Get That Immune System Revved Up!

Tina Butt

Increase your immune system so you can decrease your chance of getting sick. This is allergy and cold season, are you protected?

Building a strong immune system provides you protection from invasion of a foreign virus or bacteria.

I am going to share simple ways to support your health and increase your immune response.

Sleep– At least 8 hours of good quality sleep is important. Listen to your body. If it is fatigued, rest. If you become overworked, over-stressed, overstimulated consistently, this will cause your adrenal glands to produce an increase in Cortisol, therefore decreasing your body’s immune response.

Diet- Research has shown that people who are on Vegetarian diets have a stronger immunity. A diet high in fruit and veggies has a lower amount of additives. Fruits and vegetables are natural and our bodies are able to break them down easily. When we have diets high in meat, it takes the gut longer to digest it, there are additives in the meat and there are hormones given to the animals that the meat comes from. Watch the documentary on Netflix The Game Changers.

Water– How much water do we need? Most studies show the body does well with 8 8 oz glasses a day. That is 2 Liters of water a day. Without enough fluids, our inner body gets dehydrated. This causes a decrease in overall moisture, cracked skin and dry mucus membranes. When our bodies are dehydrated, it allows more bacteria and viruses to enter though the outside.

Exercise/activity– Physical activity is very important in supporting the immune system! At least 30 min of activity is needed to maintain a healthy weight and immunity. Any more than this has been shown to also cause a decrease in weight as long as your calorie consumption is balanced.

Vitamins/supplements– There are several different supplements that can support the immune system:

Zinc- Foods such as shellfish, legumes, chickpeas, lentils and beans, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, and whole grains. Or, you can add a dietary supplement.

Vitamin C- foods such as citrus fruit, broccolli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cantelope, strawberries. Or you can add a dietary supplement.

Vitamin D – if you live in a sunny climate that may be enough, at times of high illness, adding a supplement can be beneficial.

Probiotics – foods that are fermented are great! Sauerkraut, pickled beets, pickles, kombucha(careful this contains alcohol). Yogurt. Or, you can add a dietary supplement.

Maintain a healthy weight– Obesity causes an increase in Cortisol to be stored in fat. The higher the Cortisol, the lower the immune response.

No Smoking– smoking in general causes several disease processes. Heart disease, lung disease, vascular disease just to name a few.

Limit Alcohol– Everything in moderation . 1 beverage/day for women, 2 beverages for men. Chronic alcohol ingestion causes decreased inhibitions. Poor food choices. Poor life choices. Alcohol can also cause dehydration.

Wash your hands frequently– this will decrease the contamination of germs.

Minimize stress– This goes back to the body making too much Cortisol leading to a decreased immunity. Ways to alleviate stress- meditation, yoga, exercise, reading, breathing exercises, having strong friendships/relationships.

In order for the immune system to be responsive, the above support will need to be done ahead of time and chronically. The goal is to have a balanced body. You cant make these adjustments and expect your immune system to be strong over night. Stress is a huge factor in having a decreased immune response therefore increased illness. There are many medical studies that have been done that result in autoimmune disease being a result of high stress as a lifestyle.

An example would be myself. I can be a high-strung person. Since I was a child, yes I took my naps daily to function well, but I was always on the go. In high-school, I worked, played every sport I was able to and still had time to hang out with friends. When I graduated, it was not uncommon to work, go to college, participate in sports etc. I did this throughout my entire adult life. I have always had several things happening at one time. I chose the most stressful positions in nursing; I volunteer my time; I chose high impact workouts; and I have worked at least full time if not more.

I have several autoimmune diseases. Why?? Because my body has always worked on overdrive; My body has always been on steroids. The natural form of steroid of course which is Cortisol. I recently had a Functional Med MD tell me “Tina, it’s like you have taken Prednisone every day of your life”. Chronic steroids can cause all sorts of health issues(I won’t discuss this topic in detail for this Blog). The idea is to maintain low stress hormones to keep your immune system healthy.

If you can add these simple steps to your daily routine, your health will improve and your immune system will thank you!

What do you do to support your immune system?

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate

Owner of Qualified Wellness Solutions, LLC

Contact me for more information on ways we can work together so you can improve your overall well-being. I work with women who want to learn coping mechanisms to improve stress and anxiety. Are you a woman who is struggling with wearing many hats; mom, employee, entrepreneur, wife etc? Do you need encouragement and someone to hold you accountable and get you through your hectic day?

I deliver a solution based program through compassion and lighthearted humor so women can feel empowered to create a well balanced life. I provide my client the ability to see their own vision of health and wellness come true, and I want to ride the waves with my clients and make them smile as they improve their health.