5 Key Strategies To Strengthen Your Immune System

Supporting your immune system can help you to fight off cancer, deal with the side effects of treatment and lower the risk of recurrence. 

But to do so effectively requires a comprehensive strategy that will provide your immune system with what it needs to function at its best.

Poor diet, stress, lack of sleep and too little exercise can negatively impact your immune system and impede its ability to defend against illness.

 

5 Key Strategies To Strengthen Your Immune System

 

  1. Eat a balanced diet to support the health of the immune system and the gut and to help lower inflammation

Add more nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables. Variety is the key as well as healthy proteins that provide amino acids, the building blocks of the immune system. Complex carbs like grains and legumes provide substantial energy that the body needs to function properly. Vitamins and minerals are catalysts for all body functions, especially the immune system.

      2. Take supplements that help the immune system fight pathogens

Supplements that support the immune system help to fight pathogenic bacteria and viruses. They do not harm good bacteria. Examples of immune-support supplements include elderberry, echinacea, astragalus, plant sterols, garlic and algae such as chlorella or spirulina.

As our gut houses a large part of our immunity, it is very important that we make sure we give it some love as well. Probiotics, glutamine products or formulas, plant sterols, antimicrobials such as oil of oregano, aloe vera or grapefruit seed extract, essential oils* such as clove, cinnamon, thyme or lavender all support gut health and can support our immune system.

*Note: If ingesting essential oils, make sure they are food grade and mix with a carrier oil such as coconut oil.

  1. Exercise. It improves circulation and allows cells and the immune system to function better

So get up and get moving.  Go for a walk.  Do some stretching.  Shimmy on the dance floor.  Do whatever you enjoy to get your muscles flexing and your heart pumping.

  1. Implement stress management techniques

Some stress can be helpful for the immune system. Too much stress can use up valuable nutrients that are needed to help the immune system function. So find ways to relax and calm the adrenal glands down and lower the stress hormone cortisol.

  1. Make sleep a priority

The immune system needs the time you sleep to repair and regenerate itself.

Here are some tips for you to help you improve your sleep:

  • Deal with your stress – it can keep you awake at night.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night and get at least 7–8 hours of sleep.
  • Sleep in a cool, dark room and no sound distraction. Our immune system loves the chill!
  • Avoid caffeine or eating a large meal close to bedtime.
  • Disconnect from electronics like computers, cell phones and even TV at least an hour before bedtime.

 

So with these strategies forming your template, design your plan and work each and every day to strengthen your immune system.

 

 

What is a Cancer Coach?

Cancer Coaches are Health Care Professionals that work to fill a void in cancer prevention, treatment and recovery.  Cancer Coaches believe in healing the whole person, not just the disease.  Many Cancer Coaches themselves have been through a cancer diagnosis, myself included.

To be honest, I am a Cancer Coach now because I was a cancer patient before.  As a cancer patient I incorporated both conventional and complimentary approaches into my treatment plan therefore I have an intimate understanding of how both the allopathic and integrative worlds can work together.  And I understand the emotions tied to a cancer diagnosis.

Because of our unique professional backgrounds, each Cancer Coach will have a different spin on their answer to “What is a Cancer Coach?” however we all hold the same core truths.

Here are 5 of them.

Cancer Coaches can help you work through the shock of a diagnosis 

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can often leave people feeling scared, overwhelmed and confused.  We spend time talking with you about your disease, understanding your proposed treatment plans and researching relevant topics pertaining to your protocol.

Cancer coaches can prepare you for treatments

Focusing on your health, we work to strengthen your body in preparation for treatment.  The healthier you are going in to treatment the greater chance that you will complete treatment and withstand side effects.

Cancer coaches can educate you on complimentary therapies that will help to improve treatment outcomes and mitigate side effects

Understanding the possible side effects of treatments allows us to initiate strategies to help mitigate or avoid them.  Acupuncture, meditation and yoga are 3 examples of complimentary therapies that could be employed in situations and are complimentary therapies endorsed by American Society of Clinical Oncology for breast cancer patients.  For more information on approved therapies you can read my blog post “Oncologists Endorse Integrative Therapies for Breast Cancer Patients”

Cancer coaches work with you to personalize the nutritional and lifestyle aspects of care relevant to your cancer and through all phases of protocol including treatment, recovery and prevention

Proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are widely recognized as key factors for both fighting and preventing cancer.  Therefore we work with you to optimize your nutritional plan and to implement healthy lifestyle strategies throughout all aspects of your cancer journey.

Cancer coaches are a vital part of your wellness team

We work to empower you and to motivate you. To give you the tools to become active participants in your own cancer protocols. And to give you the confidence and faith that the path you have chosen is the right one.