When’s the best time for you to provide extra support for your immune system? That’s right—year-round! Let’s face it: environmental stressors and anxiety don’t take a holiday; they’re around all the time. That means they have a constant impact on your immune system, but not always in a positive way.
22 years ago, I took charge of my health and started to eat & live clean because I was suffering from major digestive issues. Today, I’m a Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and do TV segments across North America to inform & inspire others to live and eat clean too. Whether on the road (or on the air), I’ve observed that many of us struggle with finding the time to make changes that support a healthy immune system.
Here are 5 ways to support your immune system throughout the year without breaking a sweat.
In fact, these lifestyle modifications will benefit your entire body along with your immune function, so it’s a win-win.
1. Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies
Drinking fruit and vegetable smoothies on a regular basis are a delicious, and nutritious, way to support your immune system. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, carotenes, and other antioxidants and nutrients that can help fight against free radicals and other assaults on the body.
Making fruit and vegetable smoothies can help ensure we’re getting many of the nutrients, including the fiber in these foods. Consuming fruits and vegetables in smoothies are easier on the digestive system and supports better absorption of nutrients, which in turn can enhance energy levels.
Start each day with a smoothie that contains fruits, vegetables, and a protein source, such as nuts, seeds, nut butter, or plant-based beverages. Smoothies are great for breakfast as well as snacks any time of the day.
Here is one of my favorite smoothie recipes to kick off your morning and support your immune system throughout the day.
The garlic (Allium sativum) you sprinkle on your pizza or toss into your salads or stir fry has shown to support the immune system and stimulate its function. In fact, garlic appears to prompt activity of certain immune system cells, which in turn enhances its ability to protect you against unwanted invaders. Garlic also impacts proteins called cytokines, which may benefit immune function as well.
Feel free to use fresh raw garlic in your dishes. Raw garlic provides more health benefits than cooked. If you aren’t fond of raw garlic, lightly cook it or use garlic supplements, such as aged garlic extract.
3. Silver Hydrosol
Colloidal silver is a suspension that contains silver particles plus silver ions. The smaller the particle size, the greater the surface area (and the more bio-active the supplement). This is why Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol, the only silver-based supplement of such a finesse (particle size as small as 0.8 nanometers) is suggested.
One of the reasons I prefer Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol is that it can be safely* taken every day to provide year-round immune support*.
What I find fascinating is that silver has been used to support human health for over 2,400 years. From the time of Hippocrates, silver’s health promoting properties have been well-known and vastly researched. Additionally, silver can be found in many natural sources such as drinking water, whole grains, fish, mushrooms and mammalian milk (whether it be cow, goat or human breast milk).
Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol is safe*, pure and effective* and made with only two ingredients: 99.999% pure silver and pharmaceutical-grade purified water. Nothing more.
When choosing a silver supplement, bio-activity (aka positive charge) is key. Think of it this way: positive charge = positive effect. Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol’s 10ppm concentration is composed of up to 98% bio-active silver ions and silver nanoclusters.
Plus, it’s virtually tasteless and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
Just one teaspoon daily is all that is needed to help support immune function.
Learn more: Silver 101
Lack of sufficient sleep is all too common: in the United States alone, 70 percent of adults say they don’t get enough sleep at least one night a month, and 11 percent say they get insufficient sleep every night.
Researchers acknowledge that, when you don’t get enough sleep (7-8 hours every night), your body produces fewer proteins called cytokines, which focus on infections and inflammation, which in turn create an immune response. When you sleep less than you need to, especially chronically, you make your body’s immune system less able to respond to invaders that can disrupt your immune function. For example, people who get less than seven hours of sleep at night are nearly three times more likely to face issues than those who sleep eight hours or longer.
Establish a bedtime routine that supports falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking refreshed. Eliminate electronic devices from your bedroom and use within at least 60 minutes of retiring, go to bed and get up the same time every day. Do something relaxing before retiring such as taking a warm shower or listening to soothing music, and make your sleeping area comfortable in terms of temperature, bed clothes, noise, and light.
It’s well publicized that sunlight is necessary for the body to produce vitamin D, and that many of us are deficient or low in this critical nutrient. That’s one reason why you probably see a lot of information about the importance of taking vitamin D supplements.
It appears sunlight plays a role in supporting the immune system by helping produce vitamin D, but scientists also have discovered that exposure to sunlight has another specific part in immune system function. Specifically, the blue rays in sunlight cause T cells to move faster. The job of T cells is to rush to a compromised site and help start the healing process. This additional benefit means sunlight is even more important for immune function that previously believed.
Generally, it’s recommended you get about 20 minutes of direct sunlight (without sunscreen) three to four days a week. That’s a dose that can be easy to swallow!
Supporting our immune system year-round can be as easy as making a few lifestyle changes. When incorporating these actions into our life, we’ll be embracing an insurance policy with low premiums and healthy dividends!
American Sleep Apnea Association. The state of sleep health in America.
Arreola R et al. Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. Journal of Immunology Research 2015; 2015:401630.
Binford JD. Juicing: Boost your immune system to fight disease. American Fitness Professionals Association 2014 Aug 22
Cohen S et al. Sleep habits and susceptibility to the common cold. Archives of Internal Medicine 2009 Jan 12; 169(1): 62-67
Gaikwad S et al. Antiviral activity of mycosynthesized silver nanoparticles against herpes simplex virus and human parainfluenza virus type 3. International Journal of Nanomedicine 2013; 8: 4303-14.
Kheybari S et al. Synthesis and antimicrobial effects of silver nanoparticles produced by chemical reduction method. Daru 2010; 18(3):168‐72.
Morrill K et al. Spectrum of antimicrobial activity associated with ionic colloidal silver. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2013 Mar; 19(3): 224-31
Phan TX et al. Intrinsic photosensitivity enhances motility of T lymphocytes. Scientific Reports 2016; 6(39479)
About the Author
Andrea Donsky, B. COMM is an international TV Health Expert, Best Selling Author, Nutritionist Podcast Host, and Founder of NaturallySavvy.com—a recipient of Healthline’s Best Healthy Living Blogs for 2019.
Andrea co-hosts Naturally Savvy Radio, a weekly podcast in partnership with RadioMD. She appears as a healthy living expert on TV and radio stations across North America. Her segments and interviews have aired on NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, Univision, WGN, Better TV, City TV CTV, CBC, Global, and SiriusXM.
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