10 WAYS TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNITY NATURALLY

Simple dietary and lifestyle changes may strengthen your body’s natural defenses and can help you fight harmful pathogens.

DISCLAIMER: The suggestions described below may boost your immune health, but there are no studies to date that offer evidence that these strategies specifically protect against COVID-19.

1. EAT MORE WHOLE PLANT FOODS

  • Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are rich in Antioxidants, Fiber, Phytonutrients and Vitamin C. All of these may lower your susceptibility to illness.
  • The ANTIOXIDANTS in these foods help decrease inflammation by binding to  free radicals. Free radicals cause inflammation when they build up in your body. 
  • The FIBER, in plant foods, feeds your gut micro-biome, the community of healthy bacteria in your gut. A healthy gut micro-biome can improve your immunity.
  • Juicing is a fantastic way to get a concentrated dose of PHYTONUTRIENTS. These concentrated plant nutrients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. 
  • 66 Day Health Mastery Program is a fantastic program that introduces juicing and helps create a healthy lifestyle.
  • The VITAMIN C, plentiful in raw fruits and vegetables, benefits the body in many ways. It aids in wound healing, bone and tooth formation, strengthens blood vessel walls, improves immune system function, increases absorption and utilization of iron and acts as an antioxidant.
  • Since our bodies cannot produce or store vitamin C, it is very important to have an adequate daily intake.
  • It is beneficial to have a daily intake of at least 2000mg/day. Supplementation is typically necessary to achieve this amount.

2. EAT MORE HEALTHY FATS

  • Healthy fats, like those found in coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts, seeds and avocados are anti-inflammatory and may boost your body’s immune response to pathogens. Since chronic inflammation can suppress your immune system, these fats may naturally combat illnesses.
  • Low-level, acute inflammation is a normal response to stress or injury, chronic inflammation is damaging to your body and can suppress your immune system.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, such as those in sustainably caught, wild salmon and chia seeds, help fight inflammation as well.

3. EAT LESS SUGAR: ELIMINATE ADDED SUGARS

  • Limiting sugar is an important part of an immune-boosting diet. 
  • Added processed sugar, high fructose corn syrup and refined carbs may contribute disproportionately to excess weight and obesity.
  • Obesity increases risk for chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 
  • Chronic health conditions can weaken your immune system and may increase your risk of getting sick.
  • Curbing your sugar intake can decrease inflammation and aid weight loss, thus reducing your risk of chronic health conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease and keeping your immune system strong.
  • Sugar intake should be limited to less than 5% of your daily calories. This is about 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar for a 2,000 calorie diet. This sugar is best when it is coming from whole food sources that contain fiber which helps the body to process the sugar more efficiently.

4. HYDRATE

  • Hydration doesn’t directly protect you from germs and viruses, but preventing dehydration is important to your overall health.
  • Dehydration can make you more susceptible to illness.
  • Dehydration can cause headaches and hinder your physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. These issues can increase your susceptibility to illness.
  • Be sure you’re drinking plenty of purified water each day.
  • A reasonable goal is to aim to consume half of your body weight in ounces. (Example: if you weigh 180 pounds,  you would aim to consume 90 ounces of fluids per day, with a good portion of that coming from purified water).

5. MICROBIOME SUPPORT: ADD PROBIOTICS

  • Gut health and immunity are inseparable. 
  • Probiotics from supplements or from fermented foods may support your immune system by crowding out harmful pathogens and introducing helpful organisms to your gastrointestinal tract.
  • Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and natto, are rich in these beneficial bacteria called probiotics.
  • People with Candida Overgrowth may not be able to tolerate these fermented foods because they may encourage the Candida Overgrowth.
  • Heal Candida Now is a fantastic program that can help eliminate the Candida.
  • Probiotic supplements are a great option.

