9 Ways to Bolster Your Immune System

You may choose to vaccinate yourself and your children against viruses, but strengthening your immune system remains the best defense against sicknesses like chickenpox and shingles.

Exposing yourself to viruses is not enough to create lasting resistance, particularly if your immune system is not functioning optimally. Unhealthy lifestyle choices like regular consumption of processed foods and not getting enough exercise or sleep will compromise your immune function, causing you to succumb to diseases easily.

I recommend you follow these guidelines to strengthen your immune system:

    1. Limit sugar (especially fructose) and grains – Studies have linked fructose consumption to a wide variety of heath complications, including obesity and metabolic syndrome. Fructose raises your insulin levels to chronically high levels over time, and metabolizes differently from other sugars – it is metabolized as fat. Excessive insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, which is one of the primary culprits of most chronic diseases.

Reduce your fructose consumption to only 25 grams per day. If you’re struggling with insulin resistance and diseases related to this, reduce your intake further to 15 grams per day. Avoid drinking soda, fruit juices, and other sweetened drinks. As much as possible, make clean, pure water your primary beverage.

    1. Focus on eating organic whole foods – Avoid consuming processed foods as much as possible. For those who have still have trouble understanding what processed foods are, these products come in a can, bottle, package, and have a list of ingredients.

Ideally, your meals should contain organic and/or locally grown whole foods. A high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate diet is likely to improve the health of most individuals. For more information, check out my optimized nutrition plan.

    1. Eat more high-quality fat – Contrary to popular belief, eating fat will not make you fat. Instead, it will help satiate you and can be used as an energy source. The best sources of healthy fat include:
    2. Exercise regularly – There are a wide number of studies that prove how beneficial exercise is to your health. Regular physical activity increases your circulation and blood flow, allowing components of your immune system to fight an illness before it spreads.

However, hours-long cardio sessions are not enough to promote optimal fitness. I recommend incorporating a wide variety of exercises, such as high-intensity (anaerobic) exercises, core exercises, strength training, and stretching. To learn more on how to create a well-rounded fitness regimen, as well as other ways to promote physical fitness, read all about my Peak Fitness program.

    1. Optimize your vitamin D levels – The best way to do so is getting appropriate sun exposure. To learn more about this and the many benefits of vitamin D, check out my vitamin D resource page.
    2. Try grounding – Also known as Earthing, grounding is defined as placing one’s bare feet on the ground, whether it be dirt, grass, sand, or concrete (especially when it’s humid or moist). The earth has a large concentration of negatively charged electrons that promote an improved balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Further, studies have shown that grounding can help improve blood viscosity, heart rate variability, inflammation, cortisol dynamics, sleep, nervous system balance, and stress management. It can also reduce the damage of electromagnetic fields (EMFs).

    1. Reduce your exposure to toxins – Although there are myriads of toxins in the environment, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure to them. One way would be to throw away toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, and lawn pesticides and insecticides. Replace all of these with all-natural alternatives.

For more information on how to avoid chemical toxicities, read my article “Top Three Sources of Toxic Exposures: Traffic, Personal Care, and Plastic Products.”

    1. Get plenty of sleep – Lack of sleep has been associated with serious problems like depression, coronary heart diseases, and even cancer. Disrupted circadian rhythms can have a profound negative impact on your health.
    2. Manage your stress – Stress can have a profound effect on your physical health and may prevent your immune system from effectively protecting you against viruses and pathogens. Address your emotional issues by using stress management methods, which can be as simple as journaling or exercise.

You may also try using the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), a form of psychological acupuncture without the needles. EFT can help you resolve the emotional factor that triggered your immune system to weaken. Once you have resolved any issue, your immunity, along with genes that help fight infection, are reactivated.

Your immune system is naturally designed to fight the shingles virus. The natural immunity you receive from exposure to chickenpox virus is proof that getting temporary protection against vaccines is no match against letting nature run its disease-preventing course.