Welcome to February team! We made it through the holiday season intact, we are a few weeks into embedding new habits that will help make 2018 our healthiest and happiest year, and yet when I looked out the window today this is pretty much what I saw…
We are still in cold and flu season and it is easy for our new habits to get derailed by obstacles such as illness. Boosting our immune system at this time of year is a key strategy to maintain health and stay on track with our healthy habit building.
Benjamin Franklin had it spot-on when he said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” – there is a lot that we can be proactive in doing to help support our immune system to be prepared for the inevitable environmental exposure to bugs.
The immune system is actually pretty complex, but essentially our body produces cells that are able to identify the presence of foreign cells like viruses, bacteria and parasites, then sends out other cell ‘troops’ to wage war on the intruders. The video below is actually a really good description… and, well… Star Wars…
Below are 5 ways that we help support our immune system in our house. Some of these things are really simple additions and/or adjustments, but in combination are really powerful:
1: Probiotics: Most of our immune system is found in the lining of our gut. The gut flora contains good bacteria that are the first line of
defense against ingested pathogens. Probiotics and probiotic foods (such as Miso soup, Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Ginger beer) help keep the gut flora healthy and ready to take on whatever comes their way!
2: Supplements: While we get most of our nutrients from food, we also boost with a range of vitamins and minerals. Specifically to assist the immune system, we supplement with Vitamin C, Elderberry crystals (for the kids), doTERRA’s A2Z kids Multivitamins, and Colloidal Silver. The great thing about these supplements is that the kids will willingly take them!
3: Foods: What we put in our bodies (and don’t) has an impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of our immune system. What we’ve found works for us is to:
Cut Out: Foods that can be irritating to your system and cause sensitivities. You may already know what irritates your system, but the most common ones are gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol. If you’re experiencing sensitivities as a result of food then your system is working overtime to process them, and is not as easily able to fight off the pathogens that come your way.
Substitute in: Lots of fruits and vegetables. The brighter the better, and include lots of leafy greens. The added bonus is that, if you’re prepared with a variety of vegetables in the house, there are lots of different texture and flavor combinations you can make – it’s only a boring salad if you make it a boring salad…
4: Sleep! While it can be difficult at times to get 8 full hours of uninterrupted sleep, this is a really important ingredient in boosting your immune system. Preparing for sleep is also critical in ensuring that the quality of your sleep is optimal – turn the screens off and allow yourself to wind down before your head hits the pillow… you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!
5: Essential Oils: There are a number of different essential oils that we use but one of my favorites – especially when it comes to immune boosting – is doTERRA’s On Guard. We diffuse On Guard all year long to cleanse the air, but for Winter, it’s perfect. At night, I mix a couple of drops each of On Guard and Serenity oils in the diffuser and say goodnight! It smells amazing, is super relaxing, and you’re boosting your immune system as well. The other way that On Guard is especially useful is by adding it to water in a small spritzer bottle to make our own hand cleansing spray.
I hope that you found our immune boosting suggestions useful. Please don’t hesitate to ask away if you have questions. We’re always looking for suggestions so if you think there is some way we can help you malama (care for) your ohana (family), we’d love to hear from you.