Stay healthy all year long with these immune-boosting tips. Plus, get your free immune function report below.
The coronavirus pandemic has drawn our attention to immune health more than ever. The United States has reported over 1.3 million COVID-19 cases, while Canada has reported nearly 75,000 cases to date. According to some projections, social distancing guidelines will need to remain intact for at least 18 months to significantly slow the spread of infection.
But the coronavirus isn’t the only pathogen we must protect ourselves against. On average, adults catch 2-3 colds per year, while children catch between 7-8 colds. And during the 2020 flu season alone, nearly 40,000 Americans reported suffering from mild to severe flu symptoms.
According to the CDC, older adults, people who have chronic medical conditions, and people who are immunocompromised can be at risk for more severe outcomes when they come in contact with a pathogen. The primary risk of a weak immune system is susceptibility to infection. For example, someone with an autoimmune disorder may find that they get sick frequently and they cannot recover as quickly as their immune-healthy friends.
Immune health is vital to combating the ravages of the common cold, the flu, COVID-19, and any other harmful pathogens. Whether you feel particularly at risk or you’re just being safe, you may be considering precautionary measures to stay healthy and boost your immune system. Luckily, there are actionable steps you can take today to support your immune system so you’re prepared to fight off the pathogens lurking in your environment.
Below, you can find 7 research-backed tips for supporting your immune system. (Plus a bonus tip that includes a free immune function report to give you powerful information about your own genetically unique immune system).
1. Get enough sleep to support your immune system.
When you sleep, your immune system does its best work. That’s because when you’re sleeping, your body can use extra energy and resources to support important immune functions. During sleep, the body produces additional proteins called cytokines, which are needed to fight infection and inflammation.
Just as getting good sleep is good for a healthy immune system, a lack of sleep can adversely affect your immune capabilities. Clinical studies prove that disruptive sleep habits or lack of sleep can weaken the body’s ability to effectively fight off invaders. It can also result in increased inflammation which may hinder immune efficiency. When you don’t get enough rest, all your systems suffer.
Getting adequate sleep can be tough. Here are a few tips to achieving a restful night’s sleep:
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Consistency is key here.
- Avoid caffeine before bed.
- Avoid eating a large meal late at night.
- Give yourself time to wind down before going to sleep.
- Take all screens out of your bedroom. Lights from screens can be disruptive.
- Consider a CBD product to promote quality sleep.
- Consult your healthcare provider if you suffer from chronic insomnia or consistently disruptive sleep patterns.
2. Reduce stress so your immune system can thrive.
Overall, there is strong clinical evidence that stress can have an impact on the immune system. Stress stimulates the production of cortisol, epinephrine, and other hormones which are known to influence immune system cells.
Especially during actively stressful times, trying to get a handle on your stress levels can feel nearly impossible.
Though it sounds unlikely, commitment to small stress-relieving activities can actually have a big impact on your ability to relax.
Here are a few practical tips to help you relax and de-stress:
- Try a meditation app. Here’s a great list. Most include free trials!
- Unplug from your media and screens.
- Find a playlist of soothing music.
- Spend some time doing something creative like writing, painting, or gardening.
- Enjoy a warm caffeine-free drink, a bath, or some quiet time.
- Eat a well balanced and nutritious diet.
For more unique tips to care for your mental health when you’re stressed, click here.
3. Nourish your immune system with nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods.
Of course, a well-balanced diet is a pillar of good overall health. Nutrient-dense food supports your immune system’s ability to respond efficiently and effectively. Sometimes, micro- and macro-nutrient deficiencies can lead to compromised immunity or slow immune responses. Be sure to stock up on foods rich in vitamins A, C, D, and Zinc, as they’re important for immune defenses.
To nourish your immune system, you’ll also want to avoid inflammatory foods. The body functions by breaking down and using the nutrients from the food you eat. Inflammatory foods actually cause immune responses since they irritate the body. Make sure you’re providing your body with the best nutrients to support immunity and overall health.
Folks with autoimmune challenges will want to be particularly careful to avoid reactive foods.
Though dietary needs will vary from person to person, avoidance of some of following inflammatory foods is common:
- Grains that contain gluten like wheat, rye, and barely.
- Processed or refined carbohydrates.
- Processed sugars.
- Nightshades like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.
- Trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
In some cases, a low-FODMAP diet may be appropriate to mitigate digestive dysfunction or immune disorders.
4. Quit smoking to improve immune functionality.
By now, the evidence is overwhelming that tobacco smoke is damaging to the body. Among a host of serious diseases and disorders, smoking can lead to an increased risk of cancers and respiratory disease.
