11 Ways to Boost Your Immune System In Autumn And Winter
Eating healthy and staying active will help boost your immune system and aid the protective function it serves during the long, cooler months of autumn and winter.
Whole Food Eating
Refer back to my earlier post about eating from a space of whole food wisdom.
Whole Food Vitamin Supplements
Yes, this is very important for three reasons: soil depletion of minerals leaves even the best-grown foods having less nutritional value than say 100 years ago. Cheap vitamins, that are not a whole food, are petrochemical-based. Our body recognizes and uses real, whole food forms of nutrients. Petrochemical vitamin-mineral products have to be detoxed from the body. Why add to the toxic load of your body?
This is actually a hormone that is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight. If your whole food vitamin contains 1000 to 2000 IUs per daily dose, do not add more on a daily basis BUT do add in another 1000 IUs of Vitamin (hormone) D3 two to three times weekly. You want to shake things up so your body is getting different doses daily. Differing daily doses support keeping your cell receptor sites responding efficiently.
Keep The Sugar Out Of Your Life
Sugar depresses your immune system, slows your white blood cells from doing their job of cleaning up the garbage and unwanted microbes in your body. Removing sugar means sugar in all of its forms:
- Refined foods
- White and brown grocery store sugars; dried, unrefined cane juice is true brown sugar. Sucanat
- Sugar added to food products: read labels with a discerning eye AND learn all of the forms of sugars added to manufactured foods. The manufacturing world has become crafty in using different forms of sugar, calling sugars by different names, etc., all in the practice of tantalizing your taste buds with sweetness so you will buy more.
- The obvious sugar sources: cakes, pies, candy, cookies, chocolate, and adding spoons of sugar to coffee & tea, etc.
Get Outside And Move Your Body
This exposes you to fresh air, natural light, and moves the fluids about in your body because your body is moving, muscles are pumping, and life is flowing as it should. Fresh air is so important for healthy body cell function. Remember when I spoke of keeping body cells healthy and replicating at top-notch health, my previous whole food post? Fresh air is part of this equation. Fresh air and natural light, daily, keep your body’s circadian rhythms working as nature intended this rhythm to function. This means you sleep better at night. Sleep, deep – high-quality sleep and plentiful sleep, is essential for immune function.
Moving your body, pumping those muscles and bones, means your bloodstream is functioning more vitally with new blood loaded with oxygen, hormones, enzymes, and food nutrients (many, other of the body’s natural substances as well) to each and every body cell.
Supports the return of the carbon dioxide-rich blood back to the heart and lungs so you can exhale out waste, refresh the blood supply, and keep the circulation of health-promoting fluids pumping.
This one bulleted paragraph gave you 4 whole immune system enhancing tips: fresh air, natural light, moving the whole body and fluids about the body, and better sleep.
Let’s discuss sleep a bit more.
Let me expand upon this. Sleep is a time when your body is really busy working on repairs, think DNA repair as one example. Skimping on sleep to “get things done” is not a whole health habit. Getting to sleep before 10 PM maximizes the production of melatonin and works with the earth’s circadian rhythms for great sleep and health. Stay away from bright lights and screens (computers, etc.) for a few hours before sleep. Bright lights make your body think it is daytime and can impair the sleep cycles. Removing all lights from the sleeping area, even LED lights on a clock, disturb good sleep hormone production. The light from the moon and stars is just fine.
Slow Down And Chew Well
When we chew our food so the resultant mash in our mouth is in liquid form, we digest better. Better digestion of food means more accessible nutrition for your body cells. If we are going to put good money into whole food eating, slow down and enjoy it and reap all of the benefits of the nutrition it offers up.
Speaking of slowing down, work on stress-related issues. Stress weakens the immune system. Look up eustress vs. distress. Sometimes the very same event can be perceived either way. Try a conscious connection activity like yoga, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, etc. to bring focus, calm, and clarity to your parasympathetic nervous system and life.
- Keep exposure to chemicals as minimal as possible. Things to think about are:
- Household cleaners
- Hand sanitizers
- Body care products and cosmetics
- Prescription and over the counter medications
- Pesticides used on lawns, gardens, and pets
- Pure water for cooking, drinking, and bathing
Immune Boosting Herbs & Roots
I am adding a bonus here, #12. Eat immune-boosting herbs and root veggies this Autumn and winter: garlic, onions, oregano, rosemary, thyme, cayenne and other hot peppers, horseradish, and ginger root. Maybe consider making your own Fire Cider with raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and toss back a shot every day.
A healthy immune system supports low inflammation in the body, the better capability of your body to identify and get rid of unwanted microbes, and lessens the possibility of viral illnesses such as colds and flu.
What small changes can you make to create a higher functioning immune system?