This is what we are doing for basic immune boosters this winter. I know that everyone has to do their own thing, but I wanted to share what we are doing in case it helps you. Here are our immune boosting basics:
- Outside – Be outside as much as possible and make sure to get our heart going while we are out there. If possible, get outside multiple times during the day, including within 1 hour of when we wake up.
- Movement – Keep our bodies moving. Even though winter may be a time to sit and read all day, we find that we feel best when we make sure to get up and move frequently. This may be doing a few jumping jacks, taking a 10 minute walk, hanging from a pull up bar, doing a few stretches, vacuuming my house, shoveling, or many other things. We try to exercise throughout the week as well, but when I say movement, I am referring to the fact that we incorporate movement (which to me means blood flow) many times throughout the day.
- Vitamin D3 – Some reports say to keep Vitamin D above 35 ng/ml for sure, but some say that ideal Vitamin D range is between 50 up to 80 ng/ml. This is a wide range, but it tells me that I should make sure we have enough, without going crazy with it too. Some food sources of Vitamin D include seafood, egg yolks etc, but we supplement since it is so grey where we live all winter. There is a lot of upside to having your Vitamin D tested, to have the most accurate read on how much you want to take.
- Fermented foods – We have sauerkraut and yogurt on a regular basis in order to have plenty of beneficial bacteria. I like to include kefir in our smoothies. Sometimes we take a probiotic as well and if we do, we stick to spore based probiotic supplements.
- Vitamin C – most days we take anywhere from 100-200ml but if we get sick, we increase this amount. I don’t think we need huge doses all of the time, but they can be helpful when we are under the weather.
- Zinc – most days we add some zinc via supplements, eating organ meats, or in mineral drops. The drops make me nauseous on an empty stomach so I only take them with food. There is discussion that you can overdo zinc, much like anything, which will throw off your zinc/copper ratio… but some supplements contain zinc and copper to help with that. I keep zinc lozenges a couple of them when I feel that we are coming down with something or we may have been exposed
- Oscillococcinum – We keep this homeopathic remedy in our cabinet and if we are going to be somewhere where we might pick up a bug (like a birthday party), then we take a vial of this. We also take it at the first onset of any symptoms. If we don’t have any of this on hand, we will take Aconite if we feel that we may have been exposed to illness. These work best for us when we take them at the first sign of symptoms.
- Elderberry Syrup – I buy a delicious Elderberry syrup from a local organic farmer. We keep a jar of it in our fridge and take a spoonful most days November through March. I increase it to a few spoonfuls a day if I feel that we are coming down with anything.
- Essential Oils – I diffuse Thieves in our house and I put a drop on the bottom of my feet at night. We also make a hand spray with Thieves and aloe that we use to freshen up our hands when we are out and about.
- Positive Mindset – I practice daily gratitude and I find that this lowers my stress level and in turn, enhances my immune system. This is free and easy to include so my list would not be complete without this on it.
We do a number of other things to stay well too, but here is our starter, basic list for immune boosting practices.