7 Holistic Ways to Boost Immunity
By Margie Pensak
Dr. Chana Feldman is a Baltimore-based chiropractor who utilizes a holistic approach in treating her patients. In these COVID times – as well as in “normal” times – she notes, such an approach to boosting immunity will serve us well. Although germs such as viruses are all around us, we should understand that Hashem made our bodies to ward off and fight illnesses.
1. Eat a Proper, Balanced Diet
High on the list of measures is our nutritional intake, otherwise referred to as a proper, balanced diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables of different colors gives our bodies the nutrients we need for a fully functional immune system. Add to that proteins, whole grains, and natural oils such as olive and avocado.
2. Cut the Sugar
Sugar works against us, slowing down our white blood cells, which are an integral part of our defenses. It also causes problems with energy levels, may increase the risk for cancer and depression, and promotes weight gain.
3. Change Your Food Focus
Refined carbohydrates (such as white flour), processed grains, and starchy vegetables (such as white potatoes and corn) turn to sugar in our bodies. It’s better to focus on non-starchy vegetables such as salad greens, cucumber, tomato, onion, celery, broccoli, and zucchini.
4. Water, Water Everywhere
Drinking pure water in adequate amounts helps with