All men and women, regardless of age, share common health goals that are necessary in order to lead happy and healthy lives. Some of those goals include having low cholesterol, a robust cardiovascular system, a healthy digestive tract, stable weight, and several other markers of physical and mental health. But among all of the common health goals that are worth striving for, the one that is arguably the most important for helping our bodies naturally fend off infections and diseases is maintaining a strong immune system.
Since natural immune support and boosting immunity with natural immune system supplements is our mission at Stellar Biotics, we took on the task of seeking advice from some of today’s health experts, and more specifically, we wanted to hear their thoughts on how to naturally strengthen the immune system. To do this we reached out to 34 immune health experts to answer this question:
” What’s the #1 way to strengthen your immune system?”
We’ve collected and compiled their advice into this comprehensive guide on how to try to make your immune system stronger. See what our experts said below.
Meet Our Panel of Immune Health Experts:
Lynn Manning is a certified Women’s Fitness Specialist, wife of celebrity trainer Drew Manning, business owner and mother of two girls. She owns and operates https://www.2fitathome.com/.
Though I know this won’t win me many fans, the best way to strengthen your immune system in my experience has been…
Eating green vegetables daily.
I have my family eat broccoli almost DAILY. One cup of broccoli a day will give you the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Broccoli is rich in antioxidant vitamins and is an anti-inflammatory. The proof is in the pudding… my 3 and 5 year old have both been to the doctor’s less than 2 times for an illness. Compared to all the children at preschools rushing in multiple times a year my doctor tells me, “Whatever you’re doing you should keep doing it!”
To help my kids eat more broccoli and other green vegetables I mix them with olive oil, garlic and sometimes some hormone-free bacon and then bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown. Even picky eaters love their greens this way!
Dr. Prakash Masand
Dr. Prakash Masand is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Global Medical Education (GME). He was also Consulting Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He previously served as Director of Therapeutic Area Development, Neurosciences Medicine at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Dr. Masand was also the Founder of psychCME, Inc., a leading program for continuing medical education in the United States, which was acquired by OPTUMHealth, a division of United Health Group, in 2006.
The single most important way to strengthen your immune system is…
To have regular sleep and moderate exercise.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can increase the levels of inflammatory chemicals (cytokines like interleukin1 and 6) as well increase the level of immature blood neutrophils, the most abundant immune cell in our circulation and the first cell type recruited to sites of infection.
This may help explain why sleep deprived individuals are at a higher risk for infections, high blood pressure, obesity, depression, heart attacks, and stroke amongst other illnesses. Adequate amount of sleep can negate these effects.
Similarly moderate exercise can negate the adverse effects of physical inactivity on cytokines like interleukin 6. Physical exercise is a proven antidepressant in placebo controlled studies and may obviate the need for antidepressants in mild depression. Even in patients with moderate to severe depression the addition of exercise may boost the effects of antidepressants.
Elaine Taylor-Klaus, CPCC, PCC is the co-founder of ImpactADHD.com, helping parents worldwide – online and on the phone – to raise confident, successful children with ADD/ADHD. A writer, public speaker, parenting educator and coach, Elaine serves on the national Board of Directors of CHADD.
The number one way to strengthen your immune system is…
To reduce your stress.
Stress is responsible for most disease and dis-ease in our lives. When we are stressed, or “triggered,” our primitive brains take over and our body has a physiological response that taxes the system. Over time, it causes distress and illness. Adrenaline to escape a tiger — or an oncoming car — is incredibly helpful. In fact, it’s life saving. But constant adrenaline just to get through the day is a huge tax on the body’s systems, and it’s damaging to our health and well-being.
In the work we do with parents of kids with complex needs like ADHD (read: stressed out parents), we teach them a 4-step process to escape the stress cycle. This allows parents to relax more, enjoy their relationships with their kids, and approach all of life’s challenges with greater calm and confidence. The four steps are: 1. Recognize the Stress Response 2. Reclaim the Brain 3. Make up a New Story that works for you 4. Take action based on the new story.
Sherry Del Giorno
Sherry Del GiornoCHC, CPT, is Director of Coaching Programs at WellAdvantage Coaching Institute. She achieved Health Coach Certification through the American Council on Exercise (ACE) as well as a Wellness Coach Certification from WellAdvantage. She is a Certified Personal Trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and specializes in senior fitness as a Sr. Fit Personal Trainer through the American Academy of
Health and Fitness (AAHF). Ms. Del Giorno has worked with seniors and recognizes the importance of health, nutrition and fitness to maintain and improve quality of life. Ms. Del Giorno has her Freedom From Smoking® Facilitator Certification through the American Lung Association and has her Fitness Nutrition Specialty Certification through ACE.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is to…
Get enough sleep.
