2020 has been a year of people desperately seeking answers about health and building immunity. As COVID-19 continues without a vaccine, while we wear masks and follow sanitation and social distancing rules, the one big thing we can do for ourselves and our family is continue to build and improve our immunity.
What is human immunity?
The immune system protects the body against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies and attacks a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, while distinguishing them from the body’s own healthy tissue.
What are the 5 simple signs of a weak immune system?
- You’re continuously stressed.
- You tire easily.
- You always have a cold.
- Your wounds are slow to heal.
- You often have tummy troubles.
Here are four easy checklist items to follow to continue to build on your immunity.
- Vegetables are the foundation of a nourishing diet, and they provide so many immune-supporting nutrients like vitamin C (red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach) and carotenoids (carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale). Aim for two servings of fruits and eight or more servings of vegetables a day! (A serving is half a cup.)
- Limiting starch and sugar will help your immune system function better, and your overall health improves.
- Eat approximately 1 gram/kg, or about half your body weight in grams of protein a day, or about two 4-ounce servings of organic, clean animal protein (like grass-fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, or wild-caught salmon). Plant-based proteins (legumes, nuts/seeds) are adequate if consumed in enough quantity. Try gluten-free tofu and tempeh from non-GMO soy for the highest protein concentrations.
- Drink herbal teas like ginger and turmeric tea. Keep a bottle of filtered water with you at all times. Avoid concentrated fruit juices and sweetened beverages, as the sugar content is harmful to the immune system.
For additional reading, here are 10 tips recommended for immune strength by Functional Medicine Doctor Mark Hyman.