Photo: The glorious California coast / by Giorgio Favia

We’re living through a time in history that can feel surreal at best. We’re all trying to manage our family, balance work, stay positive, and remain sane; during a period when we’re most vulnerable.

Here’s a few ideas to support you, and help keep your immune system thriving. 

NETTLE TEA —Drinking herbal tea is an easy way to increase easily digestible nutrients. Nettle in particular, is jam packed with a wide array of vitamins + minerals. The high iron content found in nettle helps support hormone production, growth and development of organ tissue and responsive energy levels. Iron and immune system are also closely connected; as iron is essential for the activation and proliferation of immune cells.

 Nettle leaf can be sold in bulk sections of health food stores, or individual tea bags at the grocery store.

FERMENTED FOODS —An excellent source of probiotic culture (aka: food for the good guys in your gut). Up to 70% of the immune system is housed in the intestinal tract. These bacteria cells out number all other human cells, and they line your entire digestive system. Most live in your intestines and colon. They affect everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system. Sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider vinegar, miso, and plain greek yogurt + kefir, are great options.

Apple cider vinegar elixir: 3 cups spring, or filtered water, 3 Tbsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar + 1 Tbsp raw honey. Stir well to combine. Store in fridge.

FATS —The development and optimal functioning of our immune system is directly influenced by our diet. Dietary fatty acids in particular, have dramatic effects on immunity, as they increase the number of T-cells (white blood cells responsible for fighting off pathogens). Foods such as: hemp, chia, flax, avocado, walnuts, free-range eggs, and organic/grass fed animal protein, are excellent sources of fat.

Fats from nuts + seeds butter are excellent as veggie dips, spread on apples + pears, or as the base of an energy ball.

FRESH AIR — It supplies your immune system with the oxygen it needs to slaughter and decimate microbes, infections and germs. Fresh air generally has higher levels of oxygen (not to mention lower levels of pollution) than indoor air. Exposure to more oxygen causes the blood vessels in your lungs to dilate, which improves cleansing and tissue repair within them, and helps them exchange gases more easily. 

Try the best you can to get outside. every. single. day.

SLEEP —The average American today sleeps less than seven hours a night, about two hours less than a century ago. This is chiefly due to the proliferation of electric lights, followed by televisions, computers, and smartphones. 

During sleep, the immune system releases certain cytokines which increase with infection or inflammation, or during periods of stress, to combat illness. If the body is deprived of sleep, it may actually decrease production of these protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies.

There is further evidence that shows without enough of sleep, we can’t regulate our moods well or recover swiftly from injuries. Sleep may be more essential to us than food; animals will die of sleep deprivation before starvation. Dolphins sleep one hemisphere at a time—half the brain sleeps while the other half is awake, allowing them to swim continuously.

Fresh greens in the winter months are essential. The green colour is an indication of chlorophyll content, and at the center of every chlorophyll molecule, is a magnesium ion. Magnesium is a mineral needed for regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure; as well as making protein, bone, and DNA.

Yours very sincerely,