Research is showing that there is a benefit to your immune system from getting adequate
sleep. One theory suggests that when you sleep your body’s immune system releases proteins called cytokines. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection, inflammation or you are under chronic stress. When you are sleep deprived you don’t produce as many of these proteins. It has also been found that when you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t produce as many infection-fighting antibodies, which also fight off sickness.
So how much sleep do you need to boost your immune system?
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, adults need 7-8 hours, teens 9-10 hours, school-age children 10 hours, preschoolers 11-12 hours and newborns 16-18 hours.
When you get your sleep you also have more energy and willpower to make healthy lifestyle choices. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetable with lots of color and whole grains and exercising can also increases your immune system.
If you and your family are not getting enough sleep here are some tips on getting more sleep:
- Establish a bed time routine (e.g., take a bath/shower, read a book)
- Go to bed the same time each night and awaken the same time.
- Bedrooms should be quiet, dark, cool and free of electronic devices. The light from the screens can disrupt sleep. Turn off electronics at least an hour before bed and remove tv’s and gaming systems from bedrooms.
- Avoid caffeine after lunch.
- Exercise regularly (exercise at least three hours before going to bed)
- Avoid napping during the day (adults).
Making getting enough sleep for you and your family a priority can lead to less sick days and a healthier happier you.
Dr. Rob Pennington
Dr. Rob Pennington, Ph.D is an Educational Psychologist and award winning author of his autobiographical self help book, “Find The Upside Of The Down Times: How To Turn Your Worst Experiences Into Your Best Opportunities”. He is also is recipient of the highest trainer evaluations from ExxonMobile for his multi-day training, “Successfully Managing the Stress of Change”, every year for 32 years, a four-time recipient of Mental Health America’s Outstanding Speaker Award, and President of the Houston Chapter of the National Speakers Association. Learn more about Dr. Pennington’s work at https://www.drrobpennington.com/.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is…
Stress management; and more specifically, by learning to speed through stress in 5 steps in 15 seconds.
65% of people in the US die from a preventable illnesses that is related to how their stress adversely affects their immune system. Our immune system is designed to keep us healthy. There are germs and viruses and bacteria in our body all the time that could kill us, but our immune system protects – unless we aren’t handling our stress. It is not possible to not have stress. It’s a powerful habit. But we can learn how to recognize it quicker and move through it faster. And that makes all the difference.
I provide more information in a 20 minute video where I talk about using these steps when I got shot in the center of my chest, as well as a 50 page workbook on how to develop the ability to actually make such a significant change in 15 seconds (or even less!). You can find that here: www.drrobpennington.com/access.php.
Dr. Kalpana DePasquale
Dr. Kalpana DePasquale is the founder of St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC and Avanti
Medical Spa, LLC, in St. Augustine. Dr. DePasquale has been practicing as a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) medicine since 2003 and is board certified in Otolaryngology. She is focused on the complexities of the head and neck anatomy, medicine and surgery for patients of all ages.
There are multiple ways to meaningfully strengthen your immune system, which are through…
Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone and may also lead to more inflammation in your body. Get 7-9 hours of sleep to optimize the immune system function.
Try to get regular, moderate exercise 30 minutes a day such as walking. Exercise can also boost your body’s feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. Exercise gets antibodies and white blood cells moving through the body faster. They may detect illnesses sooner and trigger hormones that “warn” immune cells of intruding pathogens.
Too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. Eat more fruits and vegetables that are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta carotene and zinc. Shoot for 5 cups of fruits and veggies a day.
Chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system.
Study shows people that have connections with small or large groups of people have stronger immune systems.
6. Sense of humor.
Laughing is good for the body. It curbs the levels of stress hormones in to body and boosts white blood cells that fight infections.
7. Fight allergies with immunotherapy, meditation, pro-health lifestyle, control your surroundings, and laughter.
8. Additional healthy tips to help strengthen your immune system.
– Don’t Smoke.
– Maintain a healthy weight.
– Control your blood pressure.
– If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
– Wash your hands frequently and cook meats thoroughly.
– Medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
Jean Sniffin, RN, is Community Health Nurse for Century Health Systems and Natick Visiting Nurse Association. She works closely with several area Boards of Health, promoting good health through monthly blood pressure clinics at town Councils on Aging and senior housing sites. She speaks frequently throughout the Boston MetroWest region on a variety of health and safety issues, including Lyme and tick borne diseases. Jean also serves as Early Childcare Health Consultant for more than 20 daycare and nursery school programs, offering on-site education about pediatric health and safety issues.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is…
To stay up to date with all crucial adult vaccines.
