I know by now I may sound like a broken record but the holistic approach for overall health (including skin health) tends to affect multiple areas, so the same is true for immunity. In addition to foundational health practices that will be necessary and the biggest contributors for a healthy immune system that I will list, there are also certain ingredients that specifically boost and enhance immunity that you can include in a delicious beverage in addition to an overall healthy diet so I will include those as well.
1. Eat a healthy diet
The typical whole foods that are required for our cells to function healthily such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are also required for immune cells to function optimally. A healthy diet boosts microbes that help increase immune cell activity by breaking down fibers into short-chain fatty acids.
2. Stay active
Regular, moderately intense exercise (30-45 minutes per day) has been show to increase the circulation of immune cells by increasing the movement of blood and lymph containing white blood cells. Pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines that help regulate the immune system are also released through exercise.
3. Focus on sleeping well
Speaking of cytokines that help regulate the immune system, cytokines are released during sleep and therefore, decrease when we are sleep deprived. These cytokines help fight off infection which is also why we tend to sleep more when we are under the weather. The optimal amount of sleep for adults is 7-9 hours.
4. Infrared Sauna
When you increase your body’s core temp, you activate your immune system- simmilar to how the body responds to fighting infection by developing a fever. It is a signal for white blood cells and antibodies to come to the rescue. Increasing heat shock proteins help prevent viruses from growing. Although infrared saunas heat the body differently that a fever does, they are able to raise the body’s core temperature up to 102 degrees by penetrating deep into the tissue, reaping the same benefits. In addition to these immunity boosting benefits of the infrared sauna, a sweat session also helps improve sleep and decrease stress hormones which as you can see, are listed as additional ways to improve immunity.
5. Reduce stress
Stress produces the hormone cortisol and too much cortisiol in the blood suppresses the immune system. Stress also causes the body to produce an inflammatory response which creates a decrease in the body’s resistence to colds and other infections. We can’t always prevent the stressful situations that occur in our lives but we do have control over managing stress in healthy ways. There are various ways to reduce stress: through exercise, a healthy diet, meditation, yoga, and spa therapies. Our spa services are designed to induce deep relaxation, stimulating the parasympathetic nervous systrem which helps decrease stress and the hormones associated.
6. Immune boosting drinks
There are a variety of immune boosting concoctions that can help enhance and support a healthy immune system.
Here are some of our and our esthetician and health coach, Robin’s favorite tips:
Immune Schein Ginger Elixirs
After each facial, body treatment, and infrared sauna session we offer these chilled elixirs as a refreshing gratis post treatment drink. They are handcrafted with 100% immune boosting whole foods such as ginger, elderberry, tumeric, and cinnamon. They are also available for purchase in our retail boutique.
This is Robin’s immunity boosting tea recipe that she drinks all fall and winter long.
Slice of lemon or lemon juice
Fresh ginger (you can used powdered if you prefer)
Dash of cayenne pepper
Add boiling water and enjoy, you can steep 2 times if you like!
Another one of Robin’s remedies that she has been using for years. Try a tincure or Immune Shcien Elderberry Ginger Elixer.
Robin makes her own every year, the basic recipe combines horseradish with root vegetables, like ginger, garlic, onions, and hot peppers which are then dissolved in apple cider vinegar.