Many of you are well aware of the things that you need to do to support a healthy immune system, but you may get stuck in a unhealthy habits that are hard to break or you just need reminders of how important all of these behaviors are to keep you productive and well. Now, we have great motivation to do all that we can to keep ourselves, our families and friends as healthy as possible.
Refer to Blog 1 to get your Self-Care Checklist. The blogs that follow will expand on some of the items on the checklist and give more tips as our lives present new circumstances with each new day of COVID-19 information.
When you are well-rested, well-nourished, physically-fit and centered, your body has the amazing ability to fight off millions of invaders everyday. The pathogens that try to invade are fought by your white blood cells (WBCs). A poor diet, lack of exercise and a stress-filled life keep your WBCs from doing their job properly. There may not be enough WBCs or they may be busy trying to fight off the damage caused by the overly-processed foods and stress that you choose to put in your body. Every pathogen that your white blood cells don’t have to fight makes your immune system more ready to protect you. That is why it is so important to keep your inside and outside clean.
Now is the time to double down and use the Self-Care Checklist to make sure that you are doing all that you can everyday to support every cell in your body to be powerful and strong.
SUPER IMMUNITY CHECKLIST
Ways to strengthen your Immune System – Starting Today, Right Now!
- Choose whole, unprocessed foods
The more fresh and frozen vegetables that you can get in your diet, the greater the vitamins and phytonutrients will be available to help your cells stay strong and fight invaders.
- Top 8 Immune System Boosters
Vitamin C – Broccoli, Strawberries, Bell Peppers, Kiwi
Vitamin E – Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Avocado, Peanuts
Carotenoids – Squash, Carrots, Grapefruit, Oranges
Bioflavonoids – Bell Peppers, Strawberries, Citrus, Broccoli
Zinc – Meat, Shellfish, Legumes, Seeds
Antimicrobials – Garlic, Onion & Ginger
Selenium – Brazil Nuts, Fish, Pork
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fatty fish like Salmon & Herring, Cod Liver Oil
- Vitamins from whole foods
Vitamins and minerals from real foods are better absorbed by the body. They are more bioavailable. If you need a pill vitamin boost, it is better than not having that nutrient, but know that most pill vitamins only have a bioavailability of about 10%.
- Consider smoothies & soups
The blender does a lot of the chewing and churning for you so that all of the nutrients are better absorbed in the small intestine and stomach, and doesn’t just past through.
- Feed your Microbiome – Gut health – Fiber
Another crucial plant-based supporter of the immune system is Fiber. It feeds the friendly gut bacteria. Adults are urged to consume about 25-30 grams of fiber each day, but most Americans are consuming 10-15 grams or less. When you consume foods like whole vegetables, fruits, legumes, lentils, quinoa and nuts, you are supporting all of the bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract that support you and allow you to function at optimal health.
- Avoid added sugar and processed foods
Sugar and ingredients in processed foods cause inflammation in the body. When the body is inflamed, the WBCs are busy trying to reduce the inflammation. If they are busy fixing that, they aren’t available to fight against unwanted bacteria and viruses.
- Choose whole grains
Brown rice vs. white; barley, whole wheat vs. white, etc.
- Make it at home – If you are preparing your own food, you know that there will not be any hidden, added sugars, non-beneficial oils, excess salt or chemicals that will interfere with your body functioning at in a superior manner.
I hope that these reminders and education will benefit you and keep you occupied as you fine-tune your habits to create the best version of yourself. Feel free to contact me with questions or suggestions for future blogs.
Up Next: How and Why to Keep Moving
Brenda Morgan, A Health Warrior is a Health Coach Nutritionist, an ACSM Personal Trainer and a Fitness Teacher. Her goal is to inspire, motivate and support millions of people to make better choices to create their best lives. She has practiced for more than 15 years in the health and fitness industry. Brenda wants to share her knowledge and expertise with everyone so that they don’t have to suffer the modern diseases that are affecting so many and their families. She believes good nutrition, fitness and lifestyle habits are the keys to living to your full potential.
Brenda is a wife and the mother of two teenagers. She has a Bachelors in Music from Baylor University, a Masters in Business and is currently pursuing herMasters in Nutrition.