Ten Ways to Boost Your Immune System: Part 1

Kara Bauer Health Guide
  • Our immune system is an amazing internal healing system that was designed to keep us healthy and strong from a physical, mental and spiritual perspective. In order to enjoy a good quality of life now and in the future, it’s extremely important that we take care of this vital system to ensure that we’re able to fulfill our dreams and purpose in this lifetime. This is not to say that certain health conditions can’t be a positive part of our learning experience. Often times when the immune system breaks down and illness arises, it provides a wake up call that can be very supportive in pointing us in the right direction. However, I think most of us would rather learn our lessons inside of a healthy body than experience the pain and distress that comes with being sick. 

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    1.  Deep-Rooted Stress

    Most experts would agree that the primary source of illness is chronic stress. This is not the type of stress that is circumstantial and temporary. The stress that leads to health imbalances is that which puts us into a “fight or flight” mode for a continual period of time, usually related to issues of the heart. These negative belief thoughts and patterns, often rooted in childhood, are the route cause of physiological stress at the cellular level that eventually leads to a breakdown in the immune system.[1]  If you’re having a hard time uncovering these deeper issues (and we all have them!), therapies such as meditation, yoga, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, transformational workshops and other techniques can be very helpful.

     

    2.  Diet

    An alkaline diet rich in plant foods that includes lots of vegetables, greens, fruits, raw seeds and nuts, fermented foods, beans and whole grains is essential to a healthy way of life. Ideally, you'll also want to eat a high percentage of raw foods, 50-75%. Raw foods provide live phytonutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals that are eliminated substantially when foods are cooked. This will nourish and enhance the growth of healthy cells and keep your entire body working at optimal levels. It's also important to consume only good fats (such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds) on a limited basis. High fat diets such as those heavily based in animal products depress the immune system and lead to conditions such as degenerative diseases, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and others.[2] 

     

    3.  Sugar

    Sugar consumption is at its peak and responsible for many detrimental effects on our health both physically and mentally. Sugar depresses the immune system by raising insulin levels, which inhibits the release of growth hormones.[3]  Simple sugars such as those found in white sugar, processed foods and refined carbohydrates have been linked with all sorts of mental and nervous disorders in addition to obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Consuming sugar also depletes the existing nutrients in the body in order to metabolize it properly, which contributes to a host of other health problems. If you’re going to consume sugar, it’s best to consume natural sweeteners, but in very limited quantities.

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    4.  Antioxidants

    Antioxidants are extremely important for preventing disease, boosting the immune system and slowing the aging process.[2]  Antioxidants include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta-carotene, bioflavonoids, selenium, lipoic acid, and many others. They are essential for fighting or neutralizing free radicals caused by oxidation, which occurs as a result of environmental and dietary toxins. Free radicals are incomplete electrons that are looking to steel electrons from other molecules, thus creating a chain reaction (molecules steeling from molecules) and ultimately damaging cells and DNA. A diet rich in plant foods is abundant in antioxidants. Some of the best foods include green leafy vegetables, other vegetables (such as peppers, broccoli, eggplant, cabbage and carrots), berries (including goji berries), nuts and beans. 

     

    5.  Vitamin D

    Vitamin D deficiency is quite common in today’s world in which we spend very little time in the sun. Unfortunately, when we do go into the sun, most of us must wear sunscreen that blocks out the UVB rays that are imperative for our health. Vitamin D3 is a repair and maintenance steroid responsible for the regulation of over 3,000 genes. It is also a potent antibiotic that is intimately involved with a vast amount of disorders and diseases.[4]  This makes it a vital component of a healthy immune system and is best obtained from the sun, with supplementation being an alternative option. Make sure that you have your blood serum levels checked to ensure the correct levels and only use D3, as D2 is synthetic and limits the body’s ability to convert UVB rays to D3.

     

    Please see part 2 for the remaining 5 ways to boost your immune system.

     

    [1]  Loyd, A. (2011). The healing code: 6 minutes to heal the source of your health, success, or relationship issue. New York: Grand Central Life & Style.

     

    [2]  Levy, E., Monte, T. (1997). The ten best tools to boost your immune system. Boston: Houghton-Mifflin Trade and Reference

     

    [3]  (n.d.) Retrieved from http://www.healingdaily.com/detoxification-diet/sugar.htm

     

    [4] Mercola, J. (2010, September 6). Could this simple habit actually reduce cancer and diabetes by 50%? Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/09/06/vitamin-d-linked-to-cancer-and-autoimmune-disease-genes.aspx

Published On: January 14, 2013