Chiropractic Treatment and Immune Health
Due to the coronavirus pandemic many patients have been asking us, “How do I strengthen my immune system”? First, let’s start with what the immune system does. The immune system is part of the nervous system and is designed to be our defense against harmful bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances that enters (or tries to enter) your body. Here are some specific recommendations for strengthening your immune system and staying healthy in general.
Nutrition plays a crucial role in how well the immune system works. A diet rich fresh fruits and vegetables, quality fats and grass-fed meat or plant-based protein is required to sustain your immune system function.
Avoid sugar when possible. Even when the source is natural (think orange juice) sugar is immunosuppressive. Refined sugar can decrease your immune response for 5 hours! Supplementation is an excellent way to make sure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
The following are the essential nutrients that are crucial for proper immune system function:
Vitamin D controls your innate immune response (white blood cells), which is how your body combats viruses. Vitamin D is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” because your body can convert solar energy into vitamin D. In downtown Seattle (or the Northwest in general) we don’t always get enough sun, so a supplement is a good idea. We recommend a vitamin D supplement paired with vitamin K for better absorption.
Vitamin A is an antioxidant and is found in carrots and other orange veggies, as well as grass fed beef.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and is found in most fruits.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids support our immune system by helping our cells communicate with each other. Omega 3’s are found in seafood, especially salmon, as well as grass fed meat.
Zinc helps regulate the immune system among many other things. Good sources are grass fed meat, seafood, and nuts.
Exercise and Restful Sleep are also essential for good health. Regular walking, running or biking can increase the potency of your immune system. Sleep is just as important as food and water for both basic health and immune system health.
Also remember that stress lowers immune system function and leaves you susceptible to infection. We could spend a day discussing stress, but here are some quick tips:
Recognizing stress is a good first step to managing it. Then focus on things you can control. Work on those first. Think about your ‘have to’ items and your ‘want to’ items to find balance. Try to work active stress reduction into your schedule. Practices like meditation, planned downtime and communicating those needs to others can help.
Last but not least are Chiropractic Adjustments and other practices to maintain physical health and reduce stress, pain and inflammation. Chiropractic care allows your body to adapt and reduces stress chemicals. It also helps with circulation; care of the muscular and skeletal system and many patients tell us it’s the most relaxing part of their day.
We hope these tips help you stay balanced, healthy and relaxed…as much as that is possible. If you’re ready to work chiropractic treatment into your schedule, Midtown Chiropractic is available to serve you in Downtown Seattle. Get in touch!