6. MOVE: ENGAGE IN MODERATE EXERCISE

  • Moderate exercise can reduce inflammation and support the immune system.
  • Jogging, biking, walking, swimming, hiking and yoga are great options.
  • Most people should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
  • All forms of movement help. Aim for moving more than you are sitting.

7. POSITIVE MINDSET: STAY OUT OF FEAR

  • In recent years, researchers have found that your mind can have a powerful effect on your body. Immunity is one area where your thoughts and attitudes can have a particularly powerful influence. 
  • There are many benefits to positive thinking but most surprisingly are the physical health benefits it can bring.
  • Positive thinking helps you approach a difficult situation with the thought:  “How can I make the best of this situation?”
  • Stress lowers our natural immunity to disease. Positive thinking helps to fight stress and thus helps protect our immune system.
  • Book, The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton
    • In his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Lipton explains that stress is responsible for up to 90% of illness, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
    • When an individual is in stress, the release of stress hormones shuts down the immune system to conserve the body’s energy for running away from the perceived stressor – the evolutionary ‘fight or flight response’.
    • Fear breeds stress and the fear of the coronavirus is more deadly than the virus itself!
    • Advice from Dr. Lipton: “If you are someone with a compromised immune system, it is supportive to surround yourself with loving family and friends, nature, and positive thoughts as well as any other nutrition and vitamins that you may already be taking for your health and wellbeing. Following your intuition about what is best for you is key! The point here is that no matter who you are and what your state of health, you will only benefit from steering clear of the fear and supporting yourself in whatever way feels best to you.”

8. SLEEP: GET ENOUGH & HIGH QUALITY

  • Sleep and immunity are closely tied.
  • Inadequate sleep may increase your risk of getting sick.
  • Getting adequate rest may strengthen your natural immunity.
  • Most adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Teens and Children need more. Teens may need 8–10 hours and younger children and infants up to 14 hours.
  • When you are sick, listen to your body and rest! You may need more sleep to allow your immune system to fight the illness.
  • Blue light emitted from your phone, TV, and computer may disrupt your body’s natural wake-sleep cycle.
  • Limit screen time for at least an hour before bed, reading a book is a much better sleep inducer.
  • Consider getting blue blocker glasses or adding this feature on your next pair of glasses.
  • Adjust the lighting on your devices to emit less blue light and more red light. This is a built in feature, in the settings, on many devices.
  • Practice good sleep hygiene: Go to bed at the same time every night, Sleep in a completely dark room or use a sleep mask, and avoid screen time within one hour of going to bed.

9. STRESS MANAGEMENT

  • Lowering your stress levels is extremely important to support your immune system.
  • Long-term stress can suppress the immune response and cause inflammation.
  • Take an honest look at our everyday routine and notice where and when stress is most intense.
  • Sometimes just the simple act of respectfully saying “no” can go a long way to reducing stress.
  • Deep breathing is a quick and effective method to reduce stress and you can do this anywhere. Just take a deep breath in through your nose for a count of 7, Hold it for a count of 7, Breathe out slowly for a count of 7, Hold again for a count of 7, and Repeat as many times as necessary.
  • Exercise like walking in nature and yoga are stress reducing.
  • Meditation and Journaling can be helpful mindfulness practices that help manage stress.
  • Laughing by yourself or with a friend is so therapeutic. Watch a funny movie.
  • Listen to some calming music and put some essential oils in a diffuser, or just on a cotton ball. Both the music and the aromatherapy can be calming.
  • Decrease Caffeine Intake. Caffeine can be a huge contributor to adrenal stress. Everyday stress can be damaging to your adrenal glands as well. Even though that cup of coffee may seem necessary to get you through your day, it may be contributing to the overall stress on your body.

10. SUPPLEMENT SMARTLY

If you decide to supplement, make sure to purchase products that are high quality, non-GMO and have been tested by a third party like United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, and ConsumerLab.

