The immune system is our body’s primary defence against illness and infection. A strong immune
system can help us ward off everything from the common cold to cancer. In other words, a healthy immune system, is a healthy you. Unfortunately, many of our daily habits contribute to poor immune function. Are your daily habits are affecting your health? Let’s find out!
7 Bad Daily Habits That Cause Poor Immune Function
1. Not Enough Sleep
As you sleep, your body repairs and restores itself. If you don’t sleep, you don’t heal. Sleep deprivation can decrease your production of protective proteins (cytokines), infection-fighting antibodies and cells, which are needed to fight off infection or inflammation. Ideally, adults should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep, teenagers 8-9 hours, and children may need 10 hours or more of sleep every night.
2. Poor Food Choices
Sweet tooth? It’s been shown that sugar can depress the immune system by reducing the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by up to 40%, from anywhere between 30 minutes to 5 hours after ingestion. Alcohol has a similar effect. It’s best to stay clear of sugar (especially the white refined stuff) and limit your alcohol consumption. Try to stick to a low carb, medium protein, high (healthy) fat diet, rich in colorful vegetables. The more colors you eat, the more nutrients you consume. Personally, I am a big supporter of the Ketogenic diet. Among the diet’s best properties are its anti-inflammatory effects, which are linked to healthy immune function.
3. Skipping Your Workout
Exercise doesn’t just help with weight loss, it can also help keep your immune system strong. Doctors have found that exercise provides a boost to the cells in your body that attack bacteria. In fact, exercise is so powerful that it may even help your immune system protect against future cancers! It’s important to find an exercise regime that you enjoy, so you’ll stick with it. Whether you enjoy yoga, Zumba, dancing, swimming, walking, or running, exercising regularly will help keep your immune system in tip, top shape.
4. Internalizing Stress
Stress happens, it’s how you deal with it that’s important. Most of us already know that stress weakens the immune system and that chronic stress puts your health at risk. Reducing your stress levels will help strengthen your immune system. I realize that this may be easier said then done, so here are some suggestions:
- Meditate (tip: there are several mindfulness meditations on YouTube)
- read a book,
- go for a walk,
- go for a coffee with a friend (but stay away from those who drain you of your energy)
- watch a funny movie,
- unplug the TV and the radio and limit your exposure to negative news, or
- take a bath with some relaxing salts and essential oils.
This is just a short list. The point is to find something that brings you pleasure and peace. What speaks to you and helps you relax? Taking some time out every day to do one (or several) of these activities will help reduce your stress, boosting your immune system.
5. Bad Posture
Not many people realize this, but chiropractic boosts immunity. Spinal misalignments (or subluxations) cause stress to the body and hinder the communication throughout your nervous system, which can result in pain, inflammation and disease. Chiropractors check your spine for subluxations and give corrective adjustments to reduce the stress to your nervous system. This allows proper communication throughout your nervous system, ensuring that your immune system is receiving the messages it needs to work optimally.
6. Forgetting to take your Vitamins
I eat well, so I don’t need supplements, right? Well, unless you are eating 100% organic food grown using biodiversity practices, chances are you are not getting all the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that your body needs. I recommend a good quality vitamin with a high rate of absorption. Consider consulting with a natural health practitioner or a nutritionist to learn which other vitamins may be beneficial for you, or take my Vitamin and Functional Health Questionnaire. There are plenty of immune boosting supplements. Some important supplements for immune health: Multi-Vitamin, Vitamin D, Probiotic, Omega-3, and Vitamin C.
7. Contributing to your Toxic Load
No matter how clean of a lifestyle we lead, toxins bombard us from all angles. The air we breathe, the food we eat, the body products we use—many things contribute to our toxic load. The more toxic we are, the weaker our immune system. Eating organic foods and using organic products is key, but oftentimes not enough. A yearly detox is often needed to flush toxins and ensure the body is functioning optimally. With a multitude of detox kits out there, it’s important to note that detox is only real and lasting when it occurs at the cellular level. If interested in doing a detox, I suggest the True Cellular Detox™ Program. Using cutting-edge tools, toxins are safely and effectively removed allowing you to experience a healthy and vibrant life.
What are you tips for a healthy immune system? Leave a comment below!