Although good nutrition, exercise, knowing your family health history, and physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health, are all important to keep your immune system strong, being up-to-date with all your adult vaccines tops the list.
John A. Salat
John A. Salat is an Innovative Relaxation Instructor and Book Author who has taught over a thousand stress reduction classes at his own venues using non-traditional methods. His venues include teaching Guided meditation, Qigong, Tai Chi, and a variety of other Awareness Through Movements (ATM), all programs that are able to reduce stress dramatically. John is also Author of “Tao Art of Flow” which is about living a stress free life. Learn more about John’s work and his book at https://www.taoartofflow.com.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is to…
Simply cultivate relaxation throughout the body and mind.
A relaxed body is a healthy body. Less stress means more open channels of flow through the body. Once we can own the investment to every cell as total relaxed embodiment does this work continue to invite us in because we get called deeper every time.
Jessica Lopez is a sought after Personal Trainer at The Boxing Club in La Jolla, California, and has been a certified trainer since 2003, also specializing in nutrition after receiving her credentials at Natural Healing Institute. Jessica began her career in health & fitness once she decided to take charge of her lifestyle by losing pounds & gaining muscle. Her hobby turned into what is now a successful health career. Her passion and love for her healthy lifestyle is visible and contagious as she explains the benefits of natural eating & physical activity to her trainees.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is to…
Manage your stress. How you think of stress can make a drastic change in your immune system & overall well-being.
And not just stress but the “idea of stress.” kicking the concept –that stress only comes in a negative light, will alleviate the built up tension from any jam-packed day.
Your body responds to specific hormones under stress, if you are able to teach your body to respond in a positive manner, by taking on the challenge, or convincing yourself mentally that this is not a harder than usual obstacle then near the end of the day your body will not experience the high fatigue. By doing this, your immune system will not have to over work itself to keep you in a healthy “sane” state.
It is extremely easy to fill a day with countless errands and demanding activities, but by changing your mindset about how to take on stress, it allows your body to be alleviated from the extra energy it needs to keep you going throughout the full day.
Many people believe stress to be a negative in all situations. But when someone is able to change their idea of how stress is in their life, days will become easier, your typical day will not be weighed down with excess thoughts. Your immune system will escape the deteriorating effect of negative tension being piled all day. This will help stop your body from slowly weakening itself to a vulnerable state, which it often leads to a mild cold.
Stopping the cycle of becoming over stressed will help any person keep a healthy immunity.
Michael Asaly is a Sleep Apnea expert and Founder of Practical Sleep Solutions based in Southern California.
In my 20 years experience, one of the best immune strengtheners comes from…
Having a proper night’s sleep.
A full 8 hours is recommended for optimal immune system function. Recent statistics share that insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic and that there are 50 million Americans who suffer from chronic sleep apnea which leads to stress in everyday life.
Marissa Vicario is a board-certified Health and Nutrition Coach and the Founder of Marissa’s Well-being and Health.
The #1 way to strengthen the immune system is to…
Get plenty of sleep.
It’s free so there’s no reason not to get enough of it. Sleep helps to repair your body at a cellular level – it’s when all of the nutrients from the food you eat during the day are carried to the cells and organs. This helps boost the immune system so the body is well-equipped to fight disease, colds & flu.
Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs
Dr. Jeffrey S. McCombs DC is author of “The Everything Candida Diet Book” and creator of The Candida Plan.
The immune system is a complex system that is influenced by many factors and other systems, organs, and tissues. The best way to address the many facets and complexities of the immune system and strengthen it all at once would definitely be…
Meditation or prayer.
These two are able to suppress the inflammatory responses of the immune system while boosting the anti-infectious components resulting in a response that both protects and balances the body.
The tendency in our pill-driven society is to look for solutions in pills. For those who choose this route, a supplement containing Vitamin C, Echincaea, and bioflavonoids would be an excellent choice to strengthen the immune system. Pushing the immune system without fueling it is likened to trying to drive a car without gas. The supplement N-acetylcysteine can help to support the immune system as well.
Sarah Dawkins is the Founder of Dawkins Health Consultancy, which she formed in 2012. Sarah’s work is diverse and she undertakes various types of health projects such as clinical work, teaching clinical skills and mandatory updates, forensic sampling and documenting a chronology of events for medico-legal work
As a Registered Nurse with an avid interest in natural health, my #1 way to strengthen immunity is to…
Alkalise your body.
This can be done simply by taking half to one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, in as much water as your taste buds will allow. Alkalising your body is a great way to ward off many of today’s diseases as well as infections.
