12 Days of Immune Support!

Hi Dear ones…. In this year 2020 when life has been such a rollercoaster ride for us all, and at the core of lives being turned upside down is concern about the health of all people on our planet, I thought it only appropriate to end the year with 12 days of immune support tips for you to support your health with this season.

 

NEXT, you’ll be getting information on how to recover from burnout…. Because burnout has been a pretty big side effect of the year 2020 for many people. So stay tuned. I’ll be getting you some info on that very soon 😘

 

Here goes friends!!!

 

On the First Day of Immune Support Brooke’s blog gave to me….🎶

🍄 Mushrooms⁠!!! ⁠

This is one that I include daily!

Mushrooms strengthen the immune system in a variety of ways, largely through a compound called beta-glucans, which are well known for their immune enhancing properties. The beta-glucans in medicinal mushrooms (especially reishi, shiitake, and maitake) are especially notable for their ability to activate and modulate immune system cells.⁠. Mushrooms are also rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, and other minerals. ⁠

⁠There are a number of ways to include this in your day. Buy mushrooms (you can often find frozen shitake mushrooms in health foods stores, along with plenty of other fresh or frozen varieties. These can be used in soups, stews, and stir fry.

If you’re not a fan of eating mushrooms or you’re wanting a daily therapeutic dose you can drink mushroom coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. There are a variety of brands out there to choose from. My favorite is Organo.  I drink the Organo King coffee every morning to get my daily dose of inflammation balancing and immuno-supportive Reishi mushroom.  AND, it’s my favorite tasting option as some of the brands I’ve tried are not so tasty!  I also enjoy Organo’s green tea and red tea. You can check them all out HERE.

If you’re wanting to get your mushrooms in supplement form, a favorite option for many of my clients is Immunitone by Designs for Health.⁠  That will give you some mushrooms along with some other immune supportive herbs.

 

On the second day of immune support my true love gave to me…..⁠

Keto and Paleo Replacements for all the Sugary Holiday Treats 🥳⁠

I know, I know…. these treats can scream “EAT ME!”  But, I promise there’s actually so many awesome alternatives to the typical refined flour and refined sugary desserts.  And they are often just as tasty!

Refined flours and sugars are inflammatory AND they cause a transient depression of immune function.  This means that after eating sugar the immune system is depressed for a bit afterwards.  This may not be a big deal if we eat these foods once in a blue moon.  But, if we’re eating them day after day, this can become a problem for the immune system.⁠

If you’re aiming for optimal function this season, try making your holiday cookies with alternative flours and sweeteners.  For flours, almond and coconut can be very useful.  You can swap out the sugar for local honey and cut the amount in half. ⁠ If you’re fully cutting out the sugar, try stevia or monk fruit instead.  My kids and their friends love the paleo and low carb cookies I make, and don’t seem to know the difference.  And I feel MUCH better knowing their immune systems are all the better for it. ⁠

Make sure to follow me on Instagram, as I’ll be posting some more of the recipes that I’m making with my kiddos this year…

NEXT!  On the 3rd day of Immune Support….🎶.  Ok, full confessions… what is actually playing in my head right now is the Pentatonix new album. They have a version of that song that is pretty awesome! ⁠

AND, on the 3rd day was ZINC.⁠

Zinc is essential for immune system response. It has antiviral properties, stimulates the productions of white blood cells, increases the number of T-cells, and produces Thymulin, a Thymus hormone needed for immune function.⁠. Zinc is an essential mineral, meaning that we have to get it in our diet.  If we don’t get it in our diet, we need to get it from a supplement. ⁠

⁠One of the best dietary sources of zinc is oysters.  I found a version of this that I LOVE.  Crown smoked oysters packed in olive oil with red peppers.  They’re spicy and delicious!  They also have one without the peppers if you don’t enjoy spicy food.  Even if you’re not sure about oysters, it’s worth giving these a try.  I wouldn’t have thought I’d be into them, and once I tried them, I was hooked!  They’re high in omega 3’s which are great for healthy inflammation and will give you a good dose of zinc!⁠

Pumpkin seeds are another good source 😉. And if you’re needing a supplement, I personally like Zinc Supreme by Designs for Health.⁠

