Beyond The Mask: 9 Things That Are More Important To Your Immune System Than A Mask

Right now, a lot of people have been asking questions about how to improve their immune system.

There's so much unknown about COVID-19 in terms of personal health, public health, mental health, and financial health:

Conflicinting opinions....
Conspiracy theories....
Political spin...

It's hard to know what to believe and who to believe... and I wish I knew all the answers to tell you... but I don't.

But as St. Louis county gets ready to open back up on a limited basis, what I DO know is that a healthy immune system will give you a better chance of fighting off ANY infection, not just COVID-19.  Here a few simple tips you can use to keep your immune system running on all cylinders:

Your immune system has a few different lines of defense, similar to a combat field. Our first line of defense is the skin and mucous membranes lining the respiratory, gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts. Your more specific immune cells live in various places in the body, i.e. the lungs, spleen and intestines to name a few. It's best to care for the entire body in order to affect immunity since those immune cells are just about EVERYWHERE!

Here are 9 Ways You Can Ensure Your Immune System Is Ready To Fight An Invasion:

  1. Keep Your Skin Clean: I know this one sounds too simple, but cleaning your hands is the best way to prevent a pathogen from entering through your nose, eyes, or mouth. With that being said, keep your hands away from your face! I know its' hard but it's well worth it. Another a great idea is to scrub your skin with a gentle loofah in the shower in order to remove dead skin, keep the healthy skin strong, and ready to provide a barrier against pathogens.
  2. Drink A Lot Of Water: Any non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic, non-sugary liquid will do, but PLAIN WATER IS BEST! This will serve to flush any lingering bacteria from the mouth down into the stomach, where your stomach acids can kill the pathogen. Also, staying hydrated helps your immune cells function optimally, preventing oxidative stress to the cell.
  3. Keep Moving: Exercise and movement have been proven to be an immune system booster. When you move, your blood is flowing, which allows your lymphatic system to filter pathogens through at a faster rate than if you were sedentary. Less stagnation in the system means a cleaner system that is removing toxins and debris, daily.
  4. Sweat Every Day: The skin is our body’s first line of defense against a pathogen. The sweat glands in the skin secrete antibacterial and anti-fungal fatty acids and lactic acids. Your sweat, tears, and saliva contain an enzyme that attacks the cell wall of a pathogen.
  5. Sleep At Least 7-8 Hours/Night: A pro-inflammatory state occurs with sleep deprivation that increases your risk of chronic disease through the breakdown of the body’s ability to naturally heal from daily attacks to the immune system. Sleeping a minimum of 7 hours allows for your cells to recover and repair, preventing oxidative stress and keeping you strong and ready to fight any cellular invasion that should come your way! (Exercise helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and improves quality of sleep!)
  6. Manage Stress: A negative tension-filled mind does not support your well-being. Internal tension results in stress. The body reacts to stress by releasing hormones that disturb the detoxification process and can ultimately lead to poor health. Anger actually disrupts the liver’s ability to function (the liver is another important detoxification organ). Deep breathing and meditation are an effective way to calm the mind. These practices have been shown to help with stress, anxiety, depression, and even pain! Some people also find that having a massage helps them to relax as well.
  7. Good Nutrition: This is probably THE most important tip on this list, next to good sleep. You must try and keep your diet clean, with minimally processed foods, filled with antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables. Examples include: organic berries, spinach, eggs, fish, walnuts, ginger, garlic, and brown rice. Processed foods will cause cellular inflammation in the body. The best way to explain why this is not a good thing is that if your immune system is constantly fighting the inflammation that you are causing it with what you are eating, it has little energy/capacity left over to fight a possible viral infection. This puts you at a major disadvantage for fighting infections. Avoiding sugar is also a good way to keep inflammation low. If you need some help getting your nutrition back on track, ask about our Free Nutrition Consultation.
  8. Take A Good Quality Multivitamin and Probiotic: The real truth is that a lot of people have trouble staying on a good whole food diet. Taking a multivitamin will ensure that you get the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay in balance. A probiotic will ensure your gut flora is optimized. Most of your immune cells live in the gut, therefore maintaining balance here will ensure good immune function. If you need a good multivitamin or probiotic, we'd be happy to suggest one for you. Just email me, and we'll find the one that suits you best based on your nutritional goals and current nutritional habits.
  9. Get Outside: The fresh air and Vitamin D you get from being outdoors can truly save your life. The primary source of Vitamin D for most people is solar Ultraviolet-B (UVB) light. Vitamin D reduces the risk of infectious disease by reducing inflammation.

So there are the 9 best ways you can keep your immune system in tip-top shape, lowering the odds of ANY virus (not just Coronavirus) from causing an invasion and winning! If you have further questions or would like to discuss how you can optimize your health, call or text us at 314-941-3970 or Request A FREE Phone Consultation.

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