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Supercharge Your Immune System

Focus On Food:

1. Garlic: contains Allicin, a compound that is proven to boost the immune system. ExpertsNrecommend a minimum of ½ – 1 clove of garlic daily.
2. Prebiotics feed the bacteria in our gut where 70% of our immune system is housed. Fruits and veggies are the highest sources of prebiotic fiber.
3. Increased intake of vitamin C. 6-8 grams daily has been shown to decrease the severity and duration of respiratory infections.
4. Vitamin D has been shown to be one of the most important immune strengthening nutrients in fighting viruses. It’s estimated that over 40% of adults are deficient. Supplementing with 400-880 iu daily is sufficient for most adults.
5. Zinc is crucial for development and function of immune cells. Supplementing with 15–30 mg of zinc daily has been shown to reduce respiratory infections.
6. Antioxidants counteract oxidative stress which weakens our immune system. Foods highest in antioxidants are unprocessed colorful fruits and vegetables.

Lifestyle Interventions:

7. One night of poor sleep can decrease our natural killer cells over 70%. 7-8 hours of sleep is vital for powerful immune defense. Setting an alarm in the evening and developing a nighttime routine is one of the most effective ways to ensure a good night’s sleep.
8. Reduce stress. The hormone Cortisol reduces the amount white blood cells in our body which fight off not only viruses but also bacteria and cancerous cells. Reduce stress through meditation, exercise and adding in time for relationships and play.
9. Get moving! People who exercise regularly have lower incidences of both acute illnesses like viruses and chronic ones like cancer and cardiovascular disease. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or dreadful. Finding a way to play that increases your heart rate is the best way to create a lifelong habit out of the movement.
10. Avoid toxins. This seems obvious but committing to eliminating sugar and alcohol during outbreaks and virus season will not only reduce your risk for getting sick and the severity of your sickness but will significantly increase your longevity and healthgevity. Recruit a friend to commit to detox with you!
Ok one bonus: Nurture the relationships in your life! Human connection reduces stress and increases restful sleep. People with healthy, loving relationships are more likely to eat healthy and exercise and have a more robust microbiome, are sick less often and even live longer. So while social distancing from strangers is recommended, loving up the people close to you is a super immune booster!
Resources: Harvard Health Publishing, PubMed, WebMD, Cleveland Clinic, Health Line

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