Hello Fit4Mom Community,
I want to thank you all for showing up today and being present with me during our hour together. I feel so grateful that Laci and Fit4Mom invited me into that space with all of you. As I know it may have been a lot of information in one hour, I felt compelled to leave you with some powerful steps you could take starting today. I'll be diving deeper into each component during my workshop May 15-17th. Here's a little overview of what we covered today. (You can also view the video here)
What is the immune system?
A healthy immune system means a healthy body, quick recovery from illness, and strong resistance to problems like infection and disease.
We have 2 types:
Innate immunity refers to nonspecific defense mechanisms that come into play immediately or within hours of an antigen's appearance in the body. These mechanisms include physical barriers such as skin, chemicals in the blood, and immune system cells that attack foreign cells in the body.
Adaptive or Acquired Immune System is the subsystem that is composed of specialized, systemic cells and processes that eliminates pathogens by preventing their growth.
Factors that negatively influence our immune system
- Nutrient Deficiencies
- Gut Health or Dysbiosis
- Food Sensitivities
- Lack of Movement
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Environmental Toxins
What can we do?
Start with nutrition. That's the area you have most control over 3x a day. These are the TOP 5 Immune Boosting Foods I'm Eating Right Now.
Oranges are touted as Vitamin C superstars and typically the go to when we think of staying healthy however tropical fruit like papaya, pineapple, and kiwi deserve that title because they’ve actually got more. As we’ve all heard “an apple a day keeps the doctors away” and this is true since they contain quercetin which increases our innate immunity and lowers inflammation. You can also head over to the freezer section to find wild blueberries, full of antioxidants that give them their pretty blue hue and anti viral characteristics that can boost immunity.
#2 Colorful Vegetables
Don’t let the veggies fool you – cauliflower and red bell peppers are packed with vitamin C. Sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots are rich sources of beta carotene which helps to produce white blood cells and strengthen the immune response. The spring favorite asparagus is a powerful ally of the immune system. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your plate. The key to keeping its power intact is to cook it as little as possible — or better yet, not at all.
#3 Nuts and Seeds
When it comes to supporting the immune system, vitamin E tends to take a backseat to vitamin C. However, vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system. It’s a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamin E. Zinc, another important nutrient, is known to play a central role in the immune system, and those that are deficient experience increased susceptibility to a variety of pathogens. You can find zinc in pumpkin seeds, cashews, and sesame seeds. Brazil nuts are high in zinc, but also contain selenium which is essential for optimal immune response.
#4 Leafy Greens
Leafy greens made my list not just because they are rich in vitamin C. They are also packed with numerous antioxidants, folate, vitamin K, calcium and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems and help to maintain the lining of the respiratory and digestive tracts, both important defense lines to prevent illness. Kale, spinach, and swiss chard are versatile options for smoothies, salads, or soups. Similar to broccoli, leafy greens are healthiest when cooked as little as possible so that they retain their nutrients.
#5 Onions and Garlic
The medicinal properties of garlic have been recognized for centuries and when it comes to powerhouse herbs and natural remedies, it tops the list. It is naturally antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial, making it beneficial for helping the body fight many types of infections. The immune-boosting properties of garlic and onions seem to come from a heavy concentration of sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Onions are packed with nutrients like selenium, , zinc, and vitamin C. Most importantly, they are one of the best sources of quercetin, a potent flavonoid and antioxidant that has antiviral properties.
*[Bonus]* Fermented Foods
Did you know that your gut houses an estimated 70% of your immune system? That’s why it’s important to feed it foods that keep it happy. The bacteria that live in your gut have a significant impact on your immune system. Due to their high probiotic content, fermented foods can give your immune system a boost and reduce your risk of infections. Miso, sauerkraut, kimchi, and lactic acid pickles are excellent sources for these beneficial probiotics.
Have you found yourself eating any (or all of these) daily?
These specific plant based foods naturally strengthen the immune system thanks to their high concentrations of essential micronutrients, and the best part, when you combine them their immunity-boosting powers get even stronger. Making these foods and herbs a part of your daily routine — not just during this time but year round — can go a long way toward supporting a strong and healthy immune system for you and your little one.
What 5 Self Care Rituals You Can Incorporate Daily To Support Your Immune System?