With today’s lifestyle being sedentary and the never ending supply of fast and convenience food leading to over indulgence, our bodies are becoming acidic, leading to all the modern ailments and diseases. Alkalising the body with sodium bicarb as well as good food, counteracts the inflammatory process, boosting health.
Dr. Lee Dennis
Dr. Lee Dennis is a licensed naturopathic physician who is currently an associate naturopathic physician at Namaste Natural Healing Center, Inc. in Portland, Oregon where he practices family medicine and primary care. Dr. Dennis received his naturopathic medical degree from the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon and he is a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OANP). Learn more about Dr. Dennis and his work at https://drleedennis.com/.
The best way to strengthen the immune system for most people living in Westernized societies is something that is not only good for the immune system, but beneficial for overall health and quality of life. What might this be?…
Stress is a huge contributor to chronic health issues from something as simple as chronic colds to more worrisome conditions like heart disease and cancer. How stress contributes to disease is, in large part, through the immune system. Chronic stress leads to a poorly functioning and, often, suppressed immune system. Since most of us can’t really avoid stress, at least not completely, the best thing we can do is to find ways to better manage stress.
What does this mean exactly? It means improving our body’s reaction to what we see as stressful events by utilizing techniques to cultivate a calm state of mind even in the midst of chaos. There are a variety of techniques and tools including meditation, breathing practices, yoga, qigong, tai chi and more. The key is in finding the tools that work best for you that you can practice on a regular basis. For many of us, even 5 minutes a day focusing on a relaxing breathing practice can make a huge difference in stress levels and, thereby, give our immune system a boost.
Joey Gochnour is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer, and is CEO of Nutrition and Fitness Professional, LLC.
The #1 way to strengthen the immune system is through…
Exercise. It makes your insides healthier regardless of weight and can act as a stress reduction tool and weight management tool along with a good diet.
Dr. Carolyn Dean
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND is a medical doctor, nutrition expert, and health pioneer with over 25 years of experience with immune related health issues, aging, diet and nutrition issues. She’s authored 30 books including “Future Health Now Encyclopedia”, “The Complete Natural Guide to Women’s Health”, and “365 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power: Tips, Exercise, Advice”. Radio, TV and magazines interview her regularly including ABC’s The View, NBC and CBS. Know the Cause with host Doug Kaufmam, Your Health with Dr. Becker, The Women’s Connection with Barrie Switzen, Weekend Today in NY, WNBC with Dr. Ian Smith, Health Matters with Christine Crosbie, Global TV to name a few. She’s the medical director for the Nutritional Magnesium Association.
The #1 way to strengthen the immune system is…
To have more Magnesium in your diet, whether it is through foods or a natural supplement.
Magnesium is my #1 immune system strengthening nutrient because it activates hundreds of enzymes that control digestion, absorption, and the utilization of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Magnesium’s hundreds of activities in the human body can be divided into five essential categories:
1. Magnesium is a cofactor assisting enzymes in catalyzing most chemical reactions in the body, including temperature regulation.
2. Magnesium produces and transports energy.
3. Magnesium is necessary for the synthesis of protein.
4. Magnesium helps to transmit nerve signals.
5. Magnesium helps to relax muscles.
Enzymes are protein molecules that stimulate every chemical reaction in the body. Magnesium is required to make hundreds of these enzymes work and assists with thousands of others.
Because magnesium is involved with hundreds of enzymatic reactions throughout the body, deficiency can affect every aspect of life and cause a score of symptoms. Of the 325 magnesium-dependent enzymes, the most important enzyme reaction involves the creation of energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fundamental energy storage molecule of the body. ATP may be what the Chinese refer to as “qi” or “life force”.
Magnesium is required for the body to produce and store energy. Without magnesium there is no energy, no movement, no life. It is that simple. Not all forms of magnesium are easily absorbed by the body, and our soils and food supplies have been depleted due to modern farming methods. One of the most absorbable forms can be found in a magnesium citrate powder that can be mixed with hot or cold water and sipped throughout the day.
Kusha Karvandi, CSCS is a health entrepreneur, author, and fitness enthusiast who has worked as a personal trainer and health club manager since 2007. Kusha is currently launching a fitness app, Exerscribe, which monitors the user and adapts to their preferences — like the “Pandora” of workout Apps. He holds 10 certifications from nationally accredited organizations (including Precision Nutrition) and over 10,000 sessions serviced, which have been embodied in this App. Exerscribe is a brain-based training system that uses neuroscience and behavioral-based coaching for lasting results.
The number one way to strengthen the immune system is by…
Consuming more fermented foods.
