“Whenever the immune system successfully deals with an infection, it emerges from the experience stronger and better able to confront similar threats in the future. Our immune system develops in combat. If at the first sign of infection, you always jump in with antibiotics, you do not give the immune system a chance to grow stronger”
– Dr. Andrew Weil, M
What if there was a way, to boost your immune system and keep it robust and strong so that you could ward off the many dangerous viruses and diseases affecting mankind?
In this article, we are going to show you how you can do that by adopting some simple lifestyle changes and adding natural ingredients to your diet.
What does our immune system do for us? Well, first of all, it acts as an internal defense system which prevents viral infections, toxins, microbes, and those nasty parasites from overtaking us.
Because our immune system does this gently and quietly around the clock most of us don’t even think about the work it is putting in to protect us. In many cases, it’s when we get sick that we take note of our immune system and take measures to reinforce it.
A weak immune system is mostly due to stress, nutritional deficiency, lack of adequate sleep and lack of regular exercise.
At the Budwig Center, we focus on treating cancer naturally and a large part of the program we provide focuses on rebuilding the immune system of our patients.
Those who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation often find that their immune system is noticeably compromised, so it is imperative that we work hard to restore it.
Eat Nutritious Whole Foods and Eliminate Processed Foods
The first step is to choose high quality nutrient rich foods, preferably organic. Plant-based foods would be our first choice.
It has been said that in the Western world we’ve never been so well fed but so poorly nourished. Improper food choices, such as lots of processed foods and junk foods directly weaken the immune system. That’s why it’s no surprise to see more deadly diseases in the western world than some of the more underdeveloped parts of the globe.
Some of the most micronutrient dense foods that have been proven to help boost immunity include:
- Garlic – Contains Allicin which actively fights infection and bacteria.
- Probiotics – Kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut contain good bacteria.
- Green Tea – High in epigallocatechin (EGCG) catechins.
- Mushrooms – Boosts white blood cell neutrophils that fight infection.
- Cruciferous Vegetables – Such as kale, cabbage, lettuce and broccoli.
- Ginger – Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that also activates immune fighting T-cells.
- Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, acai and goji berries contain immune-boosting phytonutrients and antioxidants.
- Chicken Soup – Not tinned. Make from scratch using fresh ingredients.
- Oily Fish – Rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids.
It’s a fact that both acute and chronic exposure to alcohol can lead to a suppressed immune system which leads to a reduced response time when it comes to fighting infection.(3)
It does this by impairing the ability of infection-fighting white blood cells (neutrophils) from reaching the impaired areas of the body.
Smoking not only fills your organs with toxic smoke but also impairs the body’s ability to combat disease. (4)
Those who give up smoking have been shown to significantly increase the number of natural killer cells (NK) in the body which help to eliminate cancer cells. (5)
When the immune system is compromised, which is commonly the case with cancer patients, nutrition alone will not be enough to restore it.
At the Budwig Center, we also use a variety of herbs, selected mushrooms, essential oils, and transfer factors. We also encourage all our patients to get plenty of sunshine. Dr. Joanna Budwig rediscovered the importance of sunbathing and urged her patients to spend time outside even on cloudy days. Not only does basking in the sun increase vitamin D but it also strengthens the immune system. For people who are not able to get adequate sunshine, vitamin D supplements would be highly recommended.
Get at Least 20 Minutes Exercise Each Day
There are four basic pillars that contribute to good health. High quality and nutritious food, adequate rest, sufficient amounts of water and regular exercise. One cannot rely on just two or three of these important pillars, all four must be given proper attention daily.
Studies show that we don’t necessarily have to join a gym or do intense workouts to get adequate exercise. In fact, 20 to 30 minutes of walking every day or even common activities such as cycling, gardening, using the stairs instead of the elevator and stretching are also very beneficial. Gentle sports carried out on a regular basis can have a tremendously positive effect on our health and wellbeing. A cancer patient would be sure to never overdo it and push their bodies.
Lack of enough exercise and living a sedentary lifestyle makes it more difficult to enjoy a good nights sleep. Getting out and getting some fresh air, moving and doing something different will be like a reset button to our mind enabling it to switch off at night.
Avoid Obesity and Maintain a Healthy Weight
To maintain an optimum immune system, it’s also important to control our weight. In fact, obesity is shown to be the underlying cause of many deadly diseases. Research now shows that cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer have a link to obesity which is detrimental to the immune system. 1
Learn to Eliminate Stress
Stress is a killer! There is no other way to really express just how damaging it can be to your health.
Research has confirmed that stress has a negative effect on the immune system, so de-stressing is an important measure in boosting immune response.(2)
Ways to de-stress include:
- Walking in nature
- Watch a funny movie
- Do EFT
- Listen to relaxing music
- Forgive someone
- Get some exercise
- Take up a new hobby
- Deep breathing exercises
- Talk to someone that is a good listener
All these suggestions will also help you with sleeping better at night as you will be having more satisfying days. If you need any help with boosting your immune system, the Budwig Center would be happy to help.
You may also download our FREE Budwig diet guide which contains a wealth of information on boosting the immune system and fighting all forms of disease.