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Supporting Your Immune System, Naturally

Looking for a boost, or maybe some tips and tricks to add to your unique care routine?  Here are a few ideas for year round immune support.

  1. Eat the Rainbow! Eating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables will give your body access to a sustained, well-rounded source of vitamins and minerals.  Unlike supplements, whole foods offer greater nutrition, essential fiber, and antioxidants.  This comprehensive list includes many herbs that can boost lung health.  Ginger, tumeric, citrus, peppers, cinnamon, onions, and garlic (raw) are all great flavor enhancers and have added health benefits! Love soup? Check out these delicious immune boosting soup recipes.
  2. Incorporate Gentle Movement! No need to download that couch to 5K app.  Start wherever you are because a start is a start! Tai Chi, Qi Gong, gentle yoga, or simply a long walk have been proven to lower blood pressure, increase self-esteem, improve blood and lymphatic flow, and benefit your mental health by reducing stress.  Less stress in the body means more healing!
  3. Have Fun! Schedule a reminder in your phone if you have to!  Do something everyday that puts a smile on your face and enhances your mental well being.  This could be spending some time with a good book, having a raucous dance-party-of-one, painting or drawing, sharing a laugh with a friend, spending some time outside, learning something new, playing an instrument, volunteering or being of service to someone else.  Having fun decreases stress hormones, increases serotonin, improves energy and concentration, and leads to sounder sleep.
  4. Be Still! I know I just said to move- try both if you can!  Meditation, journaling, a gratitude practice, or simply taking a half hour of quite time can reduce stress and anxiety while increasing focus and creativity. De-stressing is a great way to regulate immune response and promote healing.
  5. Sleep!  Rest is so important.  We know this.  Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to function their best.  To practice better sleep hygiene try shutting down screens at least 30 minutes before bed, be sure to get some sun exposure during the day, avoid stimulants (coffee and nicotine) and large meals before bed, and establish a nightly routine that will let your body know it is time for rest.

These are simple ways to improve our immune response, but they’re not always easy to incorporate into our daily lives.  Take it slow and start where you are.

Remember- your body is designed to heal itself.  These tips just help support your already incredible system.

 

Source: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/sleep-hygiene