Over 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. Your gut contains something known as flora or healthy bacteria that is critical for protecting your body on a daily basis from toxins and pathogens.
What people don’t know is that eating processed foods, alcohol, and sugar will damage your gut flora and harvest pathogenic bacteria. The pathogenic (bad) bacteria steals the essential vitamins and minerals from your body. People with damaged gut flora can often become anemic because the bad bacteria are consuming their dietary iron. Doctors will often mis-prescribe iron supplements for these individuals which only makes the problem worse by feeding and growing the pathogenic bacteria.
By cutting out alcohol and processed sugars/foods, and eating more fermented foods such as kombucha, natural sauerkraut, fermented rye bread, and natural kimchi, the bad bacteria will be starved off while the good bacteria prospers.
Stephanie Adams-Nicolai is the Founder & CEO of GODDESSY Organics, a line of 100% pure, natural, and organic skin care products, oils and aromatherapy, and is also CFO of Wall Street Chiropractic And Wellness.
The #1 way to strengthen the immune system is simple – in one word…
With proper rest, your body naturally and instinctively knows how to best heal itself. Anything else you do is just a bonus.
Dr. Barry Sears
Dr. Barry Sears is a leading authority on the dietary control of hormonal and inflammatory responses and is considered the founder of anti-inflammatory nutrition. He dedicated the last 30 years of his research career to studying the links between diet, hormones, and health and is dedicated to restoring a state of health, which can be controlled by reducing inflammation in your body. His research had led to his writing over a dozen acclaimed books, including New York Times #1 best-seller “The Zone”, “Enter the Zone”, “Mastering the Zone”, and “Zone Perfect Meals in Minutes”, among others. Learn more about Dr. Barry Sears and his work at Zone Labs.
The number one way to strengthen the immune system is by…
Reducing and preventing inflammation.
A depressed immune system is usually due to increased inflammation. This increased inflammation can either be due to too much of an initial inflammatory response or too little of a resolution response. The increased initial response can be reduced by decreasing AA, and this is best done by a strict anti-inflammatory diet. The increase in resolution is based accomplished by an increase in omega-3 fatty acid intake. Do them both and you will get the best possible outcome.
Monica Lebre, MS RDN LDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist, writer and consultant specializing in weight management and sports nutrition. Her expertise in nutrition helps translate nutrition science to easy and user friendly techniques for her clients. Learn more about Monica’s work at https://www.monicalebre.com/.
The best ways to strengthen immune function is to…
Consume a healthy well-balanced diet including a variety of nutrients from lean protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Ensure adequate sleep, generally a minimum of 7-8 hours to per night. And finally, minimize daily stress and participate in daily physical activity.
Dr. Karen Whiteman
Dr. Karen Whiteman, PhD is a mental health services researcher and has extensive experience in designing and implementing mental health programs and services. Dr. Whiteman is nationally recognized for her work in mental health policy and services research. Learn more about Dr. Whiteman’s work at https://www.karenwhiteman.com/.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is through…
Healthy living. And this basically consists of:
- Don’t smoke anything, not cigars, cigarettes, nothing.
- Eat as many whole foods as possible such as fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink alcohol in moderation.
- Get sufficient sleep.
- See your primary care doctor regularly and make sure you are being screened for mental health and physical health conditions at appropriate time points.
Strengthening the immune system is difficult with one single change, rather a person’s immunity is a system made up of interconnected parts that function the best when protected from environmental stressors such as bad eating habits, pollution, poor sleep. Every part of your mind and body – including your immune system – functions better when the mind and body are protected from environmental stressors through healthy living.
Myrite Rotstein is a Holistic Food and Lifestyle Coach, trained in NYC at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her mission is to inspire her clients to reclaim their health and energy through a pleasure filled and guilt-free philosophy, so they can get to their natural weight without dieting and learn the natural way of eating that works best for their unique body. You can learn more about her mindful practice by visiting her website https://www.tastylife.org/.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is by…
By starting your day off with a “Rave Report”, or positive affirmations of gratitude.
Before you rush through your day, sit up in bed and reflect on what you are specifically grateful for and looking forward to that day. Researchers say that having an optimistic attitude helps boosts the immune system and calms stress. More concretely, you can start a gratitude journal (or what I call, “Rave Reviews”) that you keep by your bedside and write down what you are grateful for that day or that week.
In my experience, clients who regularly rave have been shown to exercise more regularly, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.
Kim MacKenzie is a Certified Pilates and Fitness Instructor, Health Expert and the Owner and Instructor at Fitness with Kim. Kim was also recently named “Pilates Pro” by Oxygen Magazine.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is…
Rest and sweat.
