Whenever fall and winter comes around, immune health is always on the mind. Here are the 5 steps you can take every day to help boost your immune health.
What Affects Your Immune Health?
First, to better understand immune health, we need to know that it is complex, involving a combination of our immune system and other functions or parts of our body that help to keep us healthy.
Key parts of the immune system include:
- White blood cells
- Lymph nodes and vessels
- Complement cascade
- Bone marrow
Besides the immune system, the body has several additional ways to defend itself against microbes:
- Our skin. Serving as a waterproof barrier, the skin secretes oil with antibacterial properties.
- Our lungs. The mucous layer in the lungs traps foreign particles, which are carried upward by the movement of small, hair-like structures lining the lungs and expelled through coughing or sneezing.
- Our digestive tract. Acid in the stomach acts as an early defense to kill microbes, and the lining of the gut contains antibodies. Foreign particles are also eliminated through the urinary tract and bowel.
- Body fluids. Skin oil, saliva, and tears contain antibacterial enzymes that can lower the risk of infection.
How Do You Keep All the Functions of Your Body in Tip-Top Shape?
Here are our top 5 recommendations.
- Boost your daily nutrition.
- Start with adding more fruits and vegetables to each meal. A super-easy way to boost the amount of leafy green vegetables in your diet is to add a scoop of Organic Greens Booster to shakes, soups, and other recipes.
- Stay hydrated by drinking at least 64 oz. of water each day.
- If you want to add some immune support to your hydration, try adding a packet of Triple Defense Boost to one of those glasses of water.* This tasty and refreshing drink mix contains three immune-fueling blends to support, boost, and defend your immune system.* Triple Defense Boost can also be combined with Performance® Low-Calorie Electrolyte Drink boost hydration and replenish the essential electrolytes that your body needs.
- Eat good sources of omega-3s like the healthy fats in nuts, grains, and fish and choose supplements like OmegaGuard®.
- Don’t skip your meals.
- Maintaining even energy and blood sugar helps keep your body healthy, and a healthy body is better able to fight off germs. If you are in a time pinch, have a Life Shake™ to help boost your nutrition. Life Shake isn’t just a meal alternative; it is nutritionally dense with 20 grams of protein plus vitamins, minerals, fiber, and digestive enzymes.
- Focus on antioxidants and nutrients.
- Research has found that antioxidants play a key role in helping the body manage inflammation, especially in relation to maintaining a healthy immune system. So, include foods high in antioxidants (blueberries, dark chocolate, strawberries, beans, kale, spinach, etc.) in your diet where possible. Meeting all of your daily nutrient needs is key to supporting all of the associated functions of your immune system. My favorite way to get my antioxidants and nutrients is to take my Life-Strip® every day—it’s a power player that we can choose each day to support our immune system.*
- Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C, a key nutrient that can’t be made in the body but is crucial to immune health. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects our bodies from damage caused by free radicals and plays an important role in immune function. It also helps maintain natural antioxidant defenses, cell integrity, and the health of eyes, teeth, gums, bones, muscles, and blood vessels. Eat foods like citrus, bell peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries, or supplement with Chewable Vita-C®.*
- Try supplementing with NutriFeron®. This immune-boosting botanical blend is a powerful breakthrough in immune sciences that naturally increases interferon levels;*† interferon stimulates immune cells and is vital to healthy immune function.*
- Get active.
- Being active does wonders to reduce our stress (which can negatively impact the immune system) and to boost our immune response. If you can get outside, take a walk and breathe in some fresh air. If you can’t be outside, try doing jumping jacks, walking in place for 10 minutes, or head to YouTube or download a fitness app to try an at-home workout.
- Going outside also gives you sun exposure that produces vitamin D. Vitamin D is another important nutrient that helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones and teeth, and supports your heart health and immune system as well.* Since it’s almost impossible to get enough vitamin D from diet and sun exposure alone, you can supplement with Vita-D3® for 2,000 IU of vitamin D in every tablet.
- Stay positive.
- Staying positive and lowering your stress is one way we can take action to be a good influence during this season. Try meditation or some mindful relaxation for 10 minutes each day. Turn off the news at least one hour before bed so that you can wind down to get a good night’s rest. Let’s make a commitment to each other to be a positive light, and if we do, things will look a little bit brighter tomorrow.
Thank you all for taking the time to read about my top 5 daily habits to stay healthy every day. Sending “air-fives” to everyone in my dear Shaklee Family.
In health, Sarah Elijah Scherer, RD, LN, MBA, OLY
|*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.|
†Claim refers to phytonutrient blend.
Sarah is the Shaklee Pure Performance Team dietitian/nutritionist. She is also a two-time competitor for the USA in the Summer Games, participating in the 10-meter Air Rifle event in 2012 and 2016. Her experience as an elite athlete and her status as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Licensed Nutritionist (LN), make her perfectly suited to consult with Shaklee athletes on their nutritional needs. Sarah graduated from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas with a BS in Nutrition in 2013, and then earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Healthcare Management. She specializes in weight loss, improved sport performance, diabetes prevention, heart health, healthy aging, smoking cessation, and performance goals. Her hobbies include church ministries, mountaineering, physical fitness, and gardening.