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Immune Health

five ways to boost your immune system

Dr_Alisha_MoadabYour immune system is located through out your entire body, much of it is in your “gut” as a part of the GALT (Gut Associated Lymphatic Tissue). One could say that “the road to good health is paved to good intestines” as Naturopathic doctors often teach. Thus your good digestion is very important in keeping a good immune system. The lymphoid tissue is the home of lymphocytes which protect your body from pathogens, like bacteria and viruses. This lymphatic system is similar to the circulation system, but it doesn’t have a pump, like the heart in the circulation system, it gets moved with muscle motion. Think of it like a sewer system, collecting the garbage, and your physical activity takes it out. Here are a few things to keep in mind for a healthy and robust immune system:

1. Exercise: Even if it is just daily walking for 30 minutes, this gets the lymph moving and studies show that it increases leukocytes (white blood cells) which fight infection. Exercise provides even more than that, a thinner waist line or less fat cells which lead to less inflammation and thus healthier tissues. Daily movement is also great for mood too!

2. Probiotics: Opposite of antibiotic, a probiotic helps restore healthy gut “flora” or bacteria. We need these bacteria to be in balance to help assimilate our food and have a healthy digestion. This can be especially helpful after or coinciding with a course of antibiotics that will kill everything, consult with a holistic doctor to take properly.

3. Rest and Relax:  If you don’t give your body a chance to recover from all the hard work you do, it gets run down and can’t put up the fight to the bad bacteria. Interestingly mediation can be an immune booster, “In one experiment, people who meditated over an 8-week period produced more antibodies to a flu vaccine than people who didn’t meditate. And they still showed an increased immune system response four months later.” [1]

4. Hydrate: Recall that sewer system analogy, well water will move out those toxins that get built up so that your systems can run smoothly, like a clear and flowing wellspring. As a general rule, most people, provided they are in good health, without any heart or kidney problems, should drink approximately half their body weight in ounces. For example the 150 pound person would drink 75 ounces of water per day, which may include herbal, decaffeinated tea. Caffeine will take away water, so if you do drink caffeine, more water is needed to replace what was lost. Coconut water provides many electrolytes and is great to use to rehydrate.

5. Laugh: You’ve heard it and it is still true! Laughter is the best medicine! [2]  Comedy provides similar effects to our immune system as mediation, we see an increase in white blood cells and decrease in stress hormones which can negatively impact our immune system if elevated. Turn on You Tube for a few minutes of chuckles every now and then to keep in good spirits.

If you try all the above and still find yourself with a slight sickness, not to worry , getting sick once a year is like a workout for your immune system, giving it a chance to get out and fight.

Cheers to your good health!

[1] http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/10-immune-system-busters-boosters?page=2
[2] http://www.helpguide.org/life/humor_laughter_health.htm

In Good Health & Beauty,
Dr. Alisha Moadab, N.D.
Soleil Medical Spa
Dr. Alisha N.D.

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