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Winter is Coming. Boost Your Immune System Now. Here's How.

It’s no secret that our immune system has been compromised over the past few years. What you may not know is that that with a few simple adjustments, you can boost your immune system’s defenses and enjoy good health all year.

Overall, your immune system is a complex network of tissues and cells that works to defend you against harmful factors, such as:

Your immune system is activated when it encounters something it considers to be a harmful foreign substance. This is known as an antigen. An example of an antigen is the spike protein found on the surface of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

By now its common knowledge that our diet is directly correlated to not only our physical health, but our holistic health as well via the gut-brain connection. Therefore, it makes no sense to speak about boosting your immune system until we have first discussed the detoxification of your body. In truth, it is the detoxification of your body that will bring about profound shifts in your health and well-being. Your subsequent habits will have the detoxification results and your optimal immune response be sustainable.

Why bother with detoxifying? I thought this was about immunity to viruses and stuff!

Reducing your toxic burden reduces your odds of asthma, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Reducing your toxic load can help you lose weight, restore your energy levels and balance your hormones. Toxins are ubiquitous. They are in your food, air and water. They are in your couch, your sunscreen and your shower curtain. This can make it seem like there is nothing you can do, but there is plenty you can do!

When the body is overloaded with toxins, the toxins hang around slow down cellular function. This means your brain is not firing as quickly, and you’re foggy and forgetful. This means you gain weight even though you’re not eating more. You can simplify the topic of detoxification by changing your habits to support your body’s natural ability to detoxify.

5 Ways to Detox Now:

  • Dry Brush Your Skin (This technique moves lymph- which is a fluid that collects waste products in your body and moves them out. ​When your organs of detoxification are overburdened, this lymphatic fluid can stagnate in the body, possibly leaving you feeling puffy, congested and generally sluggish. Dry brushing helps reverse this stagnation and energizes your body. Dry brushing also helps beautify your skin by refreshing it with fresh blood supply, it helps moves those stubborn cellulite deposits under the skin.)

  • Move Your Body (What can we say about this one that you don’t already know?)

  • Intermittent Fasting (Fasting stimulates Autophagy; part of the innate immune system, where the body breaks down old, damaged parts of cells and abnormally developing cells to recycle for energy.)

  • Increase Hydration (Please drink a big glass of water upon waking daily. Room temperature is best but any temperature is great. Do this DAILY! Your body got no water all night and you wake up dehydrated. You absolutely need water to detoxify, so make sure you get a glass 1⁄2 before meals and 2 hours afterwards, or about 8 glasses a day.)

  • Practice Deep Breathing (Good breathing habits help the lymphatic system function properly, which encourages the release of harmful toxins. This cleanses the body and allows it to direct its energy to more productive functions.)

Now that you have an action plan to rid your body of the toxins that are causing your health issues and challenges in the first place, its time to take a look at the food you’ll be putting in your body moving forward. At Maze Apothecary, we believe that food is medicine. The food we eat gives our bodies the "information" and materials they need to function properly. If we don't get the right information, our metabolic processes suffer and our health declines. If we get too much food, or food that gives our bodies the wrong instructions, we can become overweight, undernourished, and at risk for the development of diseases and conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. It protects you against many chronic noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating a combination of cooked and raw foods is ideal for your health. Consuming organic raw vegetables however gives you the most enzymes, vitamins and minerals needed for good health. In a 2018 study, an international group of researchers led by scientists at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that adopting five healthy habits could extend life expectancy by 14 years for women and by 12 years for men: eating a diet high in plants and low in fats.

Incorporating raw foods, specifically organic vegetables and fruits, into your diet can have numerous health benefits. You will likely experience more energy, better skin, improved digestion and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease once you get used to eating a new variety of food. Because preparation methods for raw vegetables are relatively simple (read: no buttery sauces or oily sautés), you may lose weight by fitting them into your meal plan.

Finally on your quest for a bullet proof immune system, don’t forget your essential oils!

Essential oils are concentrated substances extracted from plants. They can come from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to:

  • leaves

  • flowers

  • bark

Typically used in aromatherapy therapy by inhalation or by applying a diluted solution to the skin, essential oils are used for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • reducing stress

  • promoting sleep

  • easing pain

Essential oils are very complex substances. For example, a single EO can contain up to 400 different compounds. Some of these compounds may have a variety of effects on the body, one of which may be adjusting how the immune system behaves. This is referred to as immunomodulation and includes things like:

  • stimulating certain parts of the immune system

  • increasing the activity of specific immune cells

  • interfering with pathways associated with inflammation

Around our home and office we like to diffuse our favorite essential oils for immunity:

Our bestselling Immune Support blend Live Long and Prosper boasts these amazing oils plus a few more conveniently crafted in a single bottle; making staying healthy on the go easy peasy lemon squeezy (see what we did there ;)

Here are other time tested ways to boost your Immune System:

  • Use supplements. Vitamin C, Echinacea, the list goes on...

  • Manage weight. Excess weight is associated with inflammation and lower immune function. If you’re overweight, talk with a doctor about healthy ways to lose weight.

  • Lower stress. High levels of stress and anxiety can negatively impact your immune system. That’s why it’s important to find healthy, effective ways to reduce your stress.

  • Get enough sleep. Not getting enough sleep may impact your immunity.

As you prepare for winter this year, remember to implement these immune response measures to prevent getting sick and ensure you enjoy all that the season has to offer, and the next season too!

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