The immune system is a complex mechanism that is responsible for defending the body against foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, and parasites. In addition, we are constantly being assaulted by environmental invaders including chemicals, pesticides and foreign materials present in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. When the immune system is not functioning properly, illness can more easily occur.
People in need of immune support may experience fatigue, allergies, sore throats, swollen glands, stuffy or runny noses or multiple colds per year.
The good news is that we can support our immune systems with lifestyle factors and by monitoring the foods we eat.
The following are quick tips that will help keep your immune system functioning optimally and your throat in a healthy, normal state:
Suck on a zinc lozenge. Zinc plays an important role in the production of immune cells. It’s important we get enough zinc daily to replenish what our body has used.
Maintain a healthy diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables, and make sure they are organic to avoid unwanted exposure to pesticides.
Avoid sugary foods and beverages. This is especially important if you are battling a cold.
Avoid irritants such as smoke from cigarettes and cigars, which can impact our body’s immune response.
Environmental irritants can impact the immune system if exposed on a regular basis. Limit your exposure to household cleaners, lawn and garden supplies, air fresheners and other fragrances, as well as artificial dyes.
Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps ensure that our blood carries plenty of oxygen to all of the cells in our body. Our immune system works best when our muscles and organs are functioning well. Drinking purified water will help flush the body of toxins.
Proper sleep and rest are important to restore the body’s ability to resist sickness and alleviate stress.
Reduce stress. Utilize yoga, meditation, biofeedback or any form of relaxation that soothes the mind and alleviates adrenal fatigue.
The Environmental Working Group has a couple of apps that are great resources for avoiding chemicals, pesticides and other nasty ingredients in our food and our body care products. The first is The Dirty Dozen, which lists the top 12 most heavily, sprayed produce and the Clean Fifteen, which shows the cleanest produce that doesn’t necessarily have to be bought organic. Prioritizing those foods with the highest and least amount of chemicals can really have an impact on your shopping budget.
Another valuable tool is the Healthy Living app which allows you to scan a barcode on many food or body care product and instantly receive a one to ten ranking in regards to their cleanliness. The lower the score the better the product.
With these tips and tools, you’ll be on your way to taking control of your environment and taking control of your health. Enjoy the journey.
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