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.

 

 

This Week on The Health Hub… Stem Cells, Immunity & Your Health with Dr. Dipnarine Maharaj, MBCHB, MD

Dr. Maharaj is a world renowned expert, the Medical Director of The Maharaj Institute and a leader in the clinical field of Stem Cell Transplantation, Immunotherapy and Regenerative medicine. He was part of the team in Scotland which developed the standard of care for leukemia patients back in the 1980s. Dr. Maharaj has developed several innovative protocols involving Immunotherapy and sees this as the future in the treatment of chronic disease. He has also created a protocol to collect and store an adult’s healthy immune system, in case of future need. One of the most exciting areas, is in the field of aging. Dr. Maharaj is now working on a clinical trial that will see 30 study subjects receiving stem cell mobilized fresh frozen plasma from the blood of healthy young donors. The objective of this study is the meaningful and systemic reversal of pathological aging processes and restoration of youthful immune status.
Learning Points:
  • What are stem cells?
  • What is the connection between stem cells and the immune system?
  • Why should we consider banking stem cells?
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Ashwagandha Milk Tea

 Benefits of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera) is an Ayurvedic adaptogenic herb. Among many of its health boosting benefits Ashwagandha:

  • Strengthens our immune system
  • Relieves stress
  • Increases Energy
  • Improves concentration

Ashwagandha Milk Tea

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp Ashwagandha Powder
  • 1 date
  • 10 Goji Berries
  • 4-5 cardamom buds

Directions

  1. Add milk, water, Ashwagandha Powder, date and Goji Berries to a small saucepan and bring to a boil
  2. Once reduced to about half strain in to a teacup, add cardamon buds and enjoy!

Tips for Keeping Your Immune System Humming During the Holidays

Holiday season is in full swing.  Planning, purchasing, partying.  It’s the one time of year to forget all the rules and just enjoy.  And I am all in for that.  I really am.

So I am not going to harp on the fact that things like stress, lack of sleep, shortened daylight hours and sugar can weaken your immune system leaving you vulnerable to things like colds and flus.   I am not.  There will not be a naughty list.

What I am going to do is write a nice list.  A few easy things that can help you to stay on your healthy track and carry you seamlessly in to 2016.

So here we go.

  • Write yourself lists.  Trying to remember all that you need to do, buy, pick up, drop off is stressful!  Lists are an easy way to take this aspect of stress out of your holiday season.
  • Before your party have a snack to curb your appetite.  A little bit of fullness goes a long way to avoiding the dessert tray.
  • Pass on the mixed drink and grab a glass of red wine.  Mixed drinks are full of sugar.  Red wine is fermented!
  • Drink water under the mistletoe.  Alcohol is dehydrating.  Water is not.  The Ying to the alcohol Yang.
  • Right hand nuts, left hand cookie tray (or vice versa if you are a lefty).  Nuts contain healthy fats, fiber and protein.  Most cookies do not.
  • Grab a plate.  Fill it up.  Move away.  Don’t graze around food table.
  • Stand while you talk.  Sitting too long slows everything down.
  • After a wonderful evening out, go home, shut down all your gizmos, turn off all the lights and get some sleep.  Quantity at this time of year may be wishful thinking so we are going for quality here.
  • When a new day begins, hydrate with water and take your vitamin D.  Our shortened days at this time of year severely impede our ability to get vitamin D naturally.  Vitamin D is essential for immunity.
  • Then recharge with a healthy breakfast and look forward to another great day!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and health and happiness in 2016!