WE DON’T NOTICE, BUT OUR IMMUNE SYSTEMS ARE AT WAR EVERY DAY AGAINST FOREIGN INVADERS.
Our bodies’ first line of defense consists of our skin, mucous membranes and digestive system. We need key nutrients and a balanced lifestyle to support these critical defense mechanisms, or they can weaken and let bacteria and viruses slip by and travel deeper into the body. Nutritional deficiencies can reduce the number of immune cells circulating in the blood, further impairing our ability to respond to these external threats.
The good news is that if we “feed” our immune systems with healthy lifestyle habits and supporting nutrients, we can keep them performing at their best and block out those invaders!
LIFESTYLE: THE FOUNDATION OF IMMUNITY
We’ve heard it all before, but it’s amazing just how much sleep, exercise and stress can affect immunity. Sleep speeds healing, while exercise can reduce colds and flus by half! Managing stress is critical too – meditation apps are all the rage!
VITAMIN C: THE EVERYDAYIMMUNE ESSENTIAL
Vitamin C is essential for immunity as it supports key tissues involved in that first line of defense. Look for a timed-release vitamin C combined with antioxidants like rose hips, which can improve absorption while protecting against oxidation.
TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE:THE IMMUNE ENHANCER
TCM herbs have long been used to repel invading forces. A combination of “adaptogenic” herbs helps the body to adapt to stress and fight back fatigue while enhancing its own innateself-healing capability and immunity.
MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS:THE IMMUNE ACTIVATORS
Mushrooms contain a key compound called “beta-glucans”, which can strengthen the immune system and even increase antibody production. Reishi mushroom in particular has been shown to increase white blood cells – the ones that fight infection!
ECHINACEA: FOR FAMILY IMMUNITY
Most cold and flu remedies, even natural ones, are not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. So what’s a woman to do to alleviate symptoms? Choose echinacea! It’s safe for moms and children, and can help reduce the discomfort of upper respiratory infections.
OREGANO: THE IMMUNE DEFENDER
Oil of oregano is a powerful antimicrobial. Its active chemical is “carvacrol”, which has a demonstrated ability to penetrate the protein coating of viruses and alter the cell membranes of bacteria, helping to stop those foreign invaders in their tracks!