On the 4th Day of Immune Support Brooke’s blog reminded me to take….⁠

Viiiit-a-amin C⁠!!!⁠

A Big One for Immune support, Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body can’t produce it.  It is also water soluble, so we need a consistent intake of C to keep our levels up. ⁠ Vitamin C has many roles!  It’s involved in blood sugar metabolism, is needed to produce cortisol (a stress hormone), and is necessary for immune support.  Vitamin C is also used to make collagen which we need in our hair, nails, and skin along with tissue throughout the entire body. ⁠

Have you experienced excess stress this year?  Made excess cortisol too regularly?  This time of year many people dig in to more sugar than usual.  If stress and excess sugar have been a part of your life lately, you could need extra vitamin C to provide what the immune system needs.  You can find this important vitamin in fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, cranberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach.  To get an extra boost, you can take oral supplements too. ⁠

If you do find yourself under the weather, a vitamin C flush is often a useful tool – taking a dose every hour as tolerated. ⁠ For daily support, try including the foods above, or adding a daily vitamin C supplement to your routine.⁠

On the 5th Day of Immune Support⁠ Brooksters gave to me (yes, friends use to call me that 😂)⁠

NAC and/or GLUTATHIONE⁠!⁠⁠

These are both related, yet different. So you can decide what is most helpful for you right now….⁠

NAC supplements can help the body make glutathione.  Glutathione is a potent antioxidant necessary for detoxification in the body, and important for immune function.  It’s beneficial for healthy liver function.⁠

N-acetylcysteine is an amino acid and is very helpful for many functions in the body including lung support!  It is actually used in conventional approaches to break up mucus in the lungs and improve breathing.  This is a common use for NAC in integrative approaches as well!⁠

For your body to make the amino acid cysteine, you need adequate amounts of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.  These nutrients can be found in beans, lentils, spinach, bananas, salmon and tuna.  While most protein-rich foods, such as chicken, turkey, yogurt, cheese, eggs, sunflower seeds and legumes contain cysteine, some people choose to supplement with NAC to increase their cysteine intake. ⁠

On the 6th Day of Immune Support⁠ the universe gave to me…..⁠

A Beautiful Yellow Root; Curcumin!


This is the main active compound in turmeric.  Curcumin has been shown to reduce inflammation and support the immune system’s ability to respond in a healthy way to pathogens. ⁠

Researchers have found 100 different ways in which turmeric fights inflammation.  There are over 4,000 different studies on turmeric, and it’s been used throughout history as a health tonic to support heart health, brain function, immune function, and more!⁠

A recent study (1) this year looked into how curcumin can support a healthy inflammatory response in the lungs.  This can be very helpful for respiratory support as well.  You can cook with turmeric, take it in supplement form, or even add the powder to hot drinks and tea 🍵⁠

 

On the 7th day of Immune Support my crockpot gave to me….. ⁠

A nutritious cup of BONE BROTH 🥣


⁠Bone broth is rich in minerals that help build and strengthen your bones. It also contains many other healthy nutrients, including vitamins, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. ⁠ The gelatin in bone broth supports healthy digestion. It may be beneficial for individuals with intestinal permeability (leaky gut), as other digestive disorders.


The amino acids in bone broth can help balance inflammation. Because of this, eating bone broth in your soup or sipping on it can alleviate frustrating gut symptoms and improve gut function in the long run.

You can make your own or buy it at your local health food store. ⁠ My current favorite brand is Bonafide. Y ou can find that in the frozen section of most health food stores.  SOOOO tasty!

 

On the the 8th day of Immune Support mother nature gave to me…..⁠

GARLIC!!⁠


My fav because there are just soooo many ways to include this!  Garlic has OSCs (organosulfur compounds) which are found in the whole clove.  This is what gives garlic its flavor and smell (which are soooo good in a tasty stirfry!).  While allicin is probably the best recognized of the OSCs, there are actually many different types of OSCs found in garlic.  Some of these compounds, like allicin are dependent on enzymes that are activated when garlic is crushed, chopped, or chewed.  Others, like those found in aged garlic supplements, are formed during the aging process or are formed as breakdown products of other OSCs.  Garlic also has other polyphenolic compounds and prebiotic fibers which add to its health benefits. ⁠

 

Garlic increases the responsiveness of several important antiviral immune cells such as Natural Killer cells and specialized gamma delta T cells.  ⁠This is one way in which garlic supports healthy immune function.

