As Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, and it’s unknown how well those vaccines are going to hold up, people are waking up to what the Functional Medicine community has known for some time: your immune system is the key to your health… and your actions can have a significant impact on that. In a culture where there is a pill for every ill, this is a wake-up call to take back some of our power and do what we can to boost our immune system.
Have you noticed that some people get very ill from Coronavirus, yet others don’t? The answer likely lies in the strength of their immune system, whose job it is to fight off foreign invaders. More than 80% of our immunity is in our gut, which is home to more than 100 trillion bacteria.
The gut isn’t just in our abdominal region with the intestines; it’s the entire digestive tract that extends from the nose and mouth at the beginning to the anus at the end. Strengthening our gut microbiome, and refraining from substances that harm it, can help defend against disease. If you want to read more on improving gut health, read here.
Here are some things we can do to boost our immune system by strengthening the body and calming the mind.
This certainly isn’t new information. Dr. Mark Hyman’s new book, Food Fix, is an excellent resource for information about nourishment that’s good for you and good for the planet. With the multitude of fires around the world lately, if you’re finding it hard to get clean air, you might even invest in an air purifier. It can help if you’re feeling the effects of our current environmental woes. You should also ensure you’re getting enough water every day because it’s one of the key elements to healthy living. Finally, skip processed or junk food and try to eat natural, healthy ingredients. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel overall when you’re fueling your body correctly.
The bacteria in your mouth can have a dramatic effect on your overall well-being. In fact, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, or stroke. ProBioraPlus can help by crowding out the bad bacteria in your mouth and leaving you with a healthier oral environment, which will affect your overall systemic health.
Using a saline solution just once a day can help clean bacteria from your nasal passages, clearing out allergens and preventing irritants from building up in your nasal canal.
According to mayoclinic.com, “For adults, the recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) a day, and the upper limit is 2,000 mg a day.” Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can reduce our risks of getting certain diseases as well as boost our immune response. While most people get enough vitamin C from diet and supplements alone, it won’t hurt to take a look at how much you’re really getting a day to confirm you aren’t deficient.
These two super supplements work as a team to boost the immune system.
If you aren’t sure if you’re getting an adequate dose of immunity-boosting in your daily diet, you could consider adding a supplement. Our favorites are the Super Immune Booster Pack from Robert Keller MD (RKMD) and Immunity Defense from Stop Aging Now.
Calming your mind is not easy, but incorporating some of these things into your regular routine can help.
Bad news stresses the central nervous system, and toxic stress lowers the immune response. Sadly, these days basically everything on the news is negative. Take a day off – or even better yet – take a week off.
Music has been proven to provide a wealth of health benefits, both emotionally and physically. When you listen to uplifting music or just a song that makes you happy, it can decrease your cortisol levels, which lowers your stress level. This will have a positive impact on your overall well-being and can even alleviate feelings of depression. So, put on some headphones and lose yourself in a song.
Listening to birdsong and being around trees remind us of our humanity and connection to all that is. Find a nearby hike and spend an hour or two soaking in the sunshine and good vibes. You’ll come back to reality rejuvenated and ready to face the stresses of the world again.
Figure out a way to nurture your spirit. For many, it’s by connecting with your higher power. For others, it’s meditation. Find out whatever it is for you and start doing it on a regular basis.
Spend some time expressing your gratitude to those around you and in a nightly gratitude journal: gratitude opens us to recognizing and receiving more good in our lives.
The body has an extraordinary capacity to heal itself. When properly supported—with clean air, water, and food, as well as proper movement and rest—our bodies do a better job of getting back into homeostasis or balance. And when we boost our immune system, we have a better chance of staying healthy and happy.
To learn more about boosting immunity during the pandemic—and all the time—see the Institute for Functional Medicine’s Boosting Immunity: Functional Medicine Tips on Prevention & Optimizing Immune Function During the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak. Feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones if you think they can benefit from the information.
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