This is by no means a comprehensive list of what you should do or all that you can do when you are sick and need to boost your immune system. When I posted this a few weeks ago on Instagram stories, I had a lot of questions about specifics, so I wanted to list it all out in a blog post for easy reading and access! These are things that work for me personally and a rhythm I have established for myself. It’s not a prescription for you and you’re not doing it wrong if you do it differently --- this is just a resource to help give you some ideas if you need them! Ready? Here we go!
I just did some of my RN continuing education on Vitamin D and it was fascinating to learn more about its function. Time and time again there has been evidence that sufficient levels of vitamin D results in increased immunity. It has been shown that there are receptors for Vitamin D in different immune cells, which suggest a role in the immune response.
Preventative: I personally take 2,000-4,000 IU per day in the winter (adult dose).
Intensive: I triple that dose during my sick days. After I feel better, I take a week or so off from taking Vitamin D due to consuming high doses during the sick days. In warmer weather, expose majority of your skin to the sun for the first 10-15 minutes without sunscreen to absorb your daily Vitamin D needs.
Did you know over 60% of your immune system resides in the gut? So, it makes sense why we should take care of our gut and create in it a healthy environment. Probiotics aren’t just for sick days, though. In order to prevent and have a healthy immune system, it needs to be a daily rhythm. However, they are especially important and helpful during sickness. If you want to know more about Probiotics/Leaky Gut, you can subscribe to A. Wellness Note, and then download the February 2018 and March 2018 archive issues*! If you are just starting out on probiotics, go slow, start with a dose or half a dose every other day, working your way up to daily.
ELDERBERRY (cold + flu type symptoms)
The moment one of us starts getting stuffy or has any respiratory symptoms, I immediately start Elderberry syrup. It is a gamechanger to prevent and also decrease the sick time if taken routinely.
Maintenance:You can take it at maintenance dose every day in the fall/winter months (around 1 tsp for children, 1 Tbsp for adults – see bottle for exact dosage).
Intensive: Maintenance dose 3-4x per day.
You can make your own (it isn’t hard and is very helpful with cost. It can get expensive if taken daily). This is the recipeI follow!
You can also purchase it here:
Do you wonder where eating chicken soup when sick came from? It’s all in the broth, but more specifically bone broth. The broth contains compounds that are anti-inflammatory and are healing to your gut, which makes up 60% of your immune system. (To learn more about bone broth, subscribe to A. Wellness Note + download April 2018 archive issue*).
Quality is key with bone broth! My favorite brand is Bonafide Provisions (it can be found at Walmart, Whole Foods, and other health food stores).
LEMON GINGER TEA WITH ACV + RAW HONEY
Every ingredient in this combo is helpful in the immune-boosting arena. Lemon is packed with vitamin C, which is needed for both preventative and treatment. Lemon and ginger both have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and detox abilities. Apple Cider Vinegar has antimicrobial + antiseptic properties and it contains probiotics (which we talked about). It’s rich in vitamin and minerals that are needed in the immune process. Raw honey is also anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and is full of antioxidants.
You can purchase an organic lemon ginger tea+ stir in ½-1 tsp ACV + 1 tsp raw honey. Another option is boiling lemon slices + ginger root to create a tea, and then adding in the ACV and raw honey.
All of these can be kept on hand, so that you are ready at a moment’s notice to start attacking the smallest symptoms of an upcoming illness. Good quality bone broth is usually kept frozen, ginger root can be kept in the freezer, elderberry syrup can be bought in the bottle, and the homemade version lasts for several months in the fridge.
I hope this will be a helpful resource to you!
*Once you are subscribed to A. Wellness Note, you have access to all archive issues. You’ll visit subscriber only link, create an account, and then you will use the password “subscriberperks” to access the archive issues. If you aren’t subscribed, the archive issues can’t be accessed.