 

There are so many ways to get your garlic!  One is a garlic bomb!  Take a clove of garlic and crush it with a butter knife.  Then, put the crushed garlic in a spoon and add some raw, local honey to it.  Swallow the whole thing down!⁠. If you find that this leaves you tasting or breathing garlic later (or smelling like garlic) you can go for a garlic capsule.  Aged garlic extract or whole garlic softgels or capsules are a good option.  If this still leaves you with a garlic taste in your mouth, go for an enteric coated garlic capsule or tablet.  ⁠For allicin my FAV is Allimax, and for aged garlic extract, check out Kyolic Immune Formula 103.

 

At our house, we like to make Garlic Lemonade.  We chop up a bunch of garlic and add it to a saucepan with filtered water and let it simmer until we have a garlic tea.  Then, we pour it in mugs and add fresh lemon juice and raw, local honey. My kids love it! ⁠

 

You can cook with garlic too, by using it in stir fry, soup, or stew! ⁠

 

On the 9th Day of Immune Support the Sunshine gave to me….⁠

VITAMIN D!!!!!⁠ 🌞⁠


Vitamin D has several important functions. Perhaps the most vital are regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and facilitating normal immune system function.  Getting a sufficient amount of vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against pathogens.

According to an article in Medscape “Vitamin D deficiency on admission to hospital was associated with a 3.7-fold increase in the odds of dying from COVID-19, according to an observational study looking back at data from the first wave of the pandemic”(2).

It appears that Vitamin D continues to be just as important as it’s always been for optimal immune function!


On the 10th day of Immune Support the fresh springs gave to me……⁠

HYDRATION⁠!  Gulp, gulp, aahhh! 💧⁠


⁠Soooo important friends!  We all know this, but do you ever realize hours have gone by and you haven’t had any water?  Keep it comin….

 

The adult human body is made up of roughly 60% water!  Staying hydrated helps the body get the nutrients and oxygen to where your body needs it most.  Adequate hydration also helps flush out waste and toxins to keep it strong and working properly.  A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces every day. Remember that by the time you are thirsty, that is a sign you are already dehydrated.  Drink up!⁠


On the 11th day of Immune Support the Earth gave to me….⁠

PROBIOTICS 🦠⁠


These awesome little bugs!  And guess what?…. if we could look at each other and only see the bacteria that lives in and on our bodies, we would look like walking, human shaped piles of bacteria!  Because for every human cell on your body, there’s at least 1 bacterial cell.  This is your microbiome!  And these little friends have been shown to promote the production of natural antibodies in the body.  They may also boost immune cells like the IgA-producing cells, T lymphocytes and natural killer cells.⁠

 

Probiotics can be consumed through fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, or my FAV…. cultured coconut water.  This picture is of kombucha, and you could even make it with cranberries to get your probiotics with some vitamin C!

 

The can also be obtained through supplementation.  My favorite for both myself and clients is Megasporebiotic by Microbiome Labs.  For people with bloating, this is the only one I use!  It’s also my go-to for most clients with gut issues.  Probiotics can give your immune system a boost and inhibit the growth of harmful gut bacteria.  The good stuff keeps the bad guys in check!

 

On the 12th Day of Immune Support⁠ my true love gave to me….⁠

RE-LAAAX-A-TIOOOOON⁠ 🎁⁠!!!!!


This is my favorite and personally most needed immune support….  For you passionate, motivated, hard working ladies out there, this is the one you might need to remember.

 

BREATHE, meditate, journal, exercise⁠ (the relaxing kind also, not just the high intensity stuff!). Look out he window… What do you see?  What colors?  What sounds do you hear?

 

Take a deep breath.  How do the sights and sounds resonate in your body?  What do you notice?  Maybe your shoulder release slightly, your chest feels more expansive and warm….  Soak in the moment and enjoy the little things this season.

 

This can be easier said than done during the holiday season, especially this year, but so incredibly important for your health and wellbeing, and to support the immune system.  Remeber to do whatever puts a smile on your face, no right or wrong, just take some time for yourself.  I personally like to write in my gratitude journal, delicious Reishi coffee in hand, a little bit before everyone wakes up.  It puts me in the right mindset to take on the day, whatever that may be. ⁠

 

What are your favorite immune support foods, supplements, or practices?  Share in the comments below!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS Dear Ones! 😊 ❤️

 

Resources:
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7303286/
(2) https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/942497

 

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