Tobacco, hemp, and cannabis smoking can also lead to increased risk of influenza-like illnesses progressing to acute respiratory distress. This is proven for both smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke, usually within the same home.
But just because smoking is harmful doesn’t mean quitting is easy. If you’re ready to support your immune function, here are some actionable tips to help you quit:
- Make a plan and set a date to quit. Stick to it.
- Find an accountability partner to lean on for support.
- Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
- Knowledge is power. Learn about nicotine addiction and its effects on your body, mind, and health.
- Consider using smoking cessation tools, like gum or nicotine patches.
- Spend the money you’d usually use to buy tobacco products on self-care items instead.
- Give yourself credit! Being proud of yourself is key to committing and following through.
If you need additional help, here’s a list of resources, including hotlines and organizations dedicated to seeing you succeed.
5. Create an exercise routine to promote whole-body health.
It’s amazing what even small changes to your physical movement routines can do for your immune function.
Just like a healthy diet, exercise is a pillar of good health and can contribute to a strong immune system. Exercise can improve circulation, which may allow the cells and components of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
There are many ways to get started exercising, most of which do not require a gym membership or expensive equipment.
Here are some ideas to get you moving:
- Workout apps for yoga sessions.
- YouTube videos for cardio or resistance training.
- Calisthenics and body weight-based exercises like push-ups or planks.
- Going for a walk.
- Take up golfing.
- Dancing to your favorite upbeat playlist.
If you’d like more tips for change and access to free resources available to you, click here.
6. Reduce air pollution in your home.
Back in 2006, researchers found that air pollution exposure suppressed the immune system’s regulatory T cells, which in turn was linked to greater severity of asthma symptoms and lower lung capacity. Since then, there have been countless scientific studies warning of the effects of air pollution on the immune system—specifically respiratory-related illnesses and infections.
While you can’t always control the air quality where you live (especially in urban areas with high pollution rates), you can take some simple steps to make sure the air quality in your home is filtered and largely pollutant-free.
Here are some steps you can take to make your house clean-air-friendly:
- Use environmentally friendly household cleaners. Harsh chemicals from traditional cleaning products can damage your respiratory tract.
- Use an air filter and regularly ensure your HVAC system is in tip-top shape.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air. This can help get rid of microscopic toxins like mold.
- Reduce or eliminate fragrance products that might irritate your airway passages, like perfumes, scented candles, or air fresheners.
7. Take a trustworthy probiotic to support healthy immunity.
Probiotics have received a lot of attention recently. They’re known for providing benefits to gut function by regulating GI activity and the absorption of nutrients. Probiotics, however, also support healthy immune functioning.
Studies suggest that taking probiotic supplements may be beneficial to both disease treatment and prevention.
Additionally, certain types of bacteria present in probiotics have been shown to reduce inflammation, a known risk factor for many diseases.
Since probiotics are living colonies of bacteria, it’s important to buy products that you can trust. Unfortunately, the probiotic industry isn’t well regulated, and some companies disregard proper storing and transporting procedures that ensure product quality.
If you’d like to get probiotics from a food source, try adding these foods to your diet:
- Sauerkraut, or
Get a DNA analysis and an immune function report
You may not realize that your DNA holds important clues about your immune function. In many ways, your DNA is a blueprint to supporting immune health. You can use your unique genetics to make smarter decisions about your health.
When you sign up for Endocanna Health’s FREE immune function report, you’ll uncover your unique predispositions to infectious diseases based on your own DNA.
The information in your report can help you take control of your health by making necessary changes to your lifestyle to mitigate any possible threats or risks to your immune system function.
In each of your individual Trait Reports, you’ll find:
- Identification of any relevant genotype you may possess that indicates predisposition to infectious disease,
- A summary of the relevant and critical research as it relates to your genetic predisposition,
- Assessment of your genetic variants based on relevant research, and
- Relevant Next Steps to support your immune strength and personal wellness goals.
Information is power. Get actionable information you can use to protect yourself today. For your FREE immune function report, click here.
Be sure to share this link with your friends and loved ones so they can arm themselves with knowledge about their genetic predispositions and stay safe, too.
Endocanna Health is a biotechnology company committed to helping consumers find the right cannabinoid products to enhance their health and wellness. Using our breakthrough DNA test, Endo·dna, we empower you to take control of your health with access to over 55 different health reports that include suggestions for the best CBD and cannabis products that match your unique genetic code. Visit us here to find out more!