Earlier this week, we at Betsy’s Health Foods were honored to be visited by Dean Morris, a fifth generation Master Herbalist, who gave us some tips for how nutrients may help with general immune support. Here are just three of the many things we learned that we think you will also find useful.
1. Sleep and exercise really do count.
Despite our fast-paced lifestyles, our bodies still need more than six hours of quality sleep each night to function at their best. For one thing, the body uses this rest time to repair and re-balance. Did you know that the ultimate filter in your body is your liver? This hard-working organ is most at rest while you sleep, even though it still has work to do. However, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your liver isn’t getting the rest it needs to work its best either. And this is just one of the many ways that sleep can support your immune health.
Exercise not only helps with stress reduction, muscle tone, and heart health, it also does something you might not have thought about before. Lymph fluid is an important part of your body’s immune system. Lymph fluid needs to move through the body in order to work at its best, and exercise is one good way to make that happen. So, the next time you are tempted to skip the gym, think about your immune health as another incentive.
2. Your skin is your first layer of immune defense.
Besides being your largest organ, your skin is also your first layer of defense against the microbes that can cause you difficulties. The oils in our skin are actually mildly acidic. The skin also has good bacteria on it to help fight off microbes.
When skin becomes dry and cracked, it is literally open to let microbes in. Also, the over-use of antibacterial soap may lead to the loss of your skin’s supply of good bacteria because anti-bacterial soap kills good and bad bacteria.
Take a good look at the ingredients in your moisturizer. Is the first ingredient a quality oil like olive oil or coconut oil (among others) that will help feed and repair the skin, or is it water? Also, is your lotion free from the parabens and petro-chemicals that may be estrogenic or otherwise affect your overall health?
Did you know that whatever you put on your skin gets absorbed by your body? That includes any household cleaners you use without putting a barrier between your skin and the cleaning product.
3. Mucus matters.
Did you know that you have mucus moving throughout your body all day long, even though you don’t feel it? If everything is healthy, this mucus flow helps to move microbes through the body without letting them stick around to threaten your health.
But, when you notice the mucus, you have a sign that something in your body is likely out of balance.
Mucilage feeds mucin, which helps make your mucus balanced and healthy. Fenugreek, aloe vera, marshmallow, licorice, and even okra are just some of the foods that contain mucilage to help support mucus health.
Mucus flow matters not only in your nose, throat and lungs, but throughout your digestive system, meaning your large and small intestines as well. The vaginal and bladder walls also rely on mucus for optimal health.
Finally, probiotics, the good bacteria in your body, need healthy mucus to thrive.
We need our immune systems everyday, not just during cold and flu season. We look forward to seeing you at Betsy’s Health Foods, where we can share even more of our knowledge about supplements and how they can help you support your general immune health.
Thanks to Dean Morris and to Nature’s Way for this opportunity to learn. We can’t wait to “pay it forward” during your next visit.
*This article is for education purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult your healthcare provider.