D-D-D-Defense: Your Immune System

“Put a hat on, you’ll catch a cold!!”

How many times have you heard that? Can you REALLY get sick just from walking outside in winter with wet hair? Not really. But have you ever noticed that you are more likely to get sick when you aren’t taking care of yourself? It’s easy to blame that nasty cold on your co-worker or the daycare you send your kids to, but how is your DEFENSE? The human immune system protects the body against infection and disease from bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. The MAIN TWO strategies to protect yourself are simple: practice healthy living and remove environmental toxins. You can’t always control your environment, but you CAN  control the way you treat your body.

Healthy Living Strategies

  • maintain a healthy weight

  • eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E are especially important vitamins and minerals. Think citrus fruits, broccoli, peppers, garlic, fortified whole grain breads and cereals, sweet potatoes, almonds, and poultry.

  • eat foods high in prebiotics and probiotics or take a probiotic supplement. This is especially important if you are taking an antibiotic to fight a bacterial infection, which wipes out both the “good” and “bad” bacteria in your body. Pre and probiotics replenish the good bacteria. Here is the best probiotic supplement according to reviews.com

  • hydrate with water and herbal teas like chamomile and green tea for antioxidants

  • exercise. It improves circulation so your “fighter cells” (white blood cells) can work optimally

  • don’t smoke. That’s simply dumping toxins into your body.

  • wash your hands after using the bathroom or sneezing/blowing your nose, and before eating

  • thoroughly cook meat and check with a meat thermometer

  • get adequate sleep (7-9 hours)

    Want to read more? Check out https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system