I recently reached out to my friend Kristin Oja to get some tips on what we can do at home to boost our immune systems naturally and keep our bodies strong during this time.
Kristin is a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a Masters of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner focus, and is a Registered Nurse. She is also an entrepreneur, functional and lifestyle medicine guru, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and lover of everything health and wellness! She also happens to be the founder of STAT Wellness, the nation’s first medicine and movement facility (and it’s AWESOME btw).
10 Easy Ways to boost your immune system naturally
Here’s Kristin’s advice…
Without adequate sleep (7-9 hours per night) your body is unable to make as many cytokines, which are proteins that help regulate our immune system by targeting infection and inflammation. In other words, sleep deprivation decreases your immune system and your ability to fight off infection.
2. Wash your hands
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (which is about the length of Lizzo’s Truth Hurts chorus or Happy Birthday twice through).
3. Avoid refined sugars
Processed sugar triggers inflammation and can reduce the efficiency of your white blood cells making it harder to fight off infection. I recommend keeping total sugar under 20 grams per day (the lower the better).
4. Consume Vitamin C rich foods
Eat a diet rich in vitamin C since it is a good natural antiviral. These foods include broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, oranges, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potatoes, strawberries, and tomatoes.
5. Stress less
When we are stressed, our fight or flight hormone, cortisol is increased. Chronically elevated cortisol can trigger an inflammatory cascade and lower our immune system. Try incorporating deep breathing exercises like 4-4-4 where you inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, and slowly exhale for 4 seconds for at least 4 cycles!
6. Stay hydrated
Stay well hydrated with good, clean filtered water. Aim for at least 50% of your body weight in ounces.
Add Myer’s Cocktails with additional Vitamin C and Zinc to your wellness routine to keep your immune system strong!
Elderberry is rich in antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. I am pro all immune-boosting supplements. Elderberry has promising research for influenza viruses but more research is needed for Coronavirus. Elderberry is great for immune support but if in contact or exposed to COVID-19 you might want to stick to vitamin D, zinc and vitamin C.
And of course, Kristin adds, “I always have astragalus root, or oil of oregano on hand to start as soon as I feel the slightest tickle in my throat!”
Myer’s Cocktails IV
If you are in the Atlanta area, check out STAT Wellb ness‘s Myer’s Cocktails IV. This is a vitamin infusion that is highly absorbed because it bypasses the gut. Myer’s cocktails are basically a multivitamin in a bag with B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and more.
For more ways to support your immune system naturally…
If you are looking for more, check out 30 Ways To Support Your Immune System Naturally!
My personal go-tos…
Here is what Jason and I are keeping on hand currently…