We are constantly exposed to potential infectious agents like viruses and bacteria that cause infections such as colds, flu, bronchitis and ear infections. The immune system defends us from invaders and repairs the damage that occurs with infections.
When the immune system is weak infections may occur frequently and be difficult to resolve. There has been a resurgence of infections like pertussis, emergence of antibiotic resistant superbugs and rising autoimmune diseases. Today it is very common for young children to have many ear infections requiring repeated treatment with antibiotics which alter the gut microbiome and further weaken the immune system.
What can you do?
- Get plenty of Sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for a healthy immune system.
- Reduce Stress: High stress levels negatively impact the immune system. Find time to breath, stretch, meditate and laugh! A balanced life is essential to optimal health.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which are rich in vitamins, phytonutrients and fiber that support the immune system. Consider green smoothies or juicing.
- Exercise regularly.
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Take steps to reduce your exposure to infectious agents. Wash your hands frequently and keep your hands away from your face.
- Take Probiotics to support the intestinal microbiome. A healthy immune system begins with a healthy gut.
- Take Digestive enzymes which help to make nutrients easier to absorb.
- Herbs like olive leaf, garlic, oregano oil, pau d arco and ginseng provide anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal benefits.
- Vitamins and minerals including Vitamins C, D, B6, folic acid and Zinc are essential for healthy immune function.
- Phytonutrients and antioxidants boost the immune system and can be taken as supplements or consumed in a healthy diet.
- Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake and reishi varieties have immune enhancing properties.
Best of Health!
Dr. Amy Davis M.D.