Written by: Ren (Wellness Coordinator)
Immunity has been a winter health buzzword for many years, but especially now in the time of COVID-19 we are hearing a lot about it. While many people have been shoring up their immune health for years, some newcomers are hunting for the one-and-done cure-all to increase immunity. Unfortunately, there is no such thing – but there are a lot of ways that we can make sure the cells in our immune system are getting what they need to do the job they were built to do!
Rest: More and more research is coming out about the importance of sleep, not just for immunity but for overall well-being. Getting an average of 8 hours of restful uninterrupted sleep can help with decision making, memory, focus, and mental clarity. Our bodies also release important hormones and proteins during rest that help support the immune system. Trouble sleeping? Try cutting down on caffeine in the evening, creating a nighttime routine that includes a wind-down period of no screens, avoiding alcohol and heavy meals before bed, and exercising during the day.
Movement: Exercise has many benefits, one is that it boosts the production of macrophages – these are cells that attack viruses and bacteria. Even something as simple as dancing in your kitchen can relieve stress, increase blood flow, and strengthen neural pathways.
Laughter: Whether connecting with another person, animal, or comedic media laughter really is good medicine! Laughing stimulates the lungs and circulation and increases the endorphins released in your brain. Being social and connected with others has also shown to lower stress levels in many people. Caring for another person, talking on the phone, or going to your community co-op can help increase your level of connection and your overall happiness.
Eat Well: Letting your immunity lean solely on those elderberry gummies you bought? Supplements can be a great way to balance your diet but let’s not forget the best medicine: food! When we eat a rainbow of fresh foods we’re receiving a lot of the nutrients our bodies’ cells need to fight disease. Picky eater? No problem, multivitamins can supplement what you’re missing. Some vitamins that are especially great for boosting immunity are vitamins B, C, D, and E. Don’t worry, you can keep the tasty gummies too. 😉
CBD: While there is no one-and-done cure-all for immunity, we have found some exciting new research that points to effective treatments. Researchers from Oregon State University have shown that CBD (specifically CBGA and CBDA) can prevent infection of human epithelial cells by the coronavirus spike protein and prevented entry of SARS-CoV-2 into cells. We have long known that hemp derived CBD can positively impact the human immune system, but this evidence that it can prevent COVID is big news!
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If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read on this blog, website or in any linked materials.