Aside from the usual directives of washing your hands and avoiding touching your face whenever possible, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective ways to help your body ward off illness and maintain a strong immune system.
Stick to a Normal Sleep Schedule
Getting enough sleep helps your body fight off sickness and reset your system, as your body heals and regenerates while you sleep. It is recommended that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. Being sleep-deprived forces your body into overdrive, which can lead to an increase in cortisol levels. This can lead to a suppression of the immune system. People who get more than 6 hours of sleep nightly have been shown to be up to four times less likely to fall ill. Practice good sleep routines, such as turning off electronics a couple of hours before you go to bed and allow your brain a chance to relax. This will improve your chances of having a quality sleep. Being well-rested will help alleviate stress, and when paired with some of the other things to follow on this list, it will keep your defence system strong.
In addition to getting enough sleep, a great way to combat stress is to lead an active lifestyle. While being careful not to overdo it, prioritizing staying active through moderate-intensity exercise is a powerful way to maintain a healthy immune system. According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, those who exercised at least five days a week have almost half the risk of coming down with a virus as those who were less active. When they did fall ill, those with more regular exercise habits routinely reported less severe symptoms. Research has also shown that raising your body temperature may help kill germs before they are able to enter your system. For many, exercising regularly can be a challenge for a number of reasons. Busy schedules, lack of home workout space or a nagging ache and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be obstacles for a regular workout routine. If it’s aching or soreness that’s holding you back, check out our SierraSil® Joint Formula 14 which will have you feeling better in 14 days or less. Available online, it supports joint, cartilage and muscle function, allowing you to stay active and keep your immune system as healthy as possible.
Drink plenty of water
If you’re working so hard at staying active you might as well do all that you can to see the benefits of that work. Drinking enough water will also help with maintaining a healthy weight. SierraSil users know that we recommend a minimum of 6 glasses of water daily. Regular intake of water will also aid in digestion and washing some potential pathogens and viruses into your stomach, where they are less harmful as they encounter the acid in your stomach. Water carries oxygen to the body’s cells, so staying hydrated allows all of the body’s defence mechanisms to function better. It also removes toxins from the body, so an increase in water intake helps limit the buildup of toxins in your system, which would otherwise negatively impact your immune system. When dehydrated, airways become constricted in an effort to minimize water loss. This can make breathing and any respiratory issues much more challenging. Water aids in the production of lymph (a colourless fluid in the lymphatic system), which picks up bacteria in the body and carries it to the lymph nodes to be destroyed before it does any damage to your body.
Focus on your nutrition
Heavy reliance on antibiotics can weaken the immune system, which is why it’s so important to stay healthy and prevent illness in the first place. Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, as eating well really does help keep you healthier. You want to make sure that you’re doing all that you can to keep your body as healthy as possible. Poor diet and too much sugar weaken the immune system. You should also try to practice moderation when it comes to alcohol, as high amounts of alcohol in the body will lead your body to be busy trying to detoxify itself instead of supporting normal immune function. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids like eggs, salmon and avocados are great additions to any diet. These foods will help build up parts of your immune system as well as help you maintain a healthy weight.
Supplement - Curcumin
In addition to staying active, sometimes you want to provide your immune system with a bit of a boost. Lab studies in 2017 and 2018 have shown that curcumin may hinder the ability of a virus to replicate with ease and adhere to adjacent cells. Curcumin (which references curcuminoids) is the natural active ingredient in the rhizome root of the spice turmeric and can boast a variety of pharmacological properties. Studies have also shown that curcumin (at an appropriate dose and bio-availability) can modulate the growth and cellular response of various cell types within the immune system. This promotes the strong overall health of your immune system, as your body maintains the intended level of control. Although found in the turmeric root, curcumin is only found in small quantities there, which is why supplements with high purity and natural absorption-boosting aids are helpful. SierraSil’s Joint Formula Curcumin 3 focuses on this active ingredient, and it can also be used to help aid in the relief of joint inflammation. Curcumin helps relieve other kinds of inflammation, too. Respiratory problems can often be exasperated by inflammation that constricts the airway and makes breathing more difficult. Chronic inflammation can lead to lung damage, but curcumin may work to ease both acute and chronic inflammation and associated pain, which in turn can promote better breathing. A small study conducted in 2009 with children who suffered from recurring respiratory infections found that using curcumin daily in conjunction with lactoferrin for four weeks led to the improved health of certain cells in the immune system.
Our curcumin product is available online, featuring the Meriva® curcumin at a clinical dose and SierraSil minerals at a ½ dose. If you’re looking to keep viruses at bay and help protect the health of your family, curcumin may do its part along with an active lifestyle, good rest and healthy dietary choices.