How do we keep our Immune Systems Supported?
Moving from summer to autumn, we are exposed to less sunlight, and more cold weather, we have more indoor time, more screen time and possibly more stress as children return to school and routines and demands of every day life get busier.
Our immune systems are intricately connected to our environment - our internal as well as our external environment. Our minds, the thoughts we think, past traumas, stressful relationships, the food we eat, chemical exposure, nutrition, sunlight, clean water, etc. etc.
So where do we begin supporting our immune systems when there are so many factors that affect it?
First of all, we do our best with where we are at. In each given moment, we can choose to make decisions based upon our "highest good". Meaning - when we go grocery shopping, we can choose more fresh or unprocessed food over highly processed food. We can choose to go for a walk outside during our lunch break. We can choose water over soda pop, we can choose to shut off the T.V and screens and go to bed earlier - so our immune systems and bodies can heal with a restful nights sleep.
Next, we can supplement with vitamins and minerals that are relatively inexpensive, readily available and work to strengthen our immune response should we come into contact with a pathogen.
For the following recommendations, consult with your Naturopathic Doctor for the correct dose for you.
The basic supplements I recommend to everyone for Immune Support are:
Vitamin D3 - the dose depends on your weight/age and health status, generally the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is too low, for an average adult, start with a minimum 2000 -4000 IU per day.
For more information on Vitamin D3 and immune support, refer to this article I wrote in the fall of 2020 : Vitamin D3
Zinc - start with 10mg per day/ for some heavier adults up to 50mg per day is necessary, take with food since zinc on an empty stomach may cause nausea.
Quercetin - this is a bioflavonoid that allows zinc to penetrate our cells, also called an "ionophore", components of green tea (EGCG) are also considered an ionophore. Either Quercetin or green tea extract starting at 500 mg should be taken with zinc for best absorption.
Vitamin C - start with 1000mg per day and increase your dose upto 5000 mg per day when sick or dealing with a cold/flu or infection. Always spread out your dose of Vitamin C throughout the day for most effective utilization.
These 4 basic supplements, along with more sleep, eating local-nutritious and less processed food, and keeping our mental state in check (choosing love over fear, because being in fear literally lowers our immune response, raises cortisol and weakens our immune defence) will help to strengthen our immune systems as we move into autumn and winter.