How Stress, Supplements, Water Impact Your Immune System

As we continue to face off against COVID-19, let’s focus on fortifying your body for battle by boosting your immune system. Today we focus on stress, water intake, and nutritional supplementation.

Stress and Anxiety

If you’re in a pressure cooker job with heaps of tension and drama in your personal life, how you respond to stress makes a monumental difference in the health of your immune system. Most well-intentioned advice offers up silly thoughts like, “try to reduce stress in your life.” Everybody faces stress. It’s how we manage it that counts.

This becomes an important challenge, and not just in COVID times. Relieving stress and anxiety is a big key to immune health. Negative impacts of long-term stress include inflammation and poor performance of immune cells. 

This is a tricky area because it involves a combination of conditions, some of which can be improved by working on your psychological response to daily situations.

For the sake of your health, practice meditation, yoga, regular exercise, and other relaxation techniques that fall under the category of mindfulness.

For persistent anxiety and stress, licensed counselors and therapists can work wonders.

Getting regular sleep of 7-8 hours has been shown to reduce stress.

Water and Other Liquids

Preventing dehydration is crucial to your health. Dehydration causes headaches, can hinder physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, heart and kidney function. Being compromised in these areas increases chances for disease.

You hear that you should, “drink plenty of liquids.” But which ones?

Water, as long as it’s not contaminated with unhealthy compounds, is considered best. How much water should you drink each day?

Half your body weight in ounces, plus 20 ounces.

How much water your body needs varies based on things like how much you exercise, how hot and humid local weather is, whether you work outside, and your overall health.

Are there other healthy drinks?

Science says green tea. It contains polyphenols (catechins) thought to stimulate production and activity of anti-virus cells. And green tea has been linked to other health benefits.

Other drinks considered healthy: adding lemon or coconut to water, kombucha, pomegranate juice, beet juice, cranberry juice, protein shakes loaded with healthy ingredients.

Supplements

Science is cautious about crediting nutritional supplements with fighting disease, understandably. But research suggests certain supplements might strengthen immune performance overall, and that’s what we’re hoping to do.

Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, elderberry, garlic, all seem to be beneficial when taken in supplement form––assuming you are not getting enough in your diet.

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Jill Strand

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