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6 Tips to Help You Live a Healthier Lifestyle

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

Give yourself a boost!

As a dietitian and educator, I think a lot about prevention of disease and focus on curating lifestyle habits that support the body and mind. Going into fall and seeing that COVID is still very much affecting our lives, I can’t help but think about ways to boost the immune system. On top of that, school is back in session and flu season is just around the corner. So, what can we do to keep that immune system in tip-top shape?

There are many factors that affect immune function, many of which we already focus on when providing for our families and when caring for ourselves. Take a look at the list below and note the ways in which you are already supporting your immune system.

  1. Get regular sleep. Rest allows our immune cells to work harder. If you feel a cold coming on, taking the day off to sleep as much as possible may mean you feel better faster. Stress reeks havoc on the immune system, so allowing time to decompress and cope with stress will allow your body to be a better fighting machine.

  2. Move your body. Moderate exercise has been shown to increase immune cell function. Regular activity is important but if you feel a cold coming on, a walk can help rev up those immune cells.

  3. Eat fruits and vegetables every day. The vitamins and minerals contained in these magical foods are vital to immune cell function. Many, like peppers, oranges or strawberries, contain vitamin C which has been shown to decrease the length of illness. Mushrooms, garlic and onion are some examples of specific vegetables that can aid the immune system.

  4. Drink plenty of fluids. Water is best, but if you don’t like water, make sure you avoid drinks with added sugar.

  5. Consider taking supplements. Immune modulating supplements may include:

  6. Vitamin D: We see vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency all too often in Oregon, which is why I recommend supplements to most of my patients.

  7. Zinc: Not stored in the body and necessary for a variety of immune responses, eating shellfish, pumpkin seeds or using zinc lozenges may be beneficial.

  8. Elderberry: Elderberry has been used to prevent viral illnesses and to treat them. It also contains vitamin C. Some studies suggest that it helps reduce the length of illness and it may play a role in prevention.

  9. Do things that make you happy. Low mood depresses immune function, so try to take time daily to laugh, play and smile.

I hope this season finds you well, and if you find yourself getting that cold, try to give yourself the space to heal.

#lifestylehabits #healthyhabits #diabetes #lifewithdiabetes


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