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3 Tips for a Happy Immune System

Fall Health and Wellness

Have you ever noticed that a cold likes to kick in right after a very busy and stressful time? Like right before a holiday or a vacation? That cold couldn’t have picked a more inconvenient time!

 

When we’re burning the candle at both ends and we’re busy, busy, busy, our immune system gets depressed. Our body is working so hard to help us get through that stressful time that it needs to prioritize the energy available, so it takes a bit away from the immune system.

 

After the stress is over and we take that big, relaxing deep breath, our immune system comes back into full strength and finds a new visitor—a virus. That virus has been hanging out and replicating during that busy time…and now we’re sick. Achoo!

 

But! There are some things we can do while we’re busy that can help our immune system find rogue viruses and bacteria right away, so we can skip all of those nasty cold & flu symptoms. Yay!  3 ways to keep your immune system happy every day:

 

1. Rest, relaxation, and meditation: Your immune system comes back into its full strength every time you’re in a relaxed state. That could be at night while you’re sleeping, during a quiet evening of fun with your family, or in meditation. Every minute of relaxation makes your immune system very happy.

 

If you struggle to relax and you find your worries and to-do list constantly running through your head, try a guided meditation. They’re usually short (5 -15 minutes) and can give you something to focus on. They’re a really helpful tool to train your brain to relax. There are so many free apps and videos online, a quick search will strike some relaxation gold!

 

2. Enjoy lots of nutrients:  A nutrient-dense diet can bring strength back to your immune system. Enjoy lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and other delicious plant-based foods. Focus on adding these foods to your diet and let them squish out the less-than-healthy processed foods.

 

3. Elderberry to the rescue!  This superfood is so simple, yet effective. It’s very high in anthocyanins, which are a family of potent antioxidants that can bind to viruses, stopping them in their tracks.

 

Elderberry can also help you if you do get sick. Research has found that it can reduce both the severity of your symptoms and the duration of your flu. Elderberry even helps clear out your lungs if you get a stubborn cough.

 

With just a bit of support, your immune system can keep you happy and healthy all year long!

 

Lisa Kilgour is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and a faculty member at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Lisa believes how we care for ourselves — our emotions, gut flora, sleep, stress, and of course, the food we put into our bodies — all work together to help us heal.