Dr. Joy’s Myths Busters: Building Immunity During the Flu Season 

 October 6, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

First let’s look at what crashes our immune system. You will want to avoid these.

  • Be careful not to eat foods that depress your immune system. Avoid foods containing sugar. Keep desserts, fruit drinks, carbohydrates and alcohol to a minimum.
  • Don’t become a couch potato! Muscles need to be used to stay strong. Don’t exercise within 2 hours of bedtime. You will not be able to go to sleep.
  • Learn to manage your stress response. Chronic stress causes a constant high level of stress hormones which suppress immunity.
  • Don’t cut your sleep time short. Lack of sleep can cause higher levels of stress hormones and increase inflammation in your body.
  • Avoid isolation. Studies of college students have indicated that loneliness had caused a weaker immune response.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up! Laugh and have fun. 

Now let’s look at the immune boosters. All of our foods, activities, mental attitude, and happiness can be improved by changing certain aspects of our lifestyle.

  • Do eat a balanced diet of colorful fresh fruit and vegetables, proteins, and moderate amounts of carbohydrates. Eat organic, fresh and raw fruits and some vegetables.
  • Moderate exercise can not only increase your “feel good” hormones but also help you sleep. Choose exercises you enjoy and do them daily. It could be walking, bicycling, going to the gym, bouncing on a rebounder, or a customized routine. Move your body!
  • Managing stress is simply a matter of slowing down and taking your mind off of your challenges. Yoga, meditation, walking or doing something fun will all help you be calmer, centered, and focused.
  • Good quality sleep is vital. This is when our body repairs itself! Remember how bright-eyed, focused, and good you feel after a restful night’s sleep? It is a great stress reducer too. And our brain works much better when we are well-rested.
  • Avoid isolation by reaching out to family and friends. Keep in touch with friends by Zoom or Face Time. Call instead of text your friends so you can hear each other’s voices. 

Beware of the inner critic. Talk nicely to yourself. Respect yourself. Thank your amazing body. Watch funny movies. Laugh. Yes, these are hard times. But keep your spirits up!

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