The Not-So-Secret “Secret” to Immune Health

In the past few months, nothing has united us all more than COVID-19 and keeping ourselves healthy.

Internet search trends have shown people scouring the internet for any tips on keeping their immune system in fighting shape while we race for the vaccine.

We know that keeping yourself and your loved ones safe is something you care about most, so we would like to welcome you to the EZ Melts family by sharing some brief reminders in maintaining health and wellness during these uncertain times.

1. Sleep –  *yawn* You’re tired, even exhausted right now—balancing your children’s schedules and working from home? Or feeling like it’s noon when it’s only 7 am? Does time even exist anymore?

Inadequate sleep reduces the production of protective cytokines, proteins that target infection, and inflammation.

It has also been proven that restless sleep promotes weight gain and increased appetite for junk food, especially when stressed—definitely not a big help in keeping your immune system strong[1]!

Solution: Shut off all electronics at least an hour before bed and consider wearing blue-light blocking glasses! They really help with eye strain and prevent that “buzzy” feeling when you lay down and try to get shut-eye.

Digital light from devices is believed to interfere with your natural melatonin production and might keep you from resting adequately.

(If you are really struggling with sleep after trying this, you might want to take natural melatonin supplements 30 minutes before bedtime.)

2. Manage your Stress – Have you ever been super stressed only to get physically sick days later? There’s a scientific explanation for that— too much anxiety reduces your body’s lymphocytes—the white blood cells that help you fight off infection[2].

Solution: See Sleep section above – when you don’t get enough shut-eye, you’re crabby and prone to more stress. 

Also, live by via negativa – or the art of addition by subtraction.  As we work from home, it’s easy for professional and personal life to become too intertwined.

What unnecessary environmental factors or habits can you remove from your daily life that cause you stress?

Take it a step further—what minor positive habits can you add to your schedule to decrease stress?

3. Eat Real Food – this goes without saying, but diet is probably the biggest contributor of all.  Keep up your micronutrient intake to keep your immune system on point. This literally feeds the fighter cells that keep your immunity up!

Solution: reduce sugar, preservatives (think packaged foods), and saturated fats. Focus on colorful fruits and leafy greens that you enjoy to get the critical Vitamin C and Zinc we all know keeps the immunity up. 

Oh... and get some sunlight for that Vitamin D3.

We all know it’s easier said than done—so work on making tiny changes rather than trying to change your entire life in a day. We promise it will all build up to something great over time!

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Written by Annie-Eliza Stevens

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28849612
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32403291