Immunity Boost Checklist: 6 simple steps to a stronger immune system

Nowadays, we can’t stop hearing about vaccines, antibodies and the importance of vitamin D. These are all important in the healthcare system and a guarantee for overall herd immunity. However, there are many other simple ways to strengthen your immune system and have a faster, more effective immune response.  

Here are some easy ways to boost your immune system.

Take care of your gut 

Cut out sugary sweets and simple carbs:

These “fast foods'' break down quickly into glucose and provide the fuel that help bad bacteria and viruses thrive in your gut and the rest of your body. Instead, try to eat whole grain carbs such as buckwheat, brown full grain rice and plenty of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins.

Eat probiotic foods

Probiotics are otherwise known as the good bacteria of our bodies. You can find plenty of good bacteria in some of the foods you love, including yogurt, aged cheeses, kefir and sour pickles. If you really want to get a boost in your healthy gut bacteria try out some all natural kefir, kimchi or sauerkraut. These all contain high amounts of natural probiotics to help improve your gut lining and reduce inflammation in your body.

Some prebiotic foods that help your natural gut bacteria to grow include yummy foods like, bananas, asparagus, artichokes and plenty of your favorite onions, garlics and leeks. These foods are the food that probiotics need to help you maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.

Catch some Zzzz’s

    Sometimes a midday nap can do wonders for you when you are feeling under the weather. The reason for this is that your body needs a lot of energy to produce a fully functioning immune response. Proper rest  can be the hidden gem in situations where you need to get back on your feet quickly from anything ranging from a cold or even flu-like symptoms 

    How does this work:

    Researchers in a 2015 study on napping discover data that showed the stress reducing benefits of napping and its ability to normalize norepinephrine levels, also known as adrenaline. The study found that two 30 minute naps after a night of only 2 hours of sleep helped to normalize the levels of adrenaline in the body in a similar way that a full night’s rest. This allows the body to maintain proper function and to not be overwhelmed by excess stress triggers.

    Spring into action

      Exercise, exercise, exercise. You hear about it all the time. But did you know that exercise invigorates your immune function. Not only do you heat up your internal body temperature but you also reduce the amount of stress hormones, like cortisol, that lead to inflammation. The more inflammation your body has to deal with, the harder it has to work to remove harmful bacteria, viruses and toxins from your body.

      One note of caution however, is that you should not do extreme exercise when you feel a cold catching on or when you are feeling exhaustion. The reasons for this are that you can overwhelm your cardiovascular system as it tries to send your protective white cells to battle any new illnesses entering your body.

      A little help from your friends

        You may benefit from adding certain well known supplements to your daily regimen.
        Some of the most well researched immune boosters are magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin D and even CBD. Here is how they work to help strengthen your immune system:

        Magnesium

        This important mineral is a vital body of your overall cell functions. Since the majority of our immune response relies on fast acting white blood cells (leukocytes) magnesium helps to make sure our cells are ready for action whenever we need them. 

        Recommended daily dose: 

        200-400 mg. (May vary depending on age and/or gender).

        Sources of Magnesium: 

        Green Leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach as well as Almonds, Pumpkin seeds and cashews can all help to increase your daily intake of magnesium. For a full list of healthyfoods containing magnesium have a look at cleveland clinics list of Magnesium Rich Foods.

        Zinc:

        It is quite well known now that zinc is a necessary mineral when a virus enters your body. It is not yet known what dosage is best to use for viruses but zinc has shown an ability to disrupt the function of viruses such as coronavirus, herpes simplex, encephalitis and even the common cold. The antiviral activity of zinc is well known and it is a necessary mineral to have for an optimal protection against viruses.

        Recommended daily dose: 

        2-40 mg. (May vary depending on age and/or gender).

        Natural sources of Zinc: 

        Look no further than nuts, seeds, beans, oysters and fortified cereals for a whole food approach to meeting your daily zinc requirement.

        Take your CBD but stay away from THC

        You guessed it, CBD, also known as cannabidiol, can help to strengthen your immune response by acting as an antiinflammatory agent. It also has the ability to mediate excess activity in the inflammatory response which, in turn, helps the body focus on what it needs to do, remove viruses, bacteria and toxins.

        CBD Reduces stress levels and cortisol

        CBD engages the CB1 receptors in the body which produces an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect. This helps to decrease any physical stress inside the body allowing it to focus on healing and detection of foreign bodies.. CBD has also shown the ability to decrease cortisol levels 2 hours after use. 

        THC can increase viral load

        THC, also known as the fun cannabinoid, can actually cause you more harm than good when it comes to immune function. More than a few studies have shown that when THC is active in the body while a virus enters the body, the viral load and activity can actually increase due to the presence of THC. Therefore it is best to steer clear from THC while your immune system helps you get back to full health

        Elderberry

        No it’s not just any old berry although it’s presence in many different countries has led many to believe that it is one of the older and more well-known plants in our current ecosystem.

        Elderberry has been studied for some time for its immune activity and most, though not all studies indicate its beneficial use in a healthy immune system.

        One of the ways elderberry has shown to be effective is by producing an increased inflammatory cytokine production which are used by the immune system to fight viruses and various other pathogens. Another study showed that elderberries may help reduce the length of the flu by 4 days.