The workplace is a big germ factory and you can easily bring bad bugs home to infect everybody else. If you’re tired of getting sick and want to reduce the number of sick days for you and your family, keep reading as I’m about to share the best ways to take care of your immune system.
For one, you have to sleep well. Sleep is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy immune system.
When my patients have poor sleep habits, they have a weaker immune system and catch colds more easily.
Here are my top 3 suggestions for better sleep:
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. The body follows a circadian rhythm, also known as “the body’s clock”. With consistent sleep routines, the circadian rhythm stabilizes and people typically experience better sleep.
- Remove all electronics from the bedroom and avoid digital devices at least one hour before bed. Evidence suggests that using technology in the late evening can negatively impact sleep by stimulating the brain.
- Practice deep breathing or mindful meditation to de-stress, reduce anxiety, and calm the nervous system.
In addition to calming the nervous system, the digestive system also plays a big role in better immune health.
Many people are not aware that 70-80% of the immune system lies in the gut.
With poor gut health, we often see a rise in illness as we weaken our ability to fight off bacteria and viruses.
To achieve healthy digestion, aim to get at least 30 grams of fibre each day while drinking adequate amounts of water. A variety of fibre-rich foods is easily added to the diet – vegetable skins, avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, legumes, ancient grains, and low sugar fruits.
Fibre supplements are often recommended by Naturopathic Doctors when daily fibre requirements are not met. These supplements are available in capsule or powder form and can be added to cereal, smoothies, applesauce or beverages.
Popular fibre supplements often contain aspartame, artificial flavors, and yellow 6, so please read ingredients carefully.
It’s important to ensure healthy levels of gut flora since optimal gut health depends on a healthy microbiome. Gut flora is our main defence against bacteria and viruses.
In today’s world, “good” bacteria like gut flora are easily disrupted – stress, processed foods, and medication are some of the many ways gut flora is destroyed. The good news is that consuming fermented foods – kimchi, kefir, pickled vegetables and kombucha – can help us achieve a healthier gut.
That being said, one of the best ways to replenish gut flora is with a high potency probiotic. More secifically a probiotic with multiple strains and a delivery system ensuring bacteria survive the harsh, low pH environment of the stomach.
Let’s take a closer look at how “good” bacteria fight viruses.
Healthy bacteria support healthier immune systems on three different levels:
Level 1 – “Good” bacteria surrounds and neutralizes viruses in the intestinal tract.
Level 2 – The “good” bacteria forms a barrier along the intestinal lining, preventing viruses from passing into the bloodstream.
Level 3 – “Good” bacteria communicates with the body to produce substances that neutralize viruses before they cause damage.
With dysbiosis (an imbalance in gut flora), the body’s defenses are down and the body is unable to fight off pathogens effectively.
A daily probiotic supplement can help bring gut flora back into balance.
These beneficial bacteria stand strong like an army protecting you and your family against invaders.
Not getting adequate sleep, high levels of stress and a poor diet such as one high in sugar can compromise the body’s natural ability to recognize, attack and kill microorganisms.
Giving the immune system a boost with good lifestyle habits, adequate fibre and the right dose of beneficial bacteria can go a long way.
Cheers to a strong, healthy immune system!