immune system

Andrea Anderson-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Holistic Nutritionist & Cancer Specialist 

3 Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System

So many of us are running on little sleep with hectic schedules, demanding jobs, managing a family, and all the while trying to find time to focus on our own health.   

As we get older, we begin to see and feel the consequences of our choices catch up with us and start to take a hold on our health. We may feel extreme fatigue, experience digestive disorders (GERD, heartburn, constipation, IBS / loose stools), lethargy after meals, or feel body pain, brain fog, or an autoimmune condition.

Sugar and caffeine become our ‘life support’, trying to make up for our bodies’ lack of nutrition. We ride the rollercoaster of blood sugar imbalances that lead to adrenal burnout, hormonal imbalances, or a more serious state of chronic inflammation, which can cause chronic diseases, such as heart diseases or cancer.

 

What is inflammation and why is it such a problem?

There are two main types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Acute inflammation begins within seconds to minutes following an injury to the tissues where your immune system sends out white blood cells to repair a cut or injury.

Chronic inflammation happens when your immune system stays in a constant state of repair of wear & tear due to pathogens or undigested foods getting into the blood, or when an overstimulated immune system gets confused and starts attacking healthy cells and tissues.

The good news is, there are actions we can take to get ‘healthier’.  Here are my 3 holistic fundamentals to reduce inflammation and keep your immune system running optimally:

 

Balanced Diet:

Introduce more real, whole foods into your daily diet while reducing the amount  of processed foods you eat. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits provides critical minerals, phytonutrients and powerful antioxidants offering disease protective properties that we simply can’t get from eating a diet full of processed foods and loaded with chemicals.  

Tips:

Choose two to three anti-inflammatory recipes that are rich with vegetables, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olives, avocado), high-quality animal proteins (wild-caught salmon), along with powerhouse spices, and add that to your meals;

Remember, quantity and quality are important! Go organic as much as possible and keep animal protein portions to the equivalent of a deck of cards, the rest should be vegetables and healthy fats; 

Hydrate with plenty of water, equal to half your body weight in ounces to support removal of waste and aid in both digestion and cellular function (Bauman, 2016).

 

Mindful Eating:

Eating under stress will limit the body’s ability to digest food as our chemistry is in a fight or flight mode diverting blood to the nervous system (heart, brain, lungs) instead of the digestive system.  

Tips:

Eat in a calm, stress-free mindset; 

Turn off the TV, be present, chew really well, and be at peace as much as possible to ensure the best outcome for digestion;

Avoid fruits or sugary desserts with a meal to improve your digestion, as sugar disrupts the acid profile needed to digest our food.

 

Sleep:

Rest & recovery are needed for a strong immune system, which helps repair and activate muscle growth.

Tips: 

Turn off all electronic devices an hour before bed; 

Consider essential oils for relaxation, light body stretching, deep breathing techniques, or meditation apps such as Calm, to support restlessness.

Through incorporating more of these principles into your daily routine, you’ll begin to experience greater energy, feel more vibrant, and you will start to embrace a new way of living for yourself and for your family.

 

About the Author:

Andrea Anderson is a certified health & wellness coach, holistic cancer specialist, holistic nutritionist (in training) and a breast cancer survivor. She started Nutrition Commission in 2018 to teach other wellness seekers who are suffering with pain & inflammation learn how to change their diet & lifestyle to maximize self-healing.  ‘Through Education & Motivation Comes Transformation. One Meal at a Time.’

References:

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2016) Foundations of nutrition. Berkeley, CA: Bauman College.

 

By, Andrea Anderson, Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Holistic Nutritionist & Cancer Specialist 

 

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