Issue Jan/Feb 2013 of Sweat Equity Magazine with Gracious Living Minty Breeze Vanilla Smoothie on page 38 , 7 Ways to Boost your Immune Health on page 26, AND Gracious Living Beautiful Skin Tips page 44!
Read more on Gracious Living health and beauty, as well as informative & inspiring articles about & with Deepak Chopra, Gabrielle Bernstein, Brenden Brazier, Michael Stone, Doug McNish, Jock Yoga Guy, and Susur Lee. Such an honour to be included with these yoga, spiritual, and foodie greats! Thank you Sweat Equity Magazine!
7 ways to Enhance Immune System,
By Grace Van Berkum R.H.N.
Sweat Equity Magazine, pg. 26
Inside your body there is an amazing protection mechanism called the immune system. It is designed to defend you against millions of bacteria, microbes, viruses, toxins and parasites that would love to invade your body. Environmental factors like diet and nutrition, stress, sleep deprivation, pollution, toxins, obesity, smoking, and alcohol can overwhelm your body and lead to low immunity. Frequent illnesses can lead to more serious imbalances and diseases of the body over time. Look after your body and it will look after you. Your greatest wealth is health!
1. Stay hydrated. Drinking 10-12 cups of clean water per day will help flush out toxins from the body. If you are not getting enough water, toxins accumulate in the body not only diminishing immune system health, but also causing depletion of energy. Start every morning with fresh lemon squeezed in room temperature or warm water, to help boost the immune system and detoxify.
2. Eat foods that support immune system health. Eat fresh, natural foods and stay away from chemical-laden, processed foods which end up depressing the immune system and over burdening the liver. Avoid refined sugars which robs the body of vitamins and minerals resulting in a weakened immune system. Artificial sweeteners are absolute no no’s, too, as they are neuro-toxins, damaging to the body and health. Eat foods high in omega 3 fatty acids which are paramount for cell health, reducing inflammation in the body, and prevent DNA damage. Omega 3 rich foods include nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, seaweeds, hemp seeds and powders, spirulina, and chorella. And we all know, foods high in Vitamin C support immune system health. Most of us turn to citrus as our go-to source for vitamin C but other high vitamin C foods include strawberries, cherries, papaya, kiwi, bell peppers, guava, and pomegranate. Incorporate fresh garlic and fresh onions in your dishes. Fresh garlic is nature’s most powerful antibiotic. Drinking ginger tea helps relieve congestion.
3. Take high quality supplements in addition to eating well. Supplements are insurance that the body is getting everything it needs, especially during times of stress. A high potency multi vitamin and mineral, high in B vitamins, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Magnesium help to keep the body healthy. Probiotics improves intestinal flora (good bacteria) and boosts immune system.
4. Move your body. Sweat! Skin is the biggest eliminative organ in the body and sweating equals toxin release. Movement increases lymphatic circulation and circulation helps with toxin removal, which means better immune system health. You need to exercise to stimulate your body, growth hormone, and cell mitochondria.
5. De-stress with yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. Stress increases stress hormones in the body which can wear us out, physically and mentally. By employing techniques such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises, levels of stress decrease as the nervous system relaxes. Studies have shown that individuals who consistently dedicate time towards stress management through mind body techniques get sick less.
6. Rest and sleep. This is just as important as all the other points. Honor your body and give it time to recuperate and recharge. Don’t overwork yourself or repeatedly push yourself beyond your capacity. This is taxing on the nervous system, the immune system, and overall health and well-being. You need to get enough sleep for detoxification, recovery, and to repair your body, cells, and cell DNA. Going to bed the same time everyday helps to keep the body in a healthy rhythm.
7. Love yourself. Studies have shown that negative self talk and self debilitating thoughts increase stress in the body, acidify the body and depress our immune systems. Positive affirmations and positive thinking help to increase our cell health, immune health, and raise our vibrations. When we stop the negative chatter and replace it with loving statements and gratitude, we increase our overall health, raise our vibrations, and become happier. Studies have shown that happier people get sick less! With awareness and practice we can change the way we think. Just like anything else, to become good at something takes practice.