Lifestyle choices are paramount and primary, supplements are secondary.
- Adequate sleep is critical. Aim for 8 hours a night. Correct sleep apnea if suspected. Sleep deprivation suppresses immune function.
- Excellent nutrition
- Limit sugar: this includes alcohol, fruit juices, starches (bagels, cereal, pasta, bread, pancakes, etc). Sugar decreases the function of your immune system almost immediately.
- Adequate protein: Minimum of 50 grams/day. Preferably organically raised fowl, meat, and fish (smaller fish have less mercury). Whey protein.
- Healthy fats: yes to extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, ghee. No to hydrogenated fats, canola, soy oil, margarine.
- Lots of veggies – aim for 5 servings/day. Choose nutrient dense veggies.
- Fruits are fine but don’t overdue in the form of juice. Berries, apples, plums, apricots, citrus
- Include super foods daily: Broccoli sprouts, Green tea (esp Matcha), garlic, mushrooms ( esp shitake, reishi, coriolus ), bone broth, fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, etc). Use herbs (garlic, oregano, rosemary, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cayenne).
- Our foods have declined in nutritional content. Consider a good multivitamin for vitamin/mineral insurance such as this or this.
- Adequate exercise preferably daily—if healthy enough do moderate intensity for 30-45”at least 5 days/week. Too much exercise is immune depleting: 90 minutes or more of high-intensity exercise (marathons, endurance races) makes a person more susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after working out. Chi Kung/ Qi qong is a gentle exercise that also supports your immune system.
- Adequate daily sunshine: You can get Vitamin D naturally by daily exposing your arms and face for 20 minutes in the sun, but most people need more than this. Good dietary sources include good old fashioned cod liver oil, grass-fed beef liver, egg yolks from pasture raised chicken and fatty fish like salmon. Aim for Vitamin D blood level > 50, < 80. If supplements are needed, liquid Vit D3 tends to work better [Numedica, Seeking Health are good products]
- Social connectedness. Have fun. Practice gratitude.
- Limit toxins: Avoid pesticides (eat organic); cigarettes; mold; lead, mercury ; xeno-estrogens (plastics, BPA, petroleum products); industrial solvents, cleaners, “air fresheners”. EMF (turn off your wifi when not using it and do not sleep with your phone or other electronic items within 6 feet of your bed. Gluten might be a toxin for you
- Wash your hands. Infected fingers touching your eyes bring pathogens into your system. If you use hand sanitizers, choose healthy ones.
- At a medical level: assess/assure adrenal, thyroid, sex hormones optimized; assess/assure gut in good shape; assess and minimize inflammation; assess/assure optimum micronutrient status, etc.
Links: How to sprout: http://bjjcaveman.com/2017/11/10/better-way-grow-broccoli-sprouts/