#1 Get into Nature
Almost 70% of your entire immune system is in your gut, but what we don't hear discussed often is that the biome that resides in other areas including your lungs and nose also needs to be nurtured. Spending time outdoors whether it be functional movements, biking, walking, or simply just breathing exposes you to a diverse range of bacteria that can support and balance your internal biome. Being in nature also improves mood, promotes exposure to sunshine + Vitamin D, and reduces feelings of stress.
#2 Epsom Salt Baths With Essential Oils
Calming, stress reducing, and beneficial in many ways. This is an effective, well tolerated, complementary approach in the treatment of several pathologies—mainly those related to chronic inflammation—such as cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and neurological conditions, and more importantly in skin and rheumatic disorder.
#3 Grounding/Earthing shown to lower inflammation
Accumulating experiences and research on earthing, or grounding, point to the emergence of a simple, natural, and accessible health strategy against chronic inflammation, warranting the serious attention of clinicians and researchers. The living matrix (or ground regulation or tissue tensegrity-matrix system), the very fabric of the body, appears to serve as one of our primary antioxidant defense systems. As this report explains, it is a system requiring occasional recharging by conductive contact with the Earth’s surface – the “battery” for all planetary life – to be optimally effective.
Here are just a few benefits of connecting more directly to the earth:
- More efficient cell repair and function
- Detoxification of waste and toxins
- Improved blood flow and tissue oxygenation
- Boosted immunity
- Restoration of the body's natural state (Great for jet lag and anti-aging)
- Balanced mind to calm anxiety and promote serenity and sense of security
*Get Grounded* There are many ways to connect more deeply to the earth we live on. Start with something small and incorporate a practice like walking barefoot, five to 20 minutes a day.
#4 Dry Brushing
It helps detoxify by increasing blood circulation and promoting lymph flow/drainage. Dry brushing unclogs pores in the exfoliation process. It also stimulates your nervous system, which can make you feel invigorated afterward.
#5 Start the day with an intention and positive affirmation
I face this challenge with strength and know that I will get through this.
Q & A In Zoom Chat
Q1 : Where do I buy fermented foods locally in Tampa/St. Pete area?
A: I love St. Pete Ferments
Q2: Why do you need D3 & K2
A: Both are fat soluble vitamins that work synergistically to transport calcium into the bones. Carlson Kids Super D3 + K2 drops may be the most accessible.
Q3: What should I look for when purchasing fermented foods?
A: I would encourage you to read the labels and look for ingredients like sugar, food coloring which is typically denoted with a color/number combo, and preservatives (sodium benzoate and EDTA) these are all no nos especially for children. Look specifically for "lactic acid" used in pickling rather than a byproduct.
Q4: Is Kombucha a good fermented option?
A: Based on where you are in your health journey and the current balance of your biome, it may be best to have occasionally. I actually prefer coconut kefir like Sunny Culture. In my opinion this wouldn't be my go to option for probiotics on a daily basis. There has been an abundance of research suggesting oxalates contribute to the formation of stones based on the acidity and concentration of kombucha.
Q5: How does gluten affect the immune system?
A: Gluten sensitivity is a complex issue as it relates to both your internal and external environment, as well as how the wheat is grown, in addition to the balance of your biome. In my experience, I always purchase wheat organic and stick to the most whole varieties that have a Non Glyphosate certified seal. If sensitivity, intolerance, dysbiosis, or allergy exists it will surely lead to chronic inflammation and/or GI upset which ultimately affects your ability to metabolize vital nutrients.
Thank you so much for sharing your time and space with me today.
What do I do next?
- Feel free to email me at email@example.com to get my Immune Supporting Shopping List or with any questions. New website will be launching in a week or so and you will receive the announcement!
- Reserve your spot in the 3 day Strengthen Your Immunity Workshop happening May 15-17, where we’ll dive deeper into exactly what you can do to naturally support your immune system for both you and your little one.
[Surprise - the icing on the cake ]
- For all of those that register for the full 3 day workshop... (drumroll)... Laci will be announcing the Mother's Day Special which I have never done before outside of my programs! You'll also receive my 5 Nourishing Recipes in 5 Minutes that you can make with your little ones OR hide just for yourself after they go to bed AND my 15 page Immunity Guide I created just for this event. Email Laci at fishhawk.fit4mom.com for info on the goods!
Mamas, remember to start your morning with a little love for yourself because that will be reflected in everything else you do during the day . And repeat after me:
"I am safe. I am empowered. I am healthy. My body is inherently wise and knows how to heal itself. My immune system is strong. I got this"
Be Well and Live Intently,