Top Tips for Immune System

During wintertime when we tend to gather together indoors in close proximity, we are exposed more often to foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses – in the air we breathe and on the surfaces we touch. Our immune system is a complex community of cells, tissues, organs and chemicals that work in concert to protect us from these foreign invaders.

While it’s our immune system’s job to defend us the best that it can, it’s our job to ensure that our immune system is functioning optimally. Keeping the immune system in good working order is key to preventing infection and disease.

Here are our top tips for keeping your immune system strong this winter:

Get plenty of restorative sleep: Typically, our immune systems defend during the day and repair at night. If that cycle is disrupted, the likelihood of disruption and disease may increase. Create a routine for good sleep hygiene with relaxation or meditation prior to bedtime and a darkened room devoid of technology devices.

Eat well: Eat a wide variety of whole foods, preferably organic or biodynamic, prepared in a wide variety of ways(Learn more in Twelve Nature’s pHarmacy™ principles parts 1 and 2) . A colorful array of whole, natural foods providesthe body with the necessary building blocks, vitamins, and cofactors to keep the immune system strong. A high fiber, plant based diet can help maintain a healthy microbiomethat is essential for a healthy immune system

Hydrate: Hydration isn’t just a fancy buzzword; adequate hydration is necessary for a number of reasons. Your first line of defense against foreign invaders in in the mucous membranes of your nose and mouth, and water supports the health and functioning of these barriers. Water is also necessary for nutrient absorption, and it’s a key component of the lymphatic fluid that helps the body fight infection.

Exercise: Moderate exercise has been shown to increase the circulation of immune cells and their delivery to tissues, stimulating cellular immunity. Exercise also has been shown to reduce stress, and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which all contribute to immune this system health.

Keep your nose warm: A new study published a couple weeks ago in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that exposure to cold air may directly kill immune system cells in the nose. In this great summary of the technical article, the authors suggest that wearing a mask might protect you in two waysboth bycreating a physical barrier, and by keeping the inside of your nose warm enough so that your local immune system works optimally.

Remove Immune Burdens: Looking closely at what could be causing hidden immune burdens can start with the LRA by ELISA/ACT tests. When we have delayed hypersensitivities, our body perceives normally innocent items as problematic, and produces chronic, low-grade, systemic inflammation that presents in different ways for different people. By testing for and removing these hidden immune burdens, some people have reported clearer skin, less brain fog, resolution of muscle aches, and improvement in autoimmune symptoms. With their immune system no longer under chronic attack, it becomes stronger and better able to defend and protect as it should.

Supplement Key Nutrients: Even if you are eating enough of the right foods, it’s possible due to soil depletion and the prevalence of antinutrients that you could still benefit from supplements that are created with no additives or fillers, in the forms that our bodies can easily use.

Vitamin D. Most people are deficient in Vitamin D3. Maintaining an adequate level of D3 supports a healthy immune system by regulating the activity of immune cells, resulting in enhanced protection from respiratory and intestinal infections. Vitamin D3 is the most bioavailable form of vitamin D. You’ll want to take enough daily to keep your Vitamin D levels (25-OH-D) in the best outcome goal range of 50-80ng/ml.
Vitamin C. The l-ascorbate form of Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant and a potent natural anti-viral,when it is 100% L-ascorbate, fully reduced and buffered.It stimulates white bloods cells to move to the site of infection and actively participates in killing the microbes. Dr. Jaffe’s colleagues and friends Amory Lovins and Dr. Eric Rasmussen wrote a comprehensive article on how to use Vitamin C during COVID-19, and you can find it on our professional blog.
Vitamins B6 and B12. Vitamin B6 is needed for the production of the white blood cells that regulate immune responses, and it’s also needed for the uptake of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is needed for red blood cell production, and the red blood cells are needed to transport oxygen to immune system cells. Both of thesenutrients are needed for immune system support.
Probiotics. Probiotics replace bad bugs with helpful ones in the gut, and some strains actually stimulate and regulate the immune response throughout the body. Make a habit of consuming a wide range of probiotic (cultured or fermented) foods and drinks.
Zinc is a trace mineral that supports the growth and normal functioning of immune system cells. Zinc lozenges are thought to prevent cold viruses from spreading and reduce the duration of colds.
Echinacea purpurea in an herb that is thought to stimulate the immune system to produce white blood cells. The herb has been used to shorten the duration and improve symptoms of the common cold and fluEchinacea is typically taken once symptoms begin, and not for more than 10 days.