Part 2 - Immune System Support: Beyond Vitamin C
Updated: Apr 23
By: Anne Grier, RN, BSN & Functional Nutrition Health Coach
How did it go last week? Were you able to focus on the clear and calm in your life? Were you able to sit in your “circle of influence”? Please read Part I before continuing with this post.
Last week, I introduced the clear and the calm, to positively influence your immune system. This week, I am continuing the conversation with enhance and modulate.
We want to enhance our immune systems, these recommendations are what you likely have already seen on internet posts but here are my favorites: (doses will vary based on individual needs)
Targeted minerals, vitamins, and nutrients based on individual needs: Vitamins D, A, C, NAC, quercetin, zinc (with copper)
Diverse, nutrient-rich diet, high-quality animal products (consider supporting a local farm), a rainbow of whole real foods whenever possible
Spice up your cooking, favorites include: Garlic, Ginger, Oregano, Curcumin, Turmeric, Echinacea & Astragalus
Essential oils: Frankincense, Oregano, Eucalyptus, immune system blends (Thieves or On Guard)
Protect barrier systems:
Hydrate! Even gargle!
Enhance Sleep - sanctuary, dark, cool, device-free, routine
Enhance Digestion - remove inflammatory foods, consider digestive support, support mucosal health
Enhance Detoxification - poop regularly, irrigate with a neti pot, sweat, breathing
Enhance Stress Resilience - meditate, move your body, find joy, gratitude, relationships
Lastly, to enhance our immune system we must modulate, meaning check-in, invite more balance and adjust as needed to make sure that we are doing all that we can for ourselves at the time.
Questions to ask yourself:
Modulate sleep and relaxation: how much am I sleeping? How can I optimize my sleep right now? How is my stress level? What relaxation techniques are needed?
Modulate exercise and movement: Am I moving my body? Am I sweating daily? Am I exercising too much or too little? What feels best for me at this time?
Modulate stress and anxiety: How can I best honor the emotions I'm feeling? What helps me feel calm? What does my new routine look like? Does it need adjustments? What helps me feel most grounded?
Modulate nutrition and hydration: What food does my body really need right now? How many vegetables am I eating each day? Am I avoiding refined sugar? Am I eating enough protein? Eating a variety of colors? Am I drinking enough water? Am I pooping every day?
Modulate relationships and networks: Are there relationships or networks that I need less of, that are causing added stress (ie:news, anxious relative)? Am I staying connected with my community even with physical distancing? Are there support groups or resources that I need right now?
The idea with these questions is to be curious about yourself, not to judge yourself. But to truly ask and listen to your body and find balance in each area. It’s not about trying to make each area “perfect” but rather to adjust and to create the “Goldilocks” position (not too little, not too much) in each area so that you feel your influence and control in each area.
This is not meant to be overwhelming but rather empowering. Take what is helpful for now, focus on that and come back for more when you are ready. I am here if you need support in any of these areas.