Back to school/work is here with a mixture of excitement and hesitation as we return to face-to-face interactions.
It behooves us, therefore, to equip our bodies with the best strategies to stay healthy.
Here are three simple measures you can start today to ensure your immune system is in tip-top shape!
1. Hydration: A key immune system booster
Hydrated cells are happy cells that are ready to perform on command to work towards the body’s goal of homeostasis. Kidneys are the bean-shaped superstar organs that remove waste and maintain the balance of essential chemicals such as sodium and potassium.
When you give your kidneys the proper fuel, they will purr with excitement. But if you allow your body to become dehydrated, you will create unneeded stress.
Keeping your kidneys happy should always be a top priority — so skip the sugary juice and soda and aim to consume at least half your body weight in water ounces daily.
A great way to start the day is with a 16-ounce cup of warm lemon water. This simple habit sets the intention for hydration and helps the body balance its pH levels.
If you are exercising or sweating, you may need to double your total intake — but don’t forget to add a salty snack or a drink with electrolytes. You increase your chances of hitting your daily water goal if you prepare in advance. So, map out your water consumption for the day and keep your refillable bottle within reach.
2. Vitamin C: How much do you need, and where can you get it?
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in popular foods such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, kiwi and Brussels sprouts.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required by the immune system to fight off foreign invaders. When you are under stress, your adrenal glands deplete your body’s supply of vitamin C as they produce cortisol to fight stress. Therefore, lowering stress and enjoying vitamin C boosts throughout the day can be a great way to keep you and your family happy and healthy throughout the year.
Preferably, try to consume vitamin C in its natural form. The bioflavonoids found in food will assist your body in utilizing vitamin C. A serving of kiwi contains 64 milligrams of vitamin C, while a bell pepper provides you a whopping 120 milligram per serving.
If you are not able to meet your daily requirements with food, if you are under stress, or if for any reason you need added immune support — a high-quality supplement can also be useful.
Water-soluble supplements such as vitamin C are best absorbed on an empty stomach and should be taken 30 minutes before or two hours after a meal.
Large doses of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, nausea, and heartburn, so it is best to divide up the amount throughout the day and reduce your dose if you start to experience symptoms.
3. Vitamin D: The secret weapon of immune support
Vitamin D is naturally created by your body when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet light. It is a key player in immune support, bone health, weight maintenance, cancer prevention and calcium absorption.
When you spend a lot of time indoors, live in a city, or wear sunscreen, it is common to have low vitamin D levels. Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels every six months. If low, consider taking daily supplements. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in foods such as fortified milk, fortified cereal, mushrooms, fatty fish, beef liver and egg yolks.
The recommended dietary allowance of daily vitamin D is 400IU for infants, 600IU for children, and 800 IU for adults. But when your body is deficient, a high-quality daily supplement may be what is required. Look for vitamin D in the form of Vitamin D3 in a dose of 1000IU for children and 2000-4000 IU for adults.
Many studies suggest normal vitamin D levels can help reduce the risk of colds and flu, and high vitamin D levels have been associated with lower rates of viral respiratory infections with COVID-19.
This fall, aim to glow from within with a few healthy intentions and actions and enjoy the vibrations of health that come with it. We are all excited about a return to normal. And the healthier we are, the faster we will be back on track.
Remember to always consult with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
If you need additional information on staying healthy and keeping your skin glowing, don’t hesitate to contact us at Vibrant Skin Bar — we love to chat about all things concerning wellness!
Editor’s Note: Kristina Cadwell, M.S., PA-C, is founder/owner of Vibrant Skin Bar.