During flu and cold season, we’re all looking at ways to boost our immune systems to stay healthy, strong and active. Hunkering down at home during the colder months means spending more time with our families, slowing down and having to cook more from scratch–all things that help boost our immunity! With that said, we have our top 3 tips to keep you in tip-top shape from the top down:
Water & Infection
This one is simple (not necessarily easy), and super effective. Staying adequately hydrated keeps our ear canals and nostrils stay lubricated, and helps our skin lock in moisture–these are all first-line barriers for infections. Drinking water and herbal teas and eating water-rich fruits and vegetables will boost cells’ hydration. H2O is necessary for oxygenating our blood, flushing out toxins and supporting the lymph system. 1,2,3
Do a quick urine check
Pee should be a pale yellow to indicate adequate hydration. It should be the color of pinot grigio. Even subtle dehydration can lead to a reduction in focus and funky mood swings–something no one wants when stuck at home with their family! Often, people think they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty, so turning to water first can be a great tool to prevent eating out of boredom, habit or other feelings–or if it’s hard to tell if it’s hunger or not.
Always have a glass of water or herbal tea nearby within arm’s length to make this one doable. If plain water seems boring, try adding in one of Amphora Nueva’s flavorful white balsamic vinegars, a food-grade essential oil, fresh herbs, or a squeeze of lime or lemon. Keep in mind that caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea are dehydrating, so accounting for that becomes important–extra water is a must after drinking these! Bottoms up!
Want to Hydrate & Burn 300 More Calories Per Day?
Some clients feel like they’re drinking water all day, but still feel thirsty or dry. Adding a pinch of sea salt to a liter of water actually lowers the water’s surface tension, increasing its absorption. It also helps increase insulin sensitivity, which can reduce water retention. This practice serves to balance electrolytes. Another helpful habit is to drink warm water, particularly first thing in the morning after an overnight fast. This allows the cells to open up and can increase a sense of hydration. This is also an effective way to prevent dehydration headaches, a common cause of that annoying discomfort!
This is a simple tip but it’s not for everyone. If you have high blood pressure you would want to consult a medical professional but there is new research showing that a little sea salt may be great for everyone. Lots of what we know about salt was recently debunked when they studied salt intake in a study simulating life on Mars4. Taking a pinch of sea salt (NOT iodized salt) in each glass of water. You will get the added benefit of trace minerals but perhaps most importantly more magnesium. This is really important because magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical responses in the body5. It’s known as the anti-stress nutrient and can help boost energy. Want to step up magnesium even more? Don’t reach for Magnesium Citrate because you only absorb about 20% of that. Use a product with a higher absorbability for maximum impact like NeuroMag. Know what else magnesium is good for? Sleep…
How to Sleep Like a Baby
Sleep is just so important, more so than almost any other health tip we can give! There’s no way to make up for a lack of restful ZZZs, so finding a way to prioritize it is crucial for a healthy immune system. With no more commute time or travel, this one is hopefully a bit easier to focus on these days. So many of our clients report getting deeper and longer snooze times while they’re doing our cleanse5, which is how the cycle of healthy living works–a healthier diet promotes better sleep, and better sleep helps people make better food choices due to hormonal balance and a more grounded outlook. Not to mention a big boost for immunity. Not convinced that getting 7 hours is that much better than getting 6 hours of sleep? Or less? Dr. Aric Prather, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, took a look at the slumber of some 150 men and women for 7 days. They were then quarantined, and he injected a live strain of the common cold directly into their noses (we wouldn’t want to be a participant in this study, but hey, glad some people were brave enough!). What he found was a strong relationship between those who got less sleep and the rate of infection. For participants who got about 5 hours of sleep in that week before the experimental injection, 50% caught the cold. For those clocking in at 7 or more hours, it was a dramatically lower 18%.6 Sticking to a regular sleep schedule and practicing sleep hygiene (looking at the conditions that go into a good night’s sleep, like having a bedtime routine, turning off screens, ensuring the room is cool and dark enough, and more) can make all the difference, and certain supplements that include melatonin and soothing herbs may also help7.
A few need-to-know sleep hacks:
Wake Up Between 2-4 AM? It’s Your
Couldn’t Be My Liver, I Just Get Up to Pee
Likely it’s actually your liver and NOT your bladder that woke you up. When you wake up THEN you have to go to the bathroom. If, however, you are waking up periodically throughout the night that is probably an electrolyte imbalance. It’s simple to fix. If you don’t have high blood pressure then you can take a pinch of sea salt on your tongue or in water (not too much or it won’t help at all).
Detoxify with Food
When our livers are working overtime to get rid of a toxic overload, it can be hard for the body to focus on the immune system. Our immune systems are more efficient at fighting off pathogens when they’re cleaned out and cells are functioning properly. A great detox is helping to lift burdens and stress from the body, and let it focus on the most important activities. The good news is we’ve already learned two tools for detoxification above, but there are many more to implement. About 70% of our immune system is housed in our guts, so when our digestion is off, we can tell something about our overall health. One benefit of detoxification is that digestion improves, and daily, solid poops become our best friend (and are so satisfying!). Our clients report over and over again, both from our cleanse and our private packages, that their poops become more solid and more regular. We like to get comfortable talking about poop because this is a true indicator of health status, since it pulls out toxins and waste from the body. We definitely don’t want these things hanging out in our intestines! And this is one indicator of a strong immune system–but it’s not the whole picture.
Worried About Bacteria Or Viruses?
Overgrowth of bacteria can wreak all kinds of havoc in our bodies. They can even cause you to crave sugar or carbs, can increase anxiety, or cause digestive issues.
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