By Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
With all that is going on, you are probably looking for a few ways to boost your immune function — especially if you are in a high risk group. Unfortunately, because people are more concerned about their health, this will likely result in a rise in misinformation about natural ways to prevent falling ill.
Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your immune system.
Although there is a lot you can do to support your immune system with a healthy lifestyle, there is no cure — natural or not — many of the viruses going around at this time. But there are some things you can do to increase your chances of fighting off viral infections or lessening their symptoms if you do contract them. These include a balanced diet, incorporating proper sleeping routines and ensuring your hands, face and body are washed frequently by thoroughly cleansing with anti-bacterial soap or sanitizer.
While extra sleep may sound great, frequent use of harsh soaps or alcohol based sanitizer may feel like an irritation inducing skin care nightmare. CBD face cream and hemp extract body lotion can be used daily to assist in skin hydration.
Eat a Balanced, Nutrient-Rich Diet
The immune system, just like every other part of your body, needs quality nutrition to function at its best. A diet loaded with vegetables, fruits, protein and healthy fats is ideal for supporting immune function. On the flip side, a diet high in processed foods and sugar may suppress immune function.
Plants in particular are high in nutrients the immune system needs, such as vitamins C and A, and antioxidants. Try to eat a colorful fruit or a vegetable at every meal and snack to increase your intake. Aim for at least five to nine servings a day. The more you can vary the color of your diet, the better.
Take Immune-Building Supplements
Many dietary supplements help support immune function. Here are a few that you may want to try:
- Vitamin B6, found in our CBD Energy Shot, has a role in antibody production that supports the biochemical reactions in your immune system.
- Oregano oil is antibacterial and antiviral. It contains thymol and carvacrol — powerful phenols that have antioxidant effects.
- Vitamin D, needed for immune function, can become depleted during the winter months due to time spent indoors. If you live in an area where winters are gloomy, 1,000 IU per day can help support your immune system.
- Vitamin C, a common but powerful antioxidant, has been found to decrease the severity and duration of the common cold. During this season, consider a 250 mg per day supplement of Vitamin C.
- Echinacea has been found to lower the risk of developing colds by up to 50%.
During uncertain times managing stress can be tough, but ironically, excessive stress lowers immune function. An animal study found that when mice were infected with the flu then put into a stressful situation, the rate of immune cell production was reduced. The reason for this effect is that stress increases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which suppress immune function.Stress needs to be actively managed. Try to fit stress-relieving activities into your day, like a hot bath, spending time with friends, daily meditation or a walk in nature.
Sleep It Off
Getting enough sleep is one of the best things you can do for your immune system. While you sleep, your immune system is busy creating new antibodies to fight illness and allows the body to detoxify.
Aim for at least seven to hours per night. If you have trouble sleeping, the best thing you can do is to implement a strict bedtime routine. Start to unwind about an hour before bed with herbal tea, dimmed lights and a calm environment. Certain calming supplements like CBD may also help you get the rest you need. Our Sleep Support formula contains 25mg of CBD per tablet plus herbs like Valerian and Melatonin known to help induce restful sleep.
Other Habits That Boost Immunity
There are many other lifestyle habits that you can try to support immune health. The most impactful are not drinking excessively or smoking. Both these habits weaken the immune system.
Finally, it bears repeating that the most important thing we can all do to stop the spread of any contagious infection, is to wash our hands often.