14 Dec Holiday Health & Hello, Good Stuff Girl Fans!
I am excited and honored to welcome the fans of “The Good Stuff Girl” blog to MaryCaireMD. My dear friend and patient, Karen Shackelford, dedicated her blog to health, wellness and living the best life. Now, she’s moving on to other accomplishments. Karen recently announced to the Good Stuff Girl community that her posts and recipes will live on under my guidance and care.
I will continue Karen’s mission to “encourage, inspire, and share all the GOOD STUFF towards a healthier you” by periodically sharing the great content Karen authored.
Today, I’m sharing my revised version of Karen’s post “10 Immunity Boosters for the Holidays” with added commentary in italics. Time together in good health is the best gift we can give each other. Here’s how you can boost your immune system and enjoy the season even more:
1. KEEP TAKING YOUR VITAMIN D3
It’s very important. Here’s an article by Dr. Mercola explaining why.
In my post Whole30 Optimized, I discuss proper vitamin D levels. If your vitamin D (OH)25 level is less than 50, you may also be missing out on some additional health benefits including a faster metabolism and a significant decrease in your risk for most types of cancer. I take 5000 IU’s of vitamin D3 every day since that is how much I personally need to get my levels around 75. 5000 IU’s of vitamin D3 is over 10 times the recommended daily allowance, but that is what my body needs. Some of my patients need more and some need less, so it’s important to test and retest to find out how much you really need. Too much vitamin D can be toxic so be sure have your doctor closely monitor your levels.
2. LIMIT YOUR SWEET INTAKE
It’s that time of the year. Desserts are everywhere. We tend to forget that sugar wrecks our immune system and causes significant inflammation in the body. Desserts are also loaded with calories! To avoid weight gain and stay well during the holidays, limit your sugar intake. Opt for real foods that are nutrient-dense and will give you the energy you need to tackle your holiday to-do list.
3. MANAGE YOUR STRESS
This is a big one, I know. With everything we have to do to get ready for the holidays, we tend to fret over things way too much, which in turn will weaken our ability to fight off germs and viruses.
When the body is stressed, the steroid hormone cortisol is released. Cortisol suppresses functions that aren’t essential to deal with the stress. This includes the immune system.
Decide now, that you will NOT let the holidays stress you out. Consider what is most important to you and be willing to skip what isn’t to avoid the stress that comes from being too busy.
4. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE FLU WITH GARLIC INTAKE
Garlic has the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Click here for more information on using garlic to increase immunity as well as a delicious garlic soup recipe.
5. MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE NO MATTER HOW BUSY YOU ARE
Research shows that physical activity not only boosts your fitness and energy levels but can also elevate your mood. Rigorous physical activity of any kind increases production of endorphins, your body’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Despite the many demands on your time, this is not the season to stop exercising. For a fast, efficient and invigorating workout, try Peak 8 Fitness Interval Training.
6. SKIP THE MORNING STARBUCKS; INSTEAD, MAKE YOUR OWN BONE BROTH
7. GET YOUR SLEEP
Sleep is imperative for you to stay well, maintain a good mood and be productive. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep while teenagers need around 10.
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, I recommend taking 1 ml of melatonin just before bedtime. Ensure your room is as dark as possible. When light is detected by our optic nerve, a signal is transmitted to the brain to wake up.
8. LOAD UP ON FOODS THAT ARE LOADED WITH VITAMIN C
These foods are great sources for vitamin C: berries, citrus fruits, cherries, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, melons, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes.
9. KEEP YOUR HANDS WASHED
Be sure you wash your hands with soap, but not anti-bacterial soap. Anti-bacterial soap reduces the body’s ability to fight off germs.
10. TAKE A QUALITY PROBIOTIC AND EAT FERMENTED FOODS
Both help clean the gut and strengthen your overall immune system.
How do you reduce stress and stay healthy during the holidays? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Written by Mary Caire MD
“Learn the Science. Heal Yourself”
Mary Caire MD empowers the world to create a culture of optimized health guided by DNA and epigenetics.