Article Published September 6, 2022
Back to School Immune Support
Are you or your kids always catching something funky once the school year rolls back around? This could be due to a weakened immune system. Our immune system is responsible for fighting off viruses and infections and keeping us strong so we can keep doing what we love! Our immune systems are influenced by a myriad of factors, including diet, stress, and sleep.
As a healthy body is essential in fighting any infection, a nutrient-rich diet is extremely important. Start by reducing alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and refined carbohydrates. Next, increase intake of antioxidant rich foods and beverages such as fruits, vegetables, and green tea. Add more zinc-rich foods to your plate including pumpkin seeds, lentils, turkey, chicken, and fish. Cook with more garlic, onions, and probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, which are also great immune supporting foods.
Maintaining a low stress level is key when it comes to building a strong immune system. Stress suppresses the immune response, resulting in more frequent bouts of colds and flus. A stress-supporting diet is one rich in lean protein sources, healthy fats, whole-grains, and fruits and vegetables of the entire rainbow. Increase time spent in meditation, and fun forms of movement, and reduce time exposed to news and other sources which create panic and stress.
A consistent sleep routine is pivotal in maintaining a strong immune system. Better sleep starts with stress support, plenty of movement each day, and avoiding screens before bedtime. A sleep supporting diet can also help! Try eating magnesium and L-tryptophan-rich foods such as turkey, nuts, and fatty fish at dinnertime and enjoy a cup of relaxing chamomile tea afterward.
In terms of supplements, the combination of vitamins C and D is a powerhouse for supporting cells and tissues that may be compromised from an infection. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and has proven to be an effective intervention in colds and flus. Vitamin D supplementation is recommended by medical professionals as those with low levels of vitamin D are shown to be more susceptible to viral infection.
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