March 18, 2020
How To: Immune Boost
Giving your system an immune boost and keeping it in tip-top shape is of the utmost importance these days. Throughout this blog, you’ll find easy, simple, and extremely affordable ways to give yourself an immune boost daily. Thanks to PFC Nutrition Director, Katie DiLauro, we’ve come up with some really wonderful tips on how to stay healthy and include a healthy immune boost to your daily routine! Read more to see simple ingredients you can add to your daily diet, easy recipes for healthy eating, and affordable ways to keep your body moving!
DISCLAIMER: Be sure to contact your medical provider when altering your diet, including new foods and supplements, and introducing new physical activity. Each person is unique in their medical needs and while intentions may be in the right place, double-checking that what you’re interested in introducing to your daily diet and lifestyle won’t alter any medications you’re currently on or any restrictions your medical doctor has recommended for you should always be step #1.
Try adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to some hot water every morning to help get your digestive system moving– an active digestive system is crucial in keeping healthy as it helps to not only break down our food and absorb nutrients, but it helps to excrete waste and toxins that our body works so hard to filter! Lemons are also a decent source of Vitamin C, which can help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, strokes, and lower blood pressure. Did we mention adding lemon to your water is a great way to change it up if you’re prone to getting bored of plain water? That’s right! Get an immune boost and enjoy flavored water all at once!
- BERRIES & APPLES
Berries contain antioxidants, which help keep free-radicals (unstable molecules that can damage your cells when their numbers get too high) under control. One study showed that blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries have the highest antioxidant activity level of commonly consumed fruits, besides pomegranates! Berries are also high in many vitamins, minerals, and fiber, as well as helping to reduce inflammation which is extremely important for a healthy immune system. Apples are another great fruit to include in your diet as they contain high amounts of fiber, which helps to keep us full and keep the digestive system working smoothly, as well as Vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium. Include these fruits in your daily diet and enjoy a healthy immune boost thanks to “natures candy”.
Spirulina is a great addition to juices, smoothies, or even simply mixed with coconut water. While there are a wide variety of health claims attributed to spirulina, not many of them have been adequately proven. That being said, Spirulina contains a high amount of protein by weight (60%, which is much greater than most vegetables), and is a great source for beta-carotene, lots of minerals, and gamma linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid). Boosting the consumption of greens is a great way to get an instant immune boost!
- NON-STARCHY VEGGIES & LEAFY GREENS
Non-starchy veggies (Think: Artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.) and leafy greens (kale, arugula, spinach, endive, etc.) are a GREAT addition to any diet, especially one where an immune boost is the focus! These all provide myriad vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and very little calories… which means you can eat SO MUCH without adding inches to your waistline.
- VITAMIN C SUPPLEMENT
Vitamin C helps support various cellular functions of the immune system. Vitamin C deficiency can result in impaired immunity and increased susceptibility to infections. Adequate supplementation with Vitamin C has been shown to help prevent and treat respiratory and systematic infections! Learn more about Vitamin C and its effect on immunity HERE
- ZINC SUPPLEMENT
Zinc is a mineral that helps to keep the immune system strong, heal wounds, and fight infections. It’s often used to help recover from the common cold and can help to reduce the duration of the common cold. Read more about zinc HERE
- ELDERBERRY SUPPLEMENT
Teas and Syrups made from elderberry have been used for hundreds of years to help fight upper respiratory infections and provide an immune boost. Now, you can find elderberry lozenges, pills, and even gummies! Learn more about why adding an elderberry supplement to your diet can provide a healthy immune boost.
- MULTIVITAMIN SUPPLEMENT
Multivitamins are a great way to get a healthy dose of essential vitamins and minerals every day. This steady supply of nutrients is one way to ensure you’re giving your body everything it needs on a basic level to function properly. There are many different kinds of multivitamins, and some contain higher doses of a specific vitamin or mineral than others. The idea behind a multivitamin is 1) Get your daily dose of everything all in one convenient supplement, and 2) Keep your bodily systems in balance. Consult your doctor for the type of multivitamin you should be taking, and always look for a reputable brand with no added sugars, fillers, or additives.
- MANAGE STRESS
Managing stress is one of the best ways to keep your immune system functioning in peak condition. When we let ourselves become stressed– which can happen from eating unhealthy foods and working too much, to worrying non-stop about what you’ve heard on the news– our system instantly goes into fight-or-flight mode (even if you don’t feel like it is). When our system is in this heightened response state, we introduce an inflammatory response when it is not needed. Doing this too often results in a weakened and compromised immune system. Try your best to keep calm. Click here to read up on easy ways Sarah Speers, PFC Behavioral Health Coach, recommends for managing stress!
- MOVE EVERY DAY
Exercising and moving your body every day is essential in keeping your immune system healthy. Think about stagnant pond water– you wouldn’t want to drink or swim in it because stagnant water = increased bacteria and parasites. The less you move, the less efficient your body becomes at removing toxins and fighting off diseases, bacteria, and parasites. Click here to read up on easy ways to get your body moving and your heart pumping, thanks to PFC Fitness Director Megan Brandt!
- BLUE-GREEN SMOOTHIE
This recipe is delicious, easy to make, and contains quality ingredients for keeping you full, healthy and providing you with a great immune boost. Bonus: you probably already have all the ingredients at home! Check out the recipe HERE
- HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY JUICES AND SMOOTHIES
This blog is from PFC Nutrition Director Katie DiLauro and gives us all the details on what foods and ingredients to choose when making our own smoothies and juices at home. Check it out HERE
- SUPPLEMENT WITH QUALITY
Another blog from Katie DiLauro, here you get some great advice on how to select the best supplements for you. Learn more HERE
- TURMERIC FACE MASK
Have some extra time on your hands? Why not pamper yourself with an at-home face mask? This detoxing face mask recipe uses ingredients you already have at home! Get it HERE
- RECOMMENDED BRANDS
When it comes to finding quality supplements, it can be easy to get lost in the search. How do you pick? More bang for your buck? How can you be sure the quality is up to par? Be sure to read the blog mentioned above ( SUPPLEMENT WITH QUALITY) for great tips from PFC Nutrition Director Katie DiLauro. Some trusted brands we use here at PFC are Thorne Research, and Designs For Health. Click HERE to search and buy top quality supplements that you can TRUST!