  • Vitamin C
    • Why Vitamin C?
    • Vitamin C is a powerful Antioxidant. Antioxidants bind free radicals and help your body fight inflammation which is essential for immunity and general health.
    • Vitamin C Boosts the immune system, reduces severity of allergic reactions and helps your body fight off infections.
    • Vitamin C is water-soluble and is better absorbed when taken throughout the day rather than all at once. 
    • If you take more Vitamin C than your body needs, the excess will cause mild diarrhea. This is a simple way to know  if you are taking too much.
    • Start by taking 1000mg twice daily, if tolerated, increase by 1000mg daily until you are taking 1000mg every 4 hours (5000mg while awake). This is generally enough when you are feeling well and can be increased when feeling ill by adding another 1000mg to each dose, one day at a time, as tolerated.
    • Lipophilic Vitamin C is better absorbed but also more expensive.
      • LivOn Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C 1000mg
      • This is great to add at the first sign of any illness (stuffy nose, scratchy throat, headache, fever, etc.). Add one or two packets of LivOn Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C 1000mg to about 2 ounces of water, stir and drink.
    • Capsules are convenient and typically have less ‘junk’ ingredients than tablets.
    • Powders are great; you just have to implement them into your diet.
  • Vitamin D
    • Why Vitamin D?
    • Vitamin D is actually a hormone that regulates many functions in our bodies.
    • Our bodies manufacture Vitamin D from sunlight. This requires 10-30 minutes of daily sun exposure with no sunscreen. Most people in northern climates will require Vitamin D supplementation for optimal health.
    • Vitamin D deficiency may increase your chances of getting sick, supplementing will typically counteract this effect. 
    • In addition to decreased immune function, Inadequate Levels of Vitamin D can lead to:
      • Increased Inflammation
      • Slower Wound Healing
      • Hair Loss
      • Low Energy
      • Depressed Mood
      • Increased Bone or Muscle Pain
      • Impaired bone health
    • A good starting dose of Vitamin D3 is 2000-5000IU every day. 
    • Levels can be tested with a simple blood draw. Normal range, for most labs, is 30-80 ng/ml, 30 is surviving and 80 is thriving. You definitely want to be closer to 80 than to 30; increase dose accordingly.
    • Vitamin D3 with Coconut Oil, 5000 IU
    • Nature’s Plus Vitamin D3, 5000 IU
  • Zinc
    • Why Zinc?
    • Zinc is considered an essential nutrient. This means that your body can’t produce or store it. For this reason, you must get a constant supply through your diet.
    • Zinc is important for many essential functions in your body. It supports immunity, wound healing, your sense of smell and taste, energy production, hormone function, mood and the cardiovascular system.
    • Zinc, as a supplement, can be helpful in supporting your immune function when you are ill or fighting off an infection. 
    • It is typically not necessary to supplement when feeling well. Unless a medical condition is hindering absorption, you should easily reach the RDI for zinc through diet alone.
    • High-Dose zinc supplements can lead to dangerous side effects. 
    • Limit intake to 20 to 50mg daily for a limited duration of time.
    • If supplementing, take with Magnesium and Quercetin at bedtime.
    • Supplements, if taken, should be chelated (attached to an amino acid which makes it easier to pass into your intestines for absorption)
    • Zinc Picolinate: Thorne Brand or NOW Brand 
    • Zinc Orotate: Solgar Brand or Bulletproof Zinc/Copper
    • Stay away from Zinc Oxide which is poorly absorbed.
  • Quercetin
    • Why Quercetin?
    • Quercetin is the most abundant flavonoid in the human diet, providing you eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. 
    • It’s estimated that the average person consumes 10–100 mg of quercetin daily from fruits, vegetables, and herbal sources.
    • The health benefits of flavonoids, like quercetin, come from their antioxidant functions inside the body. 
    • Quercetin may interact with various medications, including blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and antibiotics. Speak with your health care provider before taking any supplement, including quercetin.
    • As a supplement, quercetin appears to be generally safe with little to no side effects and many potential benefits.
    • People take this supplement to Boost Immunity, Fight Inflammation, Combat Allergies, Increase Exercise Performance & Maintain General Health
    • Recommended dose is 500mg once or twice daily for up to 12 weeks.
    • Taking periodic breaks from taking quercetin may be a good idea
    • Taking quercetin supplements with Zinc and/or Vitamin C will increase its absorption.
    • Quercetin is available as a dietary supplement in powder and capsule form.
  • Probiotics
    • Probiotics may help give your immune system a boost and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria. Some probiotics have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body.
    • More studies are being done on specific organisms. This will hopefully provide helpful guidance to choosing probiotics in the future.
    • Choose a probiotic with at least 10 different organisms and change your probiotic often to get diversity.
    • Take 1 capsule daily on an empty stomach
    • Prescript Assist Capsules
    • Garden of Life Critical Care, Women’s, Men’s
    • Renew Life Probiotic
    • Now Brand Probiotic
  • Elderberry
    • Taking elderberry supplements may reduce upper respiratory symptoms caused by viral infections and help alleviate flu symptoms. However, more research is needed.
    • Elderberry has been used to treat infections for a long time and is being researched for its effects on immune health.
    • It may enhance immune system response and may help shorten the duration and severity of viral infections, as well as reduce related symptoms.
    • Elderberry supplements are sold in liquid or capsule form. 
    • It is best to find a trusted local source who can provide a fresh product that is not filled with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
    • Black Elderberry Capsules
      • Take 1 capsule 2 – 4 times daily 
  • Garlic
    • Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs.
    • Whole garlic contains a compound called alliin. 
    • When garlic is crushed, sliced or chewed, this compound turns into allicin,, the main active ingredient in garlic.
    • Allicin can be deactivated by heat.
    • Crushing garlic and allowing it to stand for 10 minutes before cooking can help prevent the loss of its medicinal properties.
    • Garlic may reduce the risk of becoming sick in the first place, as well as how long you stay sick. 
    • Garlic Supplements
  • Magnesium
    • Magnesium is an important mineral, playing a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body.
    • Among its many functions, it supports the immune system.
    • Magnesium together with zinc may boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. 
    • Magnesium deficiency has been linked to chronic inflammation and this leads to decreased immune function.
    • Magnesium deficiency is common today because of our depleted soil and the common S.A.D. (Standard American Diet)
    • Choose a magnesium supplement that is chelated (attached to an amino acid) which makes it easier to pass into your intestines for absorption.
    • Mega Magnesium, Take 3 capsules daily at bedtime.
  • B Complex Vitamin
    • B vitamins, including B12 and B6, are important for healthy immune response.
    • Many adults are deficient in them for a variety of reasons and this deficiency may negatively affect immune health.
    •  Stress B-Complex, Take 1 capsule daily


