6 STRATEGIES FOR MAXIMIZING IMMUNE FUNCTION

immune system
The human body is truly extraordinary and your immune system is one of the most exquisite examples of this.    
 
With everything going on, we decided it was as good a time as any to geek out and check out what the latest research tells us about what our bodies require to grow and maintain a strong immune system…  
 
Read on for the top 6 things we discovered so you too can to maximize your immune system function! 
 

TIP #1 For Maximizing Immune System Function – It All Starts With Sleep

Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold. 
 
Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.  
 
In other words, quality sleep is an essential requirement for your immune system to work properly. 
 
During sleep, your immune system is the most active. Taking the opportunity to do any house-cleaning your body requires from the stresses it was exposed to during the day.  
 
More specifically, during sleep, your immune cells release proteins called cytokines. Some of these help promote sleep, while others are needed to optimize how your body responds to any infection, or when you’re under stress. 
 
Sleep disruption has been shown to reduce production of these protective cytokines. 
 
Here’s what we’re doing to dial in our sleep during this stressful time:
  1. Eating earlier – Leave 2 hours between our last meal and bedtime.
  2. Sticking to a consistent, early bedtime.  
  3. No screen-time at least 30 minutes before bed (1 hour is best).  
  4. Getting at least 30 minutes of outdoor activity each day.
 
For more on getting good quality sleep check out this post.
 
 

Tip #2 For Maximizing Immune System Function – Walking

Did you know that walking can help boost your immune system?
 
A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.
 
Not to mention, walking is an awesome way to stimulate your brain, increase blood flow, reduce stress hormones, and reduce all-cause mortality risk to boot!
 
Pro-tip: Go for a nature walk.
 
A group of researchers in Japan compared walking in urban vs natural environments and found a significant increase in benefits including: 
  • Increased white blood cell count (Hello IMMUNITY)!
  • Lower resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • Significant reduction in levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
 
All that after only a 20 minute walk!
 
The only wrinkle of course are the restrictions to parks and green spaces that are currently in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
 
More information about public space closures can be found HERE.
 
For more on the benefits of walking, we’ve got it all covered in this blog post:
 

 

Tip #3 For Maximizing Immune System Function – No Sugar

There’s really no way to sugar coat this…
 
Eating sugar-laden foods is like kryptonite to your immune system.   
 
The human body is not designed to process a lot of sugar at once.
 
And when you overwhelm our body with sugar, it causes a complex cascade of events that results in the turning up of inflammation in the body.   
 
When this happens day after day, your body shifts into a state known as Chronic Systemic Inflammation or CSI.
 
CSI is the common feature in virtually all chronic health problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune disorders.  
 
So what can you do? 
 
We are not immune to the temptation of sugar, and we understand how tough it can be to kick your sugar habit… especially under the stress that we’re all under right now.
 
Click here for 5 strategies to make it easier for you and your family to kick your sugar habit! 
 
 

References

 

Tip #4 For Maximizing Immune System Function – Fun In the Sun

One of the silver linings of this global shut-down is that way more people are getting outside during the day…

So it’s a good time to talk about how essential the sun is to our health.

One of the fundamental molecules required for your immune system to flourish is Vitamin D. It’s another incredible example of the extraordinary nature of the human body

Vitamin D affects over 3,000 genes in the body and is a key regulator of the immune system…

It plays a key role in ramping up your immune system activity when it’s needed, while at other times keeping it in check, like when managing autoimmune conditions.

The cool thing is, given the right ingredients (diet), conditions (sun exposure), and your overall health (gut, liver and kidneys in particular) your body can build all the vitamin D it needs!

Unfortunately, many Americans are deficient in Vitamin D – according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 39.9% are deficient.

Since natural vitamin D production requires sun exposure – 20 minute with 70% skin exposure – we’re at a bit of a disadvantage coming out of the cold/dark Northeast winter.

For this reason, we recommend taking a liquid Vitamin D3 supplement, especially during the months where it’s too cold to get out in the sun.

And of course now that it’s warming up, take advantage of the sun exposure this spring and get outside for 20 minutes, with as much skin exposed as you find comfortable!

 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6075634/
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/9-things-that-can-undermine-your-vitamin-d-level
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21849106

 

Tip #5 For Maximizing Immune System Function – Share Your Gratitude

Right now is a great opportunity to reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

It’s simple but so profound and will help to increase your “cuddle hormone” oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that has a regulatory effect on the development and function of the immune system. Research has found that expressions of gratitude and bonding increases your oxytocin.

Here’s an idea, pick 3 friends you haven’t gotten in touch with in a while to recently and send them a message.

Tell them…

“I’m thankful for you…

“I’m thinking about you…

“I’ll pray for you…

“I’m grateful for you…

…and here’s why.”

Chances are you’ll get something back and that even increases your oxytocin.

But that’s not the purpose, the purpose is to be helpful, to look out for them. That actually increases your oxytocin.

And that’s going to be immune boosting.

Text or email or voicemail, it doesn’t matter.

Just reach out and offer your support.

 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5223438/
https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/9/12/1855/1611597

 

Tip #6 For Maximizing Immune System Function – Support Your Nerve System

In the face of the current global concerns, it is important to work together as a community to support all possibilities for the optimal health and well-being of humanity.

Allow me to get a little technical with this strategy.

Chiropractic care is a unique health-focused approach to health care that has been shown to improve overall well-being and to enhance function and adaptability.

The primary objective of chiropractic care is to optimize health and well-being through the enhancement of nervous system function. It is intended to support the body’s intrinsic processes rather than to “treat” any specific symptom or pathology.

In light of that, it is of note that a promising body of preliminary evidence suggests that chiropractic care may influence and support immune system function.

The nervous system plays a crucial role in alerting and guiding immune system cells to where an infection is located in an essential and coordinated response to danger.

The coordination between the nervous system and the immune system suggest that the chiropractic adjustment may have broad-reaching effects on well-being and adaptability.

Although the exact nature of the effect(s) of chiropractic care may have on immune system function specifically has certainly not yet been fully described, the beneficial and sustained effects that chiropractic care have on the function of the autonomic nervous system (responsible for organ and gland function) is established and the use of chiropractic care for promotion of healthy adaptability, resilience, and well-being is clear.

Chiropractic care can therefore provide a valuable resource for people whose well-being is tested by these stressful times.

And times certainly are stressful right now, don’t you think?

If you’re not currently under chiropractic care, now is a great time to start. Click HERE to learn how.

NOTE: While chiropractic care plays an important role in supporting numerous aspects of general well-being, it does not, in any way, replace good hygiene and other healthy lifestyle practices or medical intervention for pathology or disease including COVID-19.

References

Found here: https://ifcochiro.org/chiropractic-contributes-its-unique-salutogenic-health-care-approach-to-the-emergent-covid-19-crisis/?fbclid=IwAR1-XCSOBcwyDze_XT-_Ta6XVs6uTPoy30pooQPIM5yTKV6XMDa2p45js8I

 

Please feel free to share these tips with anyone you feel might benefit right now.

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