Your body needs both. Sweat once a day for at least 30 minutes to an hour. But, listen to your body when it needs to rest. Let your body take the time it needs to recover both from your workouts and for your busy life. If you need more rest, take it.
Chris Weiler is a Performance Expert to athletes, non-athletes, and Fortune 500’s such as M&M Mars/Wrigley companies, and is President and CEO of Performance For Life Inc., a company that provides easy and practical solutions to individuals and organizations, which supports habits that increase happiness, motivation, passion, productivity and success, while dissolving habits that oppose our efforts, such as stress, procrastination and indecisiveness. Chris is also the Author of “The Reflex – 3 Easy Steps That Create Thoughts, Words and Actions to Achieve Your Goals.”
The #1 way to strengthen the immune system is to…
Adopt a balanced lifestyle that exercises your body, heart and mind.
Specifically, proper sleep/recovery, exercise, a diet in whole, fresh foods, consisting of protein, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Addressing the heart and mind can also includes meditation, journaling, and looking for opportunities to give and show compassion to others. These actions create the causes for balanced metabolic systems, which is what our immune systems depend on.
Janice Maras is a Dietary Expert and is the Research Manager in the Dietary Assessment Center, in the Department of Health Science at The Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University. Her research is focused on creating diet variables and nutrient databases based on federal guidelines and cultural practices. She also oversees dietary data collection and processing for research studies. She has published in various scientific journals on epidemiology and nutrient database studies.
To build a good, strong immune system you need to…
Eat a healthy diet, be active and try to conquer some of the stress in your life.
This so important because the more we take care of ourselves the healthier we will be. The nutrients we consume will be absorbed better into our bodies to keep our immune system working at peak performance. We do this by eating whole foods and cutting down on processed foods that are high in salt.
Watch your portion sizes and keep realistic plate and cup sizes in your cupboard. Take the time to go online to the Dietary Guidelines website to figure out how many calories you should eat for the day and then look at the Myplate for what types of foods and portion sizes you should have based on your age and gender. Eat a variety of rich colorful fruits and vegetables to get lots of important nutrients into your body all working together. Always chose lean meat, fish and nuts. Include yogurt with your dairy intake to get the good bacteria into your gut.
When you have a snack make sure it is a small portion or a piece of fruit. Pick good carbohydrates by staying away from white, refined carbohydrates, which spikes up your blood sugar and does not fill you up. Instead choose whole grain foods that fill you up and provide fiber to help keep your system regular.
Be mindful of liquid sugar drinks (aka, fruit juices, nectars, beer, wine, iced teas, and coffee beverages) and if you do drink them then count them as a snack and make sure it is a small portion like a 1/2 cup. Try to keep a large water bottle near you during the day to quench your thirst and help you drink 4-6 cups a day. If you’re not feeling well that day or you are a picky eater then take a multiple vitamin.
By following these simple steps, you will build your immune system and stay healthy.
Dr. Sheeba Ben
Dr. Sheeba Ben M.D. FAAP is a board-certified pediatrician who has been practicing Primary Pediatrics since September 2003. After completing her residency in Pediatrics at The University of Medicine and Dentistry in Newark, NJ, she worked as a Pediatric Hospitalist at JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ. After gaining much inpatient experience she followed the outpatient track, which led to her current position at Riverside Pediatric Group in northern New Jersey. Dr. Ben’s great work in pediatrics led her to receive the 2009 “America’s Top Pediatrician” award. You can read more on probiotics and immune health here.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is…
Working to keep your digestive tract healthy and balanced.
70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract so a healthy and balanced digestive system plays a vital role in strengthening your overall health and well-being. Taking a daily probiotic like Culturelle is the best thing to help restore the natural balance of good bacteria so you can feel your best each day and boost your immunity.
Brenda Do is the Founder and Chief Trumpeteer of a natural supplement company called Live Gracefully. Our convenient formulas are designed for busy people who want serious support that goes way beyond a multivitamin. Yet is so efficient, you don’t have to take a baggie full of pills each day to get intense brain and whole body support.
The best way to boost your immune system is to…
Ensure all of your immune functions are working at peak levels. But that goes way beyond taking extra vitamin C because your immunity consists of many different functions. From
creating antibodies and other immune cells, to making sure they kick into action at the right time and with the right strength.
To do this, your body needs nutrients that can stimulate the many functions that make up your overall immunity while combating the chemicals, stress, and other dangers of modern life.
