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Training Your Immune System: Here’s Your Checklist

SoulAdvisor | 19 Mar 2021

The intricate network of cells, organs and chemicals that comprise the immune system do a remarkable job of defending the body against disease-causing microbes. However, when this system becomes overwhelmed or compromised we lose the ability to adequately fend off threats, which can lead to a cascade of negative health outcomes.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Bland, Founder of the Functional Medicine movement, that is why our immune systems need to be trained for resilience. 

In an article written for mindbodygreen, Dr. Bland emphasises that our immune systems require more than a simple ‘boost’ to function optimally. Instead, we need to focus on an integrative approach to rejuvenate the entire system and enhance the body’s ability to fight infections from the inside out. 

In the same way that our muscles need to be exercised on an ongoing basis, a well-functioning immune system needs constant work to stay in balance.  

To build your immune system, Dr. Bland recommends the following multi-pronged approach:

  1. Prioritise sleep. Between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night is recommended. 

  2. Get regular daily activity. Incorporate daily movement into your schedule, even if it is only an hour of walking.

  3. Spend time outdoors. Spend 20 to 30 minutes per day outdoors.

  4. Include daily stress-management practices. Read a book, listen to a podcast, or find a quiet moment to meditate. 

  5. Focus on a nutrient-dense diet. There is no universal recommended diet. However, focusing on immune-supportive ingredients, such plant foods rich in phytonutrients, is suggested.

  6. When you eat matters. Time-restricted feeding, or periods of fasting, may be beneficial for immune function.

  7. Support your gut health. Support your microbiome by eating high fibre foods. 

  8. Supplementation. Depending on your unique needs, you may benefit from additional supplementation, however, it is recommended that you speak to a medical practitioner before adding any supplements to your regular routine.

  9. Limit your exposure to chemicals in the environment. 

Before you make changes to your diet and lifestyle, we recommend that you speak to your trusted healthcare practitioner. Some of the suggested practices, such as fasting, are not suitable to everyone. 

References

Dr. Jeffrey Bland | ifm.org

How to train your immune system | mindbodygreen.com

5 Ways To Fortify Your Immune System | SoulAdvisor

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Disclaimer: This Content has been developed from our generous global community and is intended for informational purposes only. This Content is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon. Further, the personal views and experiences published are expressly those of the author, and do not represent the views or endorsement of SoulAdvisor through the act of publication on our site.