You have more control over whether you get sick or not than you may think. Year round, it is important to be incorporating actions that support and build a healthy immune system while protecting you from the harmful bacteria we come into contact with on a daily basis. Now, especially, it is time to check in with yourself and ask if you are doing everything you can to prevent illness, and I am not talking about buying out the entire shelf of hand sanitizer and Lysol at the grocery store and hoarding toilet paper. I am talking about protecting yourself from the INSIDE out. Because your immune system is largely controlled by your gut health, and no matter the preventative measures you may lather on your body topically, if you don’t have that gut health/strong immune system as your foundation, you are more susceptible to becoming ill.
Luckily, it is very easy to change your own gut health by consuming certain foods and avoiding a few others.
Top immune boosting foods to add to your daily diet:
Food to avoid for a healthy immune system:
There are many foods that may increase inflammation and cause harm to your immune system, and we are all different, so what is harmful to me may not be harmful to you. To find your triggers, I suggest following an elimination diet or getting a food allergy test. Common inflammatory foods include: Gluten, processed foods, corn, soy, dairy, and for some nightshades. But there is one food that is harmful to everyone…SUGAR.
If you want to decrease your likelihood of getting sick. CUT THE SUGAR! Sugar is food for harmful bacteria. Plain and simple, if you are eating a diet rich in sugar, you are destroying your immune system and opening yourself up to infection.
Without sugar, disease and bacteria have a lot more trouble thriving.
Yes, we all love donuts, but so does that virus you’re trying to avoid! Do your body a favor, and skip the sugar. Replace it with small amounts of Coconut palm sugar, raw honey (good for avoiding cold/flu), or maple syrup (not mrs. Buttersworth, the real stuff).
Trust me, giving your body what it needs to work properly and building a healthy immune system from within is going to do a lot more for you than that bottle of Lysol will. It is a slower process, but one that will make all the difference in your body’s susceptibility to infection.
A few other tips for avoiding illness are:
Stop obsessing over the idea of getting sick! What you think about you draw into your life. If the idea of catching a virus is starting to cause you anxiety, you are focusing on it way too much. Try cutting the amount that you follow the media coverage. Stop buying into the pandemonium, because it is causing you stress. Which leads me to another important tip: Cut back on stressors and focus on things that help relax your mind. Meditate, pray or whatever brings you peace. Find things that are causing you unnecessary stress and avoid them or say no to them. Stress is a major immune system killer! Day to day stress is unavoidable, of course, but if you have anything in your life which is causing an unhealthy amount of stress/anxiety, find a way to either let it go OR find a balance by incorporating healthy stressing coping mechanisms.
Also, WASH YOUR HANDS.
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A personal chef