Ideally, you want an immune booster that:
- Restores sluggish immune functions
- Revives immune processes deadened from age and illness
- Reinforces every immune cell’s ability to protect and repair
When you can do all 3, you have serious protection against colds, disease, helps you heal from a chronic illness, and helps prevent early aging. Having all 3 functions is especially important if you’re over 50. Because you need something that revives immune functions that die off with age (called immunosenescence).
The most widely researched nutrients that do all of this is:
- Red reishi – Restores immune cell production and activity lost from aging or illness
- Beta-glucan 1,3-D – Wakes up and invigorates immune cells, especially macrophages
- Panax ginseng – Adaptogen blocks stress signals and keeps your mood calm so your immunity isn’t broken down by stress
- Siberian ginseng – Another adaptogen that helps your body adapt to chemical, physical, and emotional stressors
- Zinc -Ramps up SOD production, the potent antioxidant critical for cell protection, regeneration, and repair
- Selenium – Pumps up master antioxidant production of glutathione
Alyssa Cellini is an Integrative Health Practitioner and Nutritionist specializing in metabolism optimization, auto-immune disease, and sports nutrition, and is also the head of the revolutionary weight loss program at Complete Nutrition and Wellness. Alyssa previously worked as a nutritionist at Riverview Medical Hospital, where she educated patients on future prevention and created nutrition plans based on their ailments, and her current clientele ranges from talented teens to professional level.
The #1 way to strengthen your immune system is…
To focus on rest (6-8 hours of sleep/night, based on the individual), proper intake of vitamins b5, b6, C, and D to keep the T-regulatory cells in a “good place”, and also eating every 3 hours to reduce elevated cortisol levels.
This can be very individualized based on medical history and underlying weaknesses, but supporting the adrenal glands are always the bottom line. Optimal adrenal function depends on a number of vitamins available and reducing stress sources that use up the resources quickly, so concentrating on the “first choice” energy sources are key; B5, B6, vitamin C. A number of antioxidants and herbs are known for their immune benefits BUT they (GREEN TEA, ECHINACEA, RESVERATROL) influence the immune system in a way that will negatively effect some while positively effect others; based on unknown or known medical history and antibodies. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in all areas of the body, but its role as a “referee” in the immune system (antibody levels) is the least talked about and the biggest reason I promote high-dose D3 to all patients.
Dr. Larry Hoberman
Dr. Larry Hoberman is a San Antonio-based physician and practicing gastroenterologist who has been in the practice of medicine for almost 40 years. He has a passion to help people enjoy good health throughout their lifetimes and it was this dedication that led Dr. Hoberman to develop his own effective probiotic supplement: EndoMune Advanced Probiotic. He is currently in practice at Health by Design, located in San Antonio, Texas.
The best way to maintain your immune system in general is by exercising five days a week for at least 30 minutes, and by adhering to a healthy diet with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. But the #1 way to actually strengthen our immune system is with…
Despite our best efforts to stay healthy, we are prone to allergies, sinus infections and common upper respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Often, we become stressed or take medications like antibiotics that disrupt the healthy balance of the intestinal bacteria.
We have 100 trillion bacteria in our intestines, which constantly interact with our immune system. Seventy percent of the immune cells are in the intestines because it is our window to the environment. As we evolved, the intestinal bacteria evolved with us. We provide shelter and nutrition for the bacteria, and they enhance our health, especially in controlling for infections, allergies, and immune mediated inflammatory responses.
Probiotics have been shown to lessen allergies like eczema, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel disease, and cold and flu symptoms. The good news is that there are no adverse effects when taking probiotics. The difficult part is to find the right probiotic. Take one that has at least 4-5 different species of bacteria and a serving size of at least 8-10 billion bacteria.
Irene Ross is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner who helps people transform, light their spark and awaken their brilliance. Also a speaker and writer, she is Author of the e-book, “Sugar’s Sour Story,” and has been published in The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen.Com, Wellness Today and other popular health publications. Learn more about Irene and her work at https://www.irenefross.com/.
The #1 way to strengthen the immune system is to…
Eat fresh, whole foods. No hormones, no chemicals, no processing!
Your beef should be grass-finished (grass-fed means it can still contain some meal), your poultry pastured (“cage-free” often just means bigger cages) and fish wild-caught—and at least half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables, says the USDA.
That plate also needs to be colorful. No, it’s not to make it pretty, but because every fruit and vegetable color has a different set of nutrients, offering various health benefits. When you mix them up, you get different antioxidants and phytonutrients.
