How to Keep Your Family Healthy
Our body’s ability to fight infection and disease depends on our immune system. The immune system is made up of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect your body from illness and infection. To keep your immune system strong, it’s essential to eat a healthy diet, exercise, get plenty of sleep and maintain spinal health.
Why Do We Get Sick?
Let’s look at some top culprits:
Improper nutrition. According to some estimates, a poor diet, particularly when combined with lack of exercise, may be responsible for killing between 310,000 and 580,000 Americans annually.
Lack of sleep. Are you a night owl and think you can get by on little sleep. Running up a sleep deficit could set you up for sickness.
Insufficient exercise. Do you sit all day at your desk and then sit some more on your sofa watching television? If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, your body’s immune system won’t perform optimally.
Stress. Traumas, worries, toxins and technology all can contribute to stress, which can cause the immune system to have to work harder to protect the body against threats to health. Severe stress can compromise the immune system, which can lead to serious health conditions.
The Power of the Chiropractic Adjustment
Did you know that the number one thing you can do to keep your immune system strong and healthy is to get regular chiropractic adjustments? According to research, adjustments can substantially boost the immune system—up to 200-500%! The key, however, is regular adjustments. Take a proactive approach versus waiting until you are already sick.
Other Health-Promoting Actions You Can Take
Eat a whole food-based diet: To keep your immune system strong, you need vital nutrients such as vitamins A, C, D and E, minerals including selenium and zinc, and Omega 3s, to support your immune system. Concentrate on eating whole foods such as legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and quality animal protein (if you’re a meat eater).
One thing that you shouldn’t eat is sugar as it can contribute to the development of many diseases and it can feed cancer growth. And, if you’re feeling tired or rundown, it’s particularly important to avoid simple sugars and refined grains.
Also, stay away from processed meats, fried foods, soft drinks, processed baked goods, or products with artificial sweeteners or refined sugars. Consuming too much of them suppresses the immune system.
Get plenty of vitamin C: While you can get vitamin C in a supplement, the best sources are fresh fruits and vegetables, which help to bolster your immune system and keep your body healthy. Excellent food sources of vitamin C include berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers and dark green vegetables.
Use herbs and spices: Not only do herbs and spices add terrific flavor to our foods but they also can boost our immune system due to their antioxidant properties. Some good ones to cook with are garlic, ginger, black peppercorn, cayenne pepper, allspice, curry and turmeric.
Drink plenty of water: Water can help to detoxify the body so staying hydrated is one of the best and simplest things you can do to improve your health. For an extra health boost, add a slice of lemon, which will provide valuable vitamin C.
Aim to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night: Chronic fatigue increases the risk of illness. When it’s at rest, the body rejuvenates and strengthens. By sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night, the cells in your blood are working to keep infections at bay.
Pay attention to gut health: Did you know that approximately 80% of our immune system resides in our digestive system. So, maintaining a healthy gut can keep your immune system strong. Consuming foods rich in probiotics (or good bacteria) can help you stay healthy. Good choices are sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, kefir and kimchi. You can also take probiotic supplements.
Avoid antibiotics (if possible): Though in some cases, antibiotics are necessary, it’s essential to steer clear of them whenever possible. That’s because they attack good bacteria in the digestive system and decrease immune functions. Always seek a natural alternative first.
Get moving: Not only can exercising keep us in shape and help to pare pounds, but it also boosts our immune function, improves sleep quality, and strengthens our body. You don’t have to be an avid CrossFitter to get benefits. Taking a brisk 30-minute walk each day is beneficial.
Soak up some sun: Vitamin D is essential to strengthen our immune system, so aim to go outside a few times a week, without sunscreen, for about 30 minutes, when the sun’s rays aren’t at their strongest.
Take time to relax, laugh and enjoy life: Build some downtime in your day to enjoy a favorite hobby, spend time with a friend or loved one, or read a good book. As chronic stress can cause depression, it’s vital to take the time to enjoy life and have fun!