Self-Care Tips for Immune System Empowerment

February 1, 2021 | Dr. Linda J. Dobberstein, DC, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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 Self-Care Tips for Immune System Empowerment
As you face various health challenges during 2021, brush up on some self-care tips. Adequate sleep, healthy dietary and lifestyle choices, good stress management skills, decreased chemical and toxin exposures, and gut health support are vital prior to and after any demand on your health. When your immune system is under a challenge, it consumes more nutrients. Make sure it is well cared for.

1. Sleep and Rest


Getting quality sleep and adequate amounts of it is the single most important thing you can do to help your immune system. Lack of sleep compromises your immune system. It makes your body and brain inflamed and burdened with cellular trash. Sleep deprivation contributes to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, brain inflammation, and poor mood. It affects work and school productivity as well as job and motor vehicle safety, etc.

Make sure you are rested. Do not push yourself into a state of fatigue before or after any immune challenge. Do not try to push through fatigue just because you think you can do it or have done it in the past. If you have health challenges, be extra careful and purposeful about intentional rest for at least 72 hours after direct immune challenge.

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2. Diet


To protect your immune system, avoid sugar and other non-nutritious processed foods. Choose healthy, nutrient-dense, pesticide-free foods to fortify your body. Sugar and packaged foods filled with chemicals stress white blood cell function, inflame your gut and increase intestinal permeability, and contribute to increased amounts of oxidative stress. Make sure you are adequately hydrated to help your body with detoxification.

3. Gut Health


Support your gut health as your gut contains 70 percent or more of your immune system. Digestive tract inflammation occurs from significant life stress, intense emotions, exhaustive and extreme exercise, germ (yeast, bacteria, viral) overgrowth, alcohol, gluten/white and wheat flour intake, consumption of other food allergens or intolerances, and medications, especially NSAIDs/aspirin, acid blockers, and antibiotics.

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4. Optimal Vitamin D Status


Vitamin D is needed for critical immune signals and actions, gut lining integrity and healthy gut flora, inflammation management, hundreds of gene signals, white blood cell functions, and mitochondria.

Plentiful tissue stores of the master antioxidant glutathione are required for vitamin D to be activated in your body.

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5. Protect Your Mitochondria


Use support to help manage histamine and mast cells. This helps support healthy immune tolerance. Consider mitochondrial and immune support such as astaxanthin, curcumin, glutathione, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, quercetin, selenium, and zinc.

Herbal adaptogens like holy basil, rhodiola, cordyceps, and eleutherococcus support your adrenal glands and brain from stress. These adaptogens also support immune and mitochondria stress management.

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6. Support Stress Management


Feeling grumpy and exhausted, burned out or having lost vitality, getting poor sleep, being wired and tired and/or detesting getting up in the morning all reflect that your nervous system and adrenal glands are stressed. Your neuro-endocrine system stress tolerance impacts your immune system and gut flora.

Consider support with adequate protein and complex carbohydrates along with the nutrients like fisetin, curcumin with vitamin C, and adrenal adaptogens like holy basil, rhodiola rosea, cordyceps, and eleutherococcus/Siberian ginseng. Stick to a regular schedule to help maintain healthy body clocks and circadian rhythms. These internal mechanisms powerfully affect immune regulation.

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Education and knowledge contribute to empowerment. Share these tips with your loved ones to empower them!

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