Once exposed to a virus, our body’s ability to fight it off is determined by the strength of our immune system.
A healthy body is more resistant to a viral attack. By supporting our immune system with what it needs, we can boost our body’s defenses for longer, stronger and healthier lives.
Here are the most important ways to fortify our immune system.
1. Eat nutrient dense foods.
At least 80% of our immune system resides in the gut. There is an undeniable connection between good nutrition and good immunity.
Avoid foods that are heavily processed and nutritionally bankrupt, or foods that are inflammatory (alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, dairy, animal products, most foods that come in a box, crinkly package, bag, etc.). Foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce or define should be avoided. If you can’t easily make it in your own kitchen, don’t eat it. If it doesn’t grow on a tree or in the soil, it probably isn’t healthy. If it has a mother or a face, it does not have phytonutrients.
Instead, choose foods that are rich in phytonutrients.
Phytonutrients are compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and are found exclusively in plant foods. They support the body’s ability to heal and protect itself and there are thousands of them found in plants.
In his book Super Immunity, Dr. Joel Fuhrman identified the most powerful, immune supporting foods we should be eating every day to help fight disease and promote longevity. He created the acronym G-BOMBS to help us to remember them.
Greens: in particular, green leafy vegetables (such as kale, collards, bok choy, Swiss chard and more) are the most nutrient dense food on the planet.
Beans: nutritional powerhouses, rich in fibre, slowly digested, with a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. Favorable for diabetics. They are also very filling and provide you with protein.
Onions: anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer properties.
Mushrooms: anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer properties, stimulate the immune system & prevent DNA damage. (eat these cooked)
Berries: the highest antioxidant rich food on the planet with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.
Seeds and Nuts: rich in minerals, phytosterols and a source of healthy fats that aid in the absorption of nutrients (eat these raw and unsalted, about 1 once per day).
These foods naturally strengthen the immune system. There are a variety of ways to make them last. you can buy them fresh and freeze them, buy them already frozen, or make soup, casseroles or chili and freeze. I have many free recipes for you to enjoy. Search this site for recipes like this easy to make 2 Bean Mexican Delight.
I also have free recipes demonstrated by myself, my husband Rick and many of our talented, plant based friends.
Check out the free Be Green With Amy YouTube Channel
2) Support your gut:
Your body needs a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut. Eating nutrient dense foods and avoiding animal products and processed foods are the best way to build a healthy gut bacteria and immune system.
3) Reduce your stress.
Stress can wreak havoc on the body mentally, emotionally and physically, including weakening our immune system. When we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to do its job is compromised and can make us more vulnerable to infection and disease. Meditation, yoga, dancing, listening to your favorite music, are just some of the ways to reduce stress. Find activities you most enjoy.
Check out my videos on these beginner, easy to do forms of meditation:
Introduction to Tai Chi
4) Adequate sleep:
Your body heals and restores while you sleep. Not getting enough sleep suppresses your immune system. It is recommended that you get 8 hours a day for adults (and even more for kids) for strong immune health.
A healthy body is more resistant to a viral attack: by supporting our immune system with what it needs, we can boost our body’s defenses for longer, stronger, healthier lives.
5. Exercise- find an activity that you enjoy, not something you try to talk yourself out of doing. Learn more from my blogs:
Is Exercise Necessary?
The Right Way to Wash Your Hands!
Important message to those on prescription drug medications (especially blood pressure, blood thinner and diabetes medications: If you adopt this lifestyle you may see a SIGNIFICANT change in your need for medications in a very short period of time (sometimes a few days)!!!
Please monitor your blood pressure, glucose levels, etc. Work with your physician as your body can heal so quickly that you could become dangerously overmedicated!!
Many people who have adopted this lifestyle have (with their doctor’s supervision) significantly reduced or eliminated prescription (and over the counter) medications.
The body is a miraculous, self healing machine.
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I have helped many people maintain this lifestyle. If you would like help to learn ways to navigate this lifestyle, please contact me for a coaching session. I have learned many strategies, tips and hacks while coaching people since 2012. I would love to help you be successful as well.
Amy holds a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and eCornell
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Be Strong, Be Well and Be Green!