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Give Your Immune System a Boost
By Kate Safin, East End Food Co-op

A healthy immune system is your best defense against colds, flu, and viruses. Proper nutrition, exercise, and rest are vital to keeping your immune system in top shape.

Health professionals widely recommend vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, and a daily probiotic for maintaining a strong immune system, but supplements alone will not provide you with optimal health. Make sure you are eating well and drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Eat fresh, whole foods, and avoid lots of salt, sugar, fat, and excessive caffeine.

Find an activity that gets you moving and doesn’t feel like a chore. Some activities that provide exercise while also easing stress include taking a walk, tidying the house, weeding, and gardening. Yoga and biking can also offer a range of low or high impact exercise.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, you may benefit from herbal teas like chamomile or tulsi. Melatonin and Ashwagandha can help you fall asleep and stay asleep by easing restless minds. You can also try meditation and deep breathing exercises. Here is a simple three-part breathing technique that is easy to follow:
1. Take a long, deep inhale
2. Exhale and focus on relaxing your body; Repeat a few times.
3. Slow down your exhale so it is twice as long as the inhale. Repeat.
           
Stress bogs down our immune systems, so try not to focus too much on your worries. Develop a positive affirmation that you can recite to yourself when you begin to feel overwhelmed. Here are a few examples, but you can also make up your own:

  • “My thoughts are calming down.”
  • “I am thankful and grateful for the good in my life.”
  • “I am relaxed and calm.”

And remember, you can’t control everything that happens around you, but you can control how you react to your circumstances what fuels your body and mindset.

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