For instance, blues and purples, like blueberries, have vitamin C, fiber, lutein,and reversatrol. They boost immunity, fight inflammation (so responsible for many diseases) and even aid mineral absorption, while whites, like bananas and mushrooms, increase immunity, balance hormones and reduce the risk of some cancers. Greens, like spinach, broccoli and kale, are considered super foods (those with high nutrient contents), and have been reported to do everything from boosting immunity to improving mood and increasing energy. They also fight free radicals, those rogue cells responsible for disease.
Reds, such as tomatoes, have been said to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They also contain lycopene, the nutrient known for aiding eye health. By the way, another red, the strawberry, is well-known for tooth whitening properties.
Ever wonder why Vitamin C is in so many skin-care products? This vitamin promotes collagen formation, and oranges, lemons, and strawberries are loaded with it. They also work well with magnesium and calcium for healthy joints and bone health.
Anthea Noel is a critical care and trauma Registered Nurse Specialist at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), and is best known as the on-air health expert for Centric TV’s “Culture List.” She has recently expanded her expertise to New Jersey’s special victims unit (SVU) as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. Learn more about Anthea at https://www.nursenoel.com/.
The body’s immune system consists of cells, tissue and organs that protect us from disease, germs and harmful microorganisms. We all receive a form of immunity even before birth in the form of IG-G through the placenta. But there are ways in which we can further strengthen our immunity to aid fight against bacteria and pathogens, which are…
It is recommended for us to sleep at least 1/3 of the day, which is approximately 8 hours. Inadequate sleep leaves us vulnerable to be sick after exposure to certain bacteria or viruses. During sleep the immune system releases proteins called Cytokines that aid in fighting disease. Not enough sleep results in an underproduction of Cytokines.
Stress is directly related to the immune system. Stress weakens the immune system. During what is perceived as stress situations, the immune system’s ability to fight antigens is decreased, leaving us open to infection. It is important to find personal ways in to decrease stress for a healthy and happy life.
Proper Hand Washing
The single most important thing we can do to prevent the spread of disease is proper hand washing. This includes:
- Wet hands
- Apply soap
- Lather and scrub (20 seconds)
- Rinse (10 seconds)
- Dry hands
Breast-feeding is important not only because it provides nourishment to infants but it also transfers immunity from mother to infant. The passive immunity is in the form of IG-A.
There are different types of food that boosts immunity. They include:
- Yogurt (Probiotic, Live cultures)
- Oats and Barley
Now you are on the road to better health. Stay Happy and stay Healthy!!!!
Steve Levin is a licensed Pharmacist (PharmD) from Southern California where he is the owner of Woodland Hills Compounding Pharmacy, a leading mail order pharmacy for Dental compounding, Dermatology and MedSpa compounding women’s health and bio-illness compounding medication.
The #1 way to strengthen the immune system that I would recommend anyone to ask their doctor about is …
Taking Glutathione, Cysteine and Vitamin C at least 500 mg, three times a day.
Glutathione is the all around best antioxidant and detoxifier and it orchestrates the functioning of the immune system. It is the most important molecule we need to prevent disease and remain healthy. Poor diets, stress, aging, infections and other circumstantial trauma that affects the body deplete our bodies’ normal production of Glutathione.
The key to Glutathione’s power is in its sulfur bearing chemical groups. Sulfur is a sticky molecule, which allows all the toxins to stick to Glutathione. Cysteine helps synthesize Glutathione and Vitamin C heals and strengthens the immune system.
Lauren Napolitano, Psy.D is a licensed psychologist on staff at Bryn Mawr Hospital in PA. Lauren specializes in helping clients to build happier lives through managing stress, and is also the Author of “Over-Scheduled & Under-Sexed: How Busyness is Destroying Your Marriage” (2015). Learn more about Lauren’s work at https://www.laurennapolitanopsyd.com/.
The number one tip for maintaining a healthy immune system is to…
Maintain a consistent sleep routine.
People need to get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night, and on a consistent schedule. Erratic work shifts, caffeine abuse, hitting the snood button all detract from your body’s ability to stay strong. As adults we are all aware that sleep hygiene is imperative for babies and children, but the truth is that this fact never changes. A good sleep regimen will keep you healthy throughout adulthood.
Jamila René is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Food Science from the University of Florida. Jamila frequently writes about a variety of nutrition and health topics at her blog, No Nonsense Nutritionist.
If I had to limit my answer to one thing, the #1 way to strengthen the immune system is…
A daily probiotic supplement.
Many people recognize the benefits they have on gut health, but more and more research is revealing their positive impact on overall health and specifically immunity. And this makes sense, because much of our immune system is impacted by our gut! We’re still in the early stages of identifying specific effects from specific organisms so your best bet is to buy a probiotic that contains several strains. To make it even more effective, make sure to pair it with good diet and exercise!