Don’t Get Sick This Season!
The metabolism drives every aspect of our bodies, especially our immune system! It is your metabolism that determines whether you fight a cold or get a cold. As our bodies adapt to seasonal change, the immune system starts working in overdrive. I find it’s all about protecting our immune cells, increasing blood flow to the centers where they reside, and using natural remedies for an extra boost.
What to Eat About It and Why?
As you know, I’m always trying to feed you. You’ve heard me stress the importance of maintaining stable blood sugars, but did you know the same part of the body’s hormone system that works to stabilize blood sugars also works to regulate the immune system? Glucocorticoids are the hormones that regulate and ignite our metabolism, also modulate immune cells to fight off viruses and bacteria. So let’s eat to feed your health!
Interesting Players to Nurture
1. T Cells. Our immune boosting superhero, T-cells, travel around your body looking for the “bad guys,” known as foreign antibodies, or antigens that look like viruses and bacteria. As our T-cells hunt down and destroy the “bad guys” they also keep a profile on them if they plan to return, (creating an immunity). These T-cells are concentrated in immune centers within our body around the head, neck, and throat area where they work their magic! T-cells seem to gather in the same region amongst the thyroid, and the lymphatic region of the head, neck, and the tonsils as well as the armpits, groin and the back of the knees. Our aim is to bring warmth and blood flow to these immune centers. Keep your neck and shoulders warm by wearing scarves, dressing in turtlenecks, using a hot pack on the upper shoulders and using Infrared Saunas. See scarves aren’t just for fashion, they are actually a metabolism booster!
Protect your T-cells. Refined sugar can cut your T-Cell count by 50% for a two hour period post consumption, so if you indulge, you better make sure you aren’t exposed to a sick kid or someone struggling with the flu. We have to work extra hard to keep blood sugar levels steady to keep you healthy. Follow these tips to boost your ability to fight off infection and stabilize your sugar levels:
· Eat within 30 minutes of waking.
· Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks every day.
· Eat every 3-4 hours, except when you’re sleeping. This might mean eating more than five times a day! If you’re a night owl, you might need to add an extra phase specific snack like an apple in Phase 1, homemade jerky in Phase 2, or a handful of raw nuts in Phase 3. Take a look at my favorite crash stash I carry so that I never miss a meal or snack.
2. Heat increases blood flow, and blood flow is imperative to nurture the lymphatic system. Lymphocytes help shuttle bad things to get out of the body. So, if your best friend offers you the flu, or your little one offers you a respiratory infection, you want lots of blood flow to the lymphatic region so that you can get rid of it. You can say gosh thanks for the offer, but no thank you! Try focusing on soups, broths, teas, and cooked veggies if you feel like your immune system is stressed.
3. The Power of Brown Fat. Yes, you read it right, there is a really good type of fat! As adults, the upper back is the only place we still carry brown fat. Brown fat is the “good fat” in the body, which helps to detoxify things like viruses and bacteria and helps to stimulate the rate of burn. This type of fat is very susceptible to stress and infection. That’s why when we’re stressed, we find a lot of tension in the neck and shoulders and have pain or heat in this area when don’t feel well. Before bed, the immune system tends to be less resilient, and fevers are more likely to spike. Want to boost your immune system? Do a heat pack on the upper shoulders and neck and dress warmly before bed. (I know very sexy!)
DIY Boost for Your Immune System!
My clients have had wonderful benefits by using some of our Success Boosters for immune function. These are designed to encourage excretion of toxins through the lymphatic system, drain out infection, and support a strong immunity. Success boosters are my little gift to you – a burst of healing, energy, and repair just when you need it!
· Yoga, Meditation and Deep Breathing. These are great ways to ease stress, reduce inflammation, and support a healthy immune system. New to the practice? Here are 4 Yoga videos for beginners or use my Deep Breathing Tips to get started.
· Epsom Salts Baths. Support your body in a time of environmental stress when seasons are changing, and your body is adapting. Read my post on Epsom salt baths to soak and let go.
· Neti Pot. As an ancient Ayurvedic treatment this natural cleansing process is one of my favorite ways to clear a stuffy nose and naturally ease sinus pain. Check out my post on the Benefits and how to use your Neti-pot.
· Infrared Saunas. By warming your tissues, you will produce a healthy sweat, which research shows help fight cancer, reduces pain and stiffness, and helps to release infectious toxins. This is a great way to sweat out your sickness!
· Lymphatic Massage. Gentle, circular strokes on the body can help move fluid along the body to boost blood flow to your healing lymphatic system. Find a trained massage therapist or try dry brushing in the comfort of your home.
· Herbal Teas. Ginger tea helps relieve nausea and sinus congestion, while peppermint, rose hips, and dandelion teas can also offer additional immune boosting support. Check out my favorite herbal teas.
· Almond Oil. Rub 2-3 drops of almond oil inside your nose to help prevent irritation and dryness while soothing the sinuses.
· Check out some more natural home remedies in my blog post on how to soothe a cold’s aches and sniffles naturally.
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