DETOX STEP 2 – Liver Support

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE YOUR LIVER HEALTH?

Becoming aware of what is helpful and what is harmful is the first step. Taking actionable steps to implement these findings is the key to wellness.

YOUR DETOX SYSTEMS

  • Liver & Gallbladder
  • Gastrointestinal – Stomach, Intestines, Colon
  • Urinary – Kidneys, Bladder, Urethra
  • Skin – Sweat & Sebaceous Glands
  • Respiratory – Lungs, Throat, Sinuses, Mouth, Nose
  • Lymphatic – Channels & Nodes

CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE PRECIPITATED BY TOXINS

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cancer
  • Skin Rashes
  • Fatigue
  • Thyroid Issues
  • Prostate Issues
  • Fertility Issues
  • Auto Immune Conditions
  • Fibrocystic Breasts &/or Ovaries
  • Environmental Sensitivities
  • Constipation &/or Diarrhea
  • Bad Breath

THE LIVER – YOUR BODY’S FILTRATION SYSTEM

Think of your liver as being similar to a furnace filter. If not properly cared for, a furnace filter will get clogged. If you don’t provide a clean filter for the furnace it will not function efficiently and this could potentially cause damage to the furnace itself. The same is true of your liver. If detoxification is not supported and if you are taking in medications or other toxins that can impair the function of your liver, your body will not operate efficiently and could potentially be damaged.

  • Lack of detoxification supporting nutrition leads to malfunctioning systems in the body as toxins build up, this places an unwanted burden on the liver.
  • Good nutrition can prevent a lot of hardship, sickness and sadness
  • Your liver has two detoxification pathways: Phase I and II. These pathways are interrelated and both need to be supported for the liver to function efficiently.
  • The liver has many functions in the body: metabolizing the products of digestion from the stomach, processing and helping to rid the body of toxins, storing iron, providing essential energy producing substances, maintaining hormonal balance, regulating blood clotting, producing bile and producing cholesterol and other fats needed by the body.
  • If the liver malfunctions, toxins and hormones accumulate in the body causing inflammatory and neurological disease.
  • You can support your liver by limiting the toxic load you are taking in from your environment and by supporting its function through your dietary intake of nourishing organic nutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals.
  • Evaluate your cleaning supplies, cosmetics, lotions, tampons, plastics, soaps, detergents, and new carpet, flooring & furniture (off-gassing).
  • Compounds in the following foods have been found to support the liver detox process:
    • Cruciferous Vegetables
    • Green Leafy Vegetables
    • Garlic
    • Onion
    • Cardamom
    • Turmeric
  • There are many things that can inhibit your liver’s function
    • Medications
      • Antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Allegra)
      • Benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax)
      • H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Zantac)
      • Antifungals
      • Antibiotics
    • Deficiencies in Vitamins & Minerals
      • Vitamin B2
      • Vitamin B3
      • Copper
      • Magnesium
      • Zinc
    • Grapefruit Juice
    • Age, decreased blood flow to the liver
    • Lack of Physical Activity
    • Poor Nutrition

IMPORTANT: Support and Balance Both Phases of Liver Detoxification. If Phase II is slower than Phase I, then the toxins processed by Phase I are in a state that can cause more harm in the body. This imbalance can occur in two ways: over burdening the Phase I process and under nourishing the Phase II process.

PHASE I (TRANSFORMATION) – Start the Job: Lessen the Burden Phase I of liver detox is burdened by the over exposure to environmental toxins: from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the contaminants and pesticides in the food we eat, and all other toxins we introduce through topical products, cleaning supplies and medications, both over-the-counter and prescription. All of these add to the burden on the liver. This excessive burden can impair the liver’s ability to properly metabolize the toxins and the liver will produce a dangerously high level of free radicals that must be further metabolized by Phase II to protect against oxidative cell damage.

Phase II (CONJUGATION) – Finish the Job: Bind the Toxins Phase II of liver detoxification has a huge job to conjugate and eliminate the bio-transformed substances from Phase I. If the Phase II process is impaired, due to a lack of micronutrients, antioxidants and phytochemicals, it is not capable of keeping up with the toxic load it is given from the Phase I process. These substances are potentially more toxic now that they have been transformed. If the water soluble toxic substances are not effectively eliminated from the body, they are now more dangerous because they can attach to cells in the body other than fat cells, where they are typically stored.

LIVER DETOXIFICATION IS ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH If the liver malfunctions, toxins and hormones accumulate in the body causing inflammatory and neurological disease.

Supporting your liver function is just one great reason to eat organic and to incorporate juice fasting into your dietary plan.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  • Limit toxins taken into or put onto your body
  • Support your liver with organic vegetables, garlic, onion, cardamom & turmeric
  • Incorporate juice fasting into your dietary plan.

It may not be realistic for you to eat 100% organic or to completely eliminate all environmental toxins but your health is definitely worth making the effort.