In times of change or when seasons shift, our anxiety tends to increase, making our body more prone to getting sick. To boost your confidence and reduce worry, here are some “quick tips” to optimize your health:
Make sleep a priority.
Why? Sleep increases the ability of your white blood cells to fight viral infections. Your body thrives on a sleep schedule. Aim for a consistent bedtime and wake time. And please, try to get your screens off 1 hour before bed (I know, you can do it!).
Move your body each day.
Why? Exercise boosts your white blood cells’ ability to clear germs. Walking counts! Added bonus–Find some trees and do some forest bathing, which helps to decrease the stress hormone, cortisol.
Get rid of sugar.
Why? It reduces your white blood cells’ ability to fight infection by 50%. I know, insane. I say, eat fruit, not sugar. Not sure you can do this alone? I’m here to support you!
Meditate. Breathe. Enjoy each day. Relax. Sit with your pet. Read your favorite book and find time to be still. Why? Stress creates inflammation and weakens your defenses AND you deserve a break.
Choose healthy foods.
Eat all the colors of the rainbow and remember that food is medicine. Why? Key nutrients, such as vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin C, zinc, quercetin, glutathione, probiotics, and omega-3 essential fatty acids are crucial for your immune system. Where do we find these nutrients?
- Vitamin D–sunlight primarily, fatty fish (salmon, tuna), eggs, dairy, mushrooms. *I recommend supplementing with vitamin D.
- Vitamin A–fatty fish (salmon, tuna), sweet potato, butternut squash, kale, spinach, carrots, red peppers.
- Vitamin C–citrus, berries, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, asparagus, tomatoes, papaya, mango.
- Zinc–beef, chicken, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, garbanzo beans, cashews, lentils, quinoa.
- Quercetin–red onions (raw), apples, red grapes, kale, spinach, capers, cherries, green tea, red wine (but that doesn’t mean you get to have it nightly!).
- Glutathione (amazing antioxidant)–garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, swiss chard, bok choy.
- Probiotics–kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, “real” pickles, kombucha, kefir, tempeh, natto.
- Essential fatty acids–fatty fish (salmon, tuna, anchovies), chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts.
Take your supplements!
See me (or another qualified healthcare professional) to ensure that you do not have any nutrient deficiencies. Supplements can help ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients your body needs, such as such as vitamin D, vitamin C, and omega-3 fatty acids. I have curated my favorite supplements for adults and kids, if you are interested in starting these, please email me and I am happy to add them to Fullscript, my online dispensary.
You are in control of your health and I am cheering you on!