Blog #98 Two Vital Factors for Good Immune Health
The two major factor affecting immune system health are reducing toxicity and optimizing nutrition. Because we are in the midst of a global pandemic, I will present some suggestions that can help relatively quickly.
Remove toxic cleansers from your home, with the exception of Clorox and other bleach based products, alcohol and other alcohol based products, hydrogen peroxide, and possibly a few other germicidal agents, such as some high quality aromatic oils. Good substances for cleaning include vinegar, baking soda, detergent and water, plus some other non-toxic cleansers that you can find in your local health food store or online. Check the labels or even call the companies to check about ingredients. One of my favorites for cleansing stubborn grease is Scour Off, made by Shaklee. (I am not a distributor).
If you can afford to do so, purify your water with distillation, reverse osmosis, or a filtration system that also removes most or all fluoride. There are quite a few companies that sell reasonably good water purification systems. I have used Water Wise for water distillation and the Berkey water filter system. Drinking lots of water, herbal teas, and/or fresh organic vegetable juices can help support your health. Also beneficial for the immune system, especially for the skin, is to keep the indoor temperature around 66 – 72 degrees (maybe a little cooler at night) and to keep the air somewhat humid. When the skin, especially in the nasal passages, is dry, it tends to crack and become inflamed. This makes it especially permeable to invaders, such as harmful viruses and bacteria.
Avoid habits that deliver toxins into your system, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and the regular use of recreational drugs. Engage in habits that will help detoxify your body, such as regular exercise (walking, running, weight lifting, Pilates, etc), learning to breathe deeply from the abdomen, and daily breaks for relaxation, yoga, chi gong, meditation, self-hypnosis, listening and playing harmonious music, or reading inspirational writings, to name just a few activities. Getting sufficient sleep and insuring that your sleep is sound is another excellent habit, and is essential for good health.
If possible, spend some time daily outdoors among trees. Another good option is spending time by a large, relatively unpolluted body of water. Walking and resting in natural settings is inspirational and also beneficial for the body.
Most highly nutritional diets will help detoxify the body. Perhaps the best detoxifying diet is a plant-based diet with lots of organically-raised vegetables. Dark leafy greens are especially detoxifying. Also essential for most people are a large variety of root vegetables, such as turnips, rutabaga, parsnips, carrots, beets, some potatoes, and more. These provide a rich source of pre-biotics, which help support and grow the friendly micro-organisms in your digestive tract (the microbiome). Fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented carrots, beets, ginger, garlic, onions, and also soy bean paste (miso) are all rich in a variety of friendly micro-organisms. If you consume dairy, then high quality yoghurt or kefir are also good sources of probiotics.
Fruit, beans, nuts, seeds and some legumes and grains are also excellent nutritional sources. Pectin is an important fiber for immune health. It is most concentrated in the fruit skin, so it is best to consume organically raised fruit so you can leave the skin intact. Some excellent sources of pectin are apples, lemons, oranges, grapefruit, guavas, gooseberries and pears. If people are not vegetarian, then homemade bone broth and wild-caught small fish from relatively unpolluted waters are highly nutritious. And remember to include seaweed and mushrooms in some of your meals, if you are able to consume them.
Vitamin C and D are two of quite a few vitamins that are important for optimal health. Vitamin C can be obtained from citrus fruit, white potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers, as well as many other fruit. Vitamin D is best gotten from sunlight, but when that is not possible, then high quality fish oil or other vitamin D supplements can supply this needed nutrient.
Avoid consuming substances that are detrimental to your body. Many people are sensitive to certain foods, and they should learn what these foods are and avoid them, at least for several months, if not permanently. Some are sensitive or allergic to peanuts, dairy, fish or raw vegetables. All people should avoid white sugar and flour as well as processed meats and most other processed foods. There are exceptions, such as frozen fruit, high quality yogurt and bottled organic tomatoes. Gluten creates inflammation in many digestive tracts, even if we don’t feel any discomfort, so frequently, gluten-containing grains, in particular wheat, barley and rye, should be avoided. Artificial sweeteners, processed salt, and most oils are harmful. If we consume foods to which we are sensitive or allergic, then our bodies are distracted into counteracting the problematic foods rather that devoting a lot more attention defending against circulating viruses and opportunistic cancer cells.
Finally, be kind to yourself, learn from your mistakes, forgive yourself, look for things for which to be thankful, and proceed to make life a little better each day. This way, you and your immune system will become increasingly healthy.
This blog’s offer: Contact me and ask me for my new address and phone number. I will shortly close my existing office due to the country’s pandemic shut down, and will open a much smaller, part-time space. I wish you safety and good health.