and moving your body. Participating in a group builds community and support to keep you on track to follow the healthy changes you are making in your life.
Another support system is family and friends. It can be hard if you are making a change but others in your family do not. You can tell them what your goals are and how they can help you. Maybe you need snacks to be kept in a specific spot so they aren't easily seen by you.
Maybe you need to eat different foods than the rest of the family. You can ask them to try the foods you are eating to see if they like it as well. But be prepared you may have to find a support system outside your immediate family. By sharing what you are doing to make change in your lifestyle, not only will you reduce stress but it is how you can stay accountable to your plan.
#10 EAT PLANT BASED
While we touched on eating fruits and vegetables earlier, eating plant-based is so much more. When you commit to eating plant-based, you are not becoming a vegan or vegetarian. What you are committing to is to reduce the amount of meat, chicken and fish you eat in a week. The lifestyle is very flexible which is what I love about it.
You can choose as many or as few days as you want to be plant-based. This means when you have a vacation or business trip, you have the flexibility to work around your schedule. Eating more plants than meat have shown to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cognitive decline and cancer. By limiting the amount of meat, your helping your body and your immune system by eating nutrient dense foods. Plus, weight management becomes a lot easier when eating mostly plant based.
I hope you found this article on 10 tips to have a healthy immune system inspiring. If you decide to start following any of the tips, remember to start slow. To make true meaningful change, it takes 21 days. Our habits have been with us for a really long time. It takes time to build new ones. Starting slowly will help you be successful.
Do you think you will try any of the above? Let me know by leaving a comment below.