Eating the right foods is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help keep your immune system strong. Additionally, there are everyday behaviors that can also help support a healthy immune system. From getting enough sleep to managing stress, these behaviors can have a significant impact on your overall health. In this article, we’ll explore some of the everyday behaviors that can help support a healthy immune system. We’ll also provide some tips on how to make healthier food choices with the “Eat This Not That” approach.
Everyday Behaviors That Can Impact a Healthy Immune System — Eat This Not That
Your immune system is your body’s first line of defense against illness and infection. It’s important to take care of your immune system and make sure it’s functioning properly. There are many everyday behaviors that can have an impact on your immune system, both positive and negative. Here are some tips on what to eat and what to avoid to keep your immune system healthy.
- Fruits and vegetables: Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is essential for a healthy immune system. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help boost your immune system.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are a great source of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system healthy and functioning properly. Eating whole grains can also help reduce inflammation, which can help keep your immune system strong.
- Fatty fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system.
- Probiotic-rich foods: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help keep your gut healthy and your immune system functioning properly. Eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut can help keep your immune system strong.
- Processed foods: Processed foods are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats, which can weaken your immune system. Avoid processed foods as much as possible and opt for whole, unprocessed foods instead.
- Alcohol: Drinking too much alcohol can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness and infection. If you do choose to drink, do so in moderation.
- Caffeine: Caffeine can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals, which can weaken your immune system. Try to limit your caffeine intake and opt for decaffeinated beverages instead.
- Refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, and sugary snacks can cause inflammation, which can weaken your immune system. Try to limit your intake of refined carbohydrates and opt for whole grains instead.
By making small changes to your everyday diet and lifestyle, you can help keep your immune system strong and healthy. Eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can all help boost your immune system and keep you healthy.
The key to longevity and optimal health is a healthy immune system. If our immune system is not in the optimal shape we are at risk for infections, autoimmune diseases, and even cancers. There are simple steps to take every day to keep your immune system healthy so that it can keep aggressors at bay. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Everyone knows that you need 7-8 hours of good quality sleep at night, but why? Your brain is the most metabolically active organ in the body. All that activity generates a lot of cellular waste products that need to be removed to keep our brains in optimal health. The glymphatic system is the brain’s specialized waste disposal system and it is most active during slow wave sleep at night. A healthy brain is essential for a healthy immune system.
Three quick hacks:
- keep a regular bedtime and waking time. Varying your bedtime impairs the normal restorative cycle of the brain and actually increases inflammation.
- 1-3 mg of melatonin at night can improve sleep and help reduce brain inflammation.
- Eat a lighter meal at dinner time and do not eat anything for 3 hours before bedtime, this allows the brain to optimally regenerate itself.
Chronic or intermittent food restriction has a profound life-enhancing effect on the health of your brain and immune system. Unless there are medical reasons for not doing intermittent fasting doing a 1 or two day water only fast a week or compressing your eating time to 6-8 hours a day while of course eating a healthy diet can help protect you from a number of neuroinflammatory diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell and are also essential for a healthy immune system. Exercise, proper sleep and nutrition are again essential. A nutritional hack is NAD. NAD is essential for optimal energy and metabolism. There are several NAD supplements on the market but NAD is also available as an IV supplement in some centers. As we age or burn the candle at both ends we deplete NAD and keeping our NAD tank full is essential to healthy aging and optimal health.
Emotional traumas and stress injure the immune system. Unaddressed childhood emotional traumas, PTSD weakens the immune system and make you more susceptible to autoimmune diseases, chronic pain, cardiovascular disease and a host of other life diminishing and life-shortening diseases. Don’t just live with it, get help. Seeing a therapist who specializes in the treatment of trauma is important. Techniques such as EMDR and medications such as ketamine can help.
Our environment is literally killing us. Air and water pollution. Lead in our water systems Mercury in our fish. Pesticides and herbicides in our food. Water damage to buildings results in mold growth in the walls that produce toxins that can cause brain and immune damage when breathed. Removing yourself from a toxic building is the first step. Regular detox with saunas, taking activated charcoal and chlorella periodically can help but you need to be careful because these can also interfere with the absorption of medications and other supplements. Testing the indoor air for mold toxins with an ERMI kit that can be ordered online and of course eating clean is a great start. There are tests available to help you understand your toxic burden. Some can be ordered online but working with a physician who specializes in functional medicine can also get you on the right path.
If our immune systems are weak then when infections occur they can literally break the immune system and cause chronic disease. Post-acute COVID Syndrome (Long COVID), Chronic fatigue syndrome, Chronic Lyme disease, Chronic anxiety and Depression, Fibromyalgia, PANS/PANDAS, and more. These are diseases of a broken immune system. We now understand so much more about how we get sick. Why do we stay sick, and most importantly how we can recover and maintain optimal health for life. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Gary Kaplan, D.O. is the founder and medical director of the Kaplan Center for Integrative Medicine.
Gary Kaplan, D.O.