Could your immune system use a boost or a complete overhaul? If you find yourself lacking energy or motivation, or if you feel as if you’re always getting sick, you could have a weakened immune system or an autoimmune disorder. The good news is, you can boost your immune system with a variety of proven methods.
A weakened immune system can cause many challenges in your life. From not having enough energy to get through daily tasks, to taking much longer when recovering from illnesses and injuries, a weak immune system may be to blame. But boosting your immune system can get you back on track and enjoying life once again.
How Functional Medicine Can Help With Optimizing Your Immune System
Functional medicine utilizes a holistic approach to wellness and care. And if you’re needing to boost your immune system, a functional medicine doctor can help guide you through the process by considering your full health history and identifying all factors that could be contributing to a weakened or underperforming immune system.
As such, a functional medicine approach may include identifying and understanding some (if not all) of the following factors:
- Gut health
- Stress factors
- Sleep patterns
- Underlying health conditions
If your immune system needs a boost, functional medicine practitioners take a science-based holistic approach to diagnosing any immune disorders you may have, then plan your treatment regimen accordingly. And following here are 10 functional medicine tips for boosting your immune system.
Want to learn more about autoimmune disorders in men? Read our blog, The Top 10 Most Common Autoimmune Diseases in Men.
10 Functional Medicine Tips for Boosting Your Immune System
Functional medicine can offer some amazing guidance for boosting your immune system. And many of the following methods are easy to employ on your own. Through a holistic and science-based approach, you may notice a shift in immune function relatively quickly by following these 10 tips:
1. Optimize Your Gut Health
It’s believed by many health professionals and functional medicine doctors that as much as 80 percent of your immune health is related to your gut. And as the gut is often referred to as the body’s second brain, ensuring that your diet is well-balanced for your gut microbiome to flourish is highly recommended.
Most American diets aren’t conducive to good gut health. However, adopting a Mediterranean diet and eating unprocessed foods can have a boosting effect on both gut health and your immune system.
2. Engage in Regular Exercise
The benefits of regular exercise have been known by scientists and medical professionals for many years. And engaging in regular exercise can have a boosting effect on your immune system. This is because physical activity can reduce the release of stress hormones, and produces endorphins – those feel-good chemicals that the body craves.
The best part is, you don’t have to do any powerlifting or spend half of your life in the gym to make it count. Exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day for a few days a week is enough to notice significant improvement.
3. Practice Daily Meditation
Meditation practices vary widely depending on tradition and the exact exercises they entail. But basic breathing exercises are often used as a starting point to calm the body and mind for most styles of meditation.
Regular meditation has been proven to calm the nervous system and reduce stress. And this can work wonders for reducing inflammation and for helping to boost your immune system. So no matter what style of meditation you try, the benefits can be amazing in many ways.
4. Eat Immune Boosting Foods
What are immune-boosting foods? Basically, most foods that are unprocessed and freshly grown can have a significantly positive impact on your immune system. A few of these foods are:
- Yogurt (with live cultures)
Additionally, leafy greens, citrus fruits, nuts and seeds, legumes, and fatty fish can also work to boost your immune system if consumed regularly.
5. Enhance Your Immune Response With Vitamins and Supplements
When you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals from the foods you consume, your body is going to let you know about it in a variety of ways, and sometimes they can be unpleasant. But adding supplements and vitamins to your daily health regimen can help to boost your immune system.
For example, vitamin C and vitamin D are both great for immune health, as well as vitamins B6 and E.
6. Ensure You’re Getting Adequate Sleep
Poor sleeping habits can adversely affect just about every aspect of your life. Not only can your productivity and concentration suffer, but you could also develop other health conditions such as depression – and your personal relationships can suffer as well.
Scientific evidence has shown a connection between lack of sleep and poor sleeping habits that can affect the immune system response in negative ways. As such, ensure that you’re getting plenty of quality sleep each night to help keep your immune system in check.
7. Reduce Alcohol Consumption and Smoking
It’s no longer a secret how smoking can hurt your body in a variety of ways. But smoking can mitigate the body’s ability and effectiveness at fighting off illnesses and disease. In fact, smoking actually increases the likelihood of developing immune system problems.
In addition, excessive alcohol use can weaken your immune system and cause a host of health problems. This may include excessive weight gain, depression, anxiety, and increasing stress levels among many others.
8. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight can also cause a variety of health problems that can lead to serious complications if measures aren’t taken to reduce weight to a healthy level. And obesity has been linked to reduced immune function in adults and children.
Additionally, being overweight may also reduce medication for a variety of diseases. This is why maintaining a healthy weight through moderate physical activity and exercise is often recommended by functional medicine practitioners.
9. Limit Your Sugar Intake
Related to obesity, excessive sugar consumption can add to the possibility of excessive weight gain. And reducing your sugar intake could also help to decrease inflammation and help with weight loss.
You’ll also reduce the risk of developing conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease by limiting your sugar intake. And this will help in supporting your immune system alongside an immune-boosting diet.
10. Maintain Social Connections and Laugh a Little
Several studies have shown a link between immune system health and your social networks. Healthy relationships also have a big effect on your overall health. And studies have shown that people with social outlets tend to outlive those who stay to themselves.
In addition, laughing with friends, or just laughter in general has a similar effect on your body as light exercise. And this can also work to improve the immune system – or at least it will put you in a much better mood – and help to reduce stress.
Want to know more about the signs of autoimmune disorders? Read our blog, Autoimmune Disease Symptom Checklist: Top Warning Signs.
Boost Your Immune System With Tri-Cities Functional Medicine
At Tri-Cities, our functional medicine doctor is experienced with a variety of autoimmune disorders and helping to improve weakened immune systems. With a systems biology science-based approach to care and a holistic approach to diagnosis and treatment, boosting your immune system the right way can be a fairly simple process
Here’s how you can get started boosting your immune system at Tri-Cities Functional Medicine:
1) Watch our free webinar on autoimmune disorders to understand how we approach and treat these conditions.
2) Schedule a free discovery call to discuss your concerns about boosting your immune system, immune system problems, and autoimmune disorders.
3) After your discovery call – if you feel that Tri-Cities is a good fit, you’ll schedule your consultation with Dr. Radawi to assess your overall condition and develop a customized treatment regimen just for you.
Tri-Cities Functional Medicine is located in Johnson City, Tennessee, and serves patients throughout Tennessee and into Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Kentucky. These areas include but are not limited to: Washington County, TN, Sullivan County, TN, Carter County, TN, Greene County, TN, Knox County, TN, Bristol, TN, Holston Valley, TN, Tri-Cities, TN, Walnut Hill, TN, Elizabethton, TN, Greeneville, TN, Morristown, TN, Blountville, TN, Bluff City, TN, Kingsport, TN, Jonesborough, TN, Colonial Heights, TN, Limestone, TN, Knoxville, TN, Bristol, VA, Abingdon, VA, Grundy, VA, Asheville, NC, Boone, NC.