We spoke to a slew of holistic health experts to find ways to turn our immune systems impenetrable.
The tendency in our Western world is to grasp onto vaccines and medication to fix what’s not working in our bodies. We’re privileged with sophisticated technology that provides this option. But as we look to the future and all the potential strains of viruses to come, we can also take pre-emptive action to guard our immune system. We went in search of advice from a variety of health perspectives, and here’s what we found.
The Nutrition Guardian
“There’s only so much control we have over our external environment,” says Michelle Miller, a clinical nutritionist at Physio Logic in New York City, but we can control some of the internal environment. She says the biggest impact you can easily make is to reduce your sugar intake. During stressful times, we gravitate towards cookies and ice cream, but studies show sugar can actually suppress white blood cell activities in the body.
There are many ways to tackle the sugar issue, Miller says, but everyone can become more aware of hidden sources of sugar and identify the highest sources in their diet. For some people, going cold turkey may be the best option. Others may need to gradually wean themselves off by switching from soda to seltzer and drinking less alcohol. Miller says these small steps can help people feel less deprived until their taste buds are recalibrated, and everything tastes sweeter.
The Disposition Guardian
“High cortisol from stress and fear blunts our immune system response,” says Patty DiBlasio, an integrative, functional, and regenerative medical doctor at Physio Logic. This means we may need to change our mindset from fearful or discouraged to upbeat or empowered. What we think produces an emotional response in our body, DiBlasio says, and “our emotions make a huge difference in how our body responds.”
DiBlasio also recommends having your levels of vitamin D checked because it “helps the immune system modulator to adapt, and it’s anti-inflammatory.” She adds that “High fructose syrup blocks pathways in the body to synthesize vitamin D.”