Its flu-season-eve and time to boost up your immune system! Let’s explore some healthy habit and lifestyle factors can contribute to a stronger immune system.
Healthy living strategies
If you don’t get enough exercise, proper nutrition or rest you will likely be more susceptible to catching a bug. Make sure you:
- Don’t smoke
- Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, veggies and whole grains
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Control your blood pressure
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Get adequate sleep
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
- Stay up to date with medical checkups and appropriate health screenings
Immune-supportive plants, herbs, vitamins and probiotics
Taking immune-supportive herbs such as eleuthero, Asian ginseng, American ginseng, astragalus or Echinacea can help boost your immune system.
Many Vitamins are essential to immune system support. Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C,
Vitamin D and Vitamin E to name a few. Click here to view a table of the FDA recommended daily allowance (RDA) of the most common vitamins.
Click here to view Trim® Nutrition’s supplement line.
Click here to view Trim® Nutrition’s line of proprietary nutrient injections including Trim® Immune.
If you’re thinking of taking supplements, talk to your doctor first. Supplements, even those with superfood properties, can interact negatively with certain medications, so it’s vital to discuss diet and supplements with your physician.
Garlic has been used as a natural antibiotic for more than a century. Louis Pasteur studied the use of garlic as an antibiotic and found that it killed bacteria in the lab.
Regular consumption of garlic can reduce high blood pressure, help prevent cancer, fight microbes and promote digestive health. Garlic inhibits a variety of fungi, viruses, and bacteria and has been used as an antimicrobial for thousands of years. The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy reported in 2003 that garlic inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a type of antibiotic-resistant infection, in mice.
Garlic contains the prebiotic compound fructose oligosaccharide (FOS). Prebiotics support the growth of friendly bacteria that reside in the intestinal tract. These bacteria are necessary for making vitamin K and for normal, healthy digestion.
Garlic can interfere with certain medication functions so if you’re on any medications, see your doctor before you add high doses of garlic to your regimen.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that positively benefit you. They improve the health and functioning of your gastrointestinal tract (GI) and may help boost your immune system.
Probiotics such as bacteria and yeast help balance the flora (microorganisms) found in your intestinal tract, killing off the bad bacteria and allowing the good bacteria to flourish.
Probiotics are found in some yogurts and dairy products, as well as supplements. Good bacteria in the intestines carry out a number of functions:
- Assist in breaking down food so you can absorb the nutrients
- Help maintain proper pH levels in your body
- Create antibodies that help support your immune system
Probiotics stimulate the immune system by producing natural antibiotics, which can help fight off harmful bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and shigella.
The two primary types of bacteria—lactobacilli and bifidobacteria—help maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora. These two primary bacteria have several forms, and you can find the most common ones in the following foods:
- Sweet acidophilus milk
- Fermented yogurt
- Miso soup (made with warm water only)
- Pickles (naturally fermented without vinegar)
- Sauerkraut (raw, non-pasteurized, not canned; no vinegar used in processing)
In addition to finding probiotics in food, you can purchase supplements over the counter in most health food stores, pharmacies, and grocery stores. They come in a variety of forms, including capsules, liquids, and tablets. Preparations made specifically for infants and children contain targeted bacteria at lower counts. If manufactured carefully and stored properly, probiotic bacteria can remain viable in dried format and reach your intestines alive when you consume them.
One criticism of probiotics sold over the counter is that they may not contain enough bacteria to actually do any good, so always look for the supplement with the highest number of bacteria. According to one study, a minimum of one billion live cells of lactic acid bacteria is required to do any good, and the product wouldn’t require refrigeration, because refrigerated products may not be stable at room temperature.
People who take immunosuppressive medication should not take probiotics, because they may cause serious infection in the immunosuppressed.
*Agin, Brent, and Sharon Perkins. Healthy Aging for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Pub., 2008. Print.
**Agin, Brent, and Shereen Jegtvig. Superfoods for Dummies. Chichester: John Wiley, 2009. Print.
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About Priority You MD
Priority You MD provides personalized, integrative healthcare for general wellness, anti-aging, athletic performance and weight management as well as more complex medical issues. In addition, our facility also provides aesthetic services and fitness training. Combining diet, nutrition and exercise with evidence based medicine and preventative therapies, our goal is to help our patients achieve and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Priority You MD utilizes IV therapy protocols from Trim® Nutrition. These proprietary nutrient injections are formulated by doctors and compounding pharmacists who use the highest quality materials and follow strict manufacturing protocols in a class 10,000 compounding facility.
Headquartered in Clearwater, Florida, Trim® Nutrition and Priority You MD’s clinical staff of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, and research and development specialists are dedicated to the mission of Making Bodies Better™.