We’ll identify specific things you can do to optimize immune system health and support your overall wellness.
Optimize Immune System Health: Start with the Basics
So what can you do to optimize immune system health? When you hear that you have to take care of all systems at once, it may feel overwhelming. So let’s start with some basics.
Here are two key ways to support your immune system:
- Humans need a balance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to promote general health and a healthy immune system, but deficiency in vitamin D specifically is linked to increased autoimmunity and a higher susceptibility to infection. Vitamin D is essential for healthy immunity, as it has a positive effect on cells in the immune system. You can get vitamin D from your diet (for example, fatty fish, cheese, or egg yolks). Your skin also produces Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Healthy sun exposure to large areas of skin will produce sufficient Vitamin D well before the onset of sunburn.
- Keeping with the theme of whole body wellness, sleep and exercise are important immune supporters. Getting an adequate amount of sleep can strengthen your immune system. Adults should sleep 7-9 hours every night, and teenagers should sleep 8-10 hours.
Exercise in reasonable amounts has also been linked to healthy immunity, but be sure to exercise in appropriate amounts. Over-exercising for your current physical condition may cause harm, so if you want to do daily intense workouts, start small. Stick to daily walks or gym visits every other day, then gradually increase your workout intensity and time. In short, listen to your body rather than pushing your body to – or beyond – its limits.
Choose the Right Herbal Supplements
Another way to support your immune system is by integrating carefully selected herbs into your diet. Many plants are popular as supports for the body’s immune response.
Some vital herbal supplements support these body systems. The first of these herbs is Phyllanthus niruri, a plant found in tropical and coastal areas in Peru. Phyllanthus niruri, also known as Chanca Piedra and Stonebreaker, is known to support the digestive and renal systems. It helps further by disadvantaging bacteria that aren’t part of the normal microbiome.
Ocimum sanctum, also known as Holy Basil and Tulsi, is a medicinal plant from India. In addition to promoting a healthy, balanced immune system, it has been used for thousands of years in support of holistic wellness.
Another herb known for its ability to support the body systems is Paeonia lactiflora. Also known as white peony root, Paeonia lactiflora has a history in traditional Chinese medicine for supporting the nervous system, liver function, and brain function. Keeping these systems functioning well supports the body’s immune function.
Finally, Terminalia chebula, also known as Myrobalan, is a dried fruit from the Terminalia chebula tree. It’s a good source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, and copper. It’s best known for its digestive benefits, and joint support, but it supports the lymphatic and immune system as well.
Optimize Immune System Health
You can strengthen your immune system — but you have to want to.
Optimizing your immune system is no small task, but you can make improvements by simply taking care to work (exercise), rest (sleep), feed (healthy food, vitamins, minerals), and support (nutrients and herbs that support immunity) your body in a way that promotes good health. (You can learn more about supporting your immune system here and more about overall wellness here.)
When you give credence to a whole body approach, you don’t just look to optimize immune response. Instead, you seek to optimize every one of your body systems to address deeper core issues and strengthen your body from the inside out.