Tips to Improve Your Immune System
1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is rich in colorful fruits and vegetables. Try to aim for 7-10 servings of fruits/veggies a day.
2. Get moderate, regular exercise to boost your overall health. Exercise increases infection-fighting white blood cells, improves circulation, and decreases stress hormones.
3. Manage stress through relaxation and mindfulness as chronic stress can alter your immune system.
4. Get adequate sleep for your body to recover which on average is 7-8 hours a night.
5. Stay hydrated and if you drink alcohol, only drink in moderation.
6. Maintain a healthy weight since increased weight leads to increased inflammation and can worsen infections.
7. Wash your hands frequently, disinfect surfaces/objects, and avoid close contact with those who are sick.
8. Stay up to date on recommended vaccines.
9. Avoid smoking and limit exposure to pollutants.
Supplements to Support Immune Function
1. Quality Multi-Vitamin - A must! Consult with your doctor on recommended brands. Our bodies require certain micronutrients to work that can be difficult to get from your diet alone!
2. Vitamin C- known for antioxidant properties. Regular use can shorten the duration of colds. Higher doses can be taken during illness and can act as an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
3. Vitamin D- regulates immune function and can reduce the risk of infections. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased susceptibility to infections.
4. Vitamin A - can support your body's ability to fight respiratory infections when used short term.
5. Zinc- supports immune cell function and can reduce frequency and duration when started within 24 hours of symptom onset.
6. Echinacea- stimulates immune function and can be taken as preventive or for acute infection.
7. Elderberry- could help reduce the duration of cold /flu symptoms.
8. Astralagus- has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to support the immune system.
9. Quercetin- shown to decrease viral growth at initial stages.
10. NAC -promotes glutathione which is a potent anti- oxidant that supports immune function. It has been shown to suppress viral replication and reduce inflammation.
12. Probiotics- supports gut health which is linked to your immunity.
Consult with your provider on what is best for you!
Written by: Dr. Dina Diehl