Honestly, before learning about gut health and how our microbiome comprises almost 90 percent of our immune system, I didn’t really know anything but immune boosting. There were common things I thought of that I’d learned as a kid - OJ, chicken soup, honey with lemon - and though these all help, if we are not taking care of our immune system daily, it’s usually too little too late.
Immune system maintenance, also referred to as priming, is key! Not following these common practices can lead to almost every disease and condition known today, COVID-19 and other viruses included! If we are not focusing on building immunity by fostering different strains of gut bacteria, lowering stress levels, sleeping well, and eating non-junk foods, inflammation will result and our fighters will be weakened. Really important factors to maintain a good immune system are sleep, low stress, and nutrient-dense foods.
Sleep - Not getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, including a good majority in deep and REM sleep, disrupts our entire body, including the gut microbiome and immune system.
Stress - Cortisol overexposure suppresses immune function!
Nutrient-dense foods - These essential nutrients are antioxidants, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, fiber, and water. To help support gut health, these foods should be in their whole forms, not processed.
Now, when the time comes when you start to feel that dreaded tickle in the back of your throat or your little one comes home saying Luca or Abigail barfed in class, this is when you start to boost your system for fast results to protect you all. And since you have been priming your system this whole time, you should be able to kick it quick!
I have what I call my emergency basket that has all the natural remedies I love, which we use, thankfully, only once or twice a year. This is what it contains:
Elderberry syrup - Both the berries and flowers of elderberry plant contain antioxidants and vitamins that experts say boost your immune system. I have personally used them to help prevent cold and flu symptoms, as well as shorten the duration of the times we are sick.
Chewable vitamin C - Vitamin C encourages the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection. It helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals. The absorption rate of liposomal vitamin C is significantly higher than that of a standard vitamin C supplement. I also get immune nutritional IVs so it gets directly into my bloodstream in high doses. Many wellness centers now have these services available so definitely check with your practitioner about locations around you.
Zinc - This mineral helps keep your immune system strong. Because it is necessary for immune cell function and cell signaling, a deficiency can lead to a weakened immune response. Zinc supplements stimulate particular immune cells and reduce oxidative stress.
For my complete guide on gut health and immunity, check out Chapter 3 of my book!
Jes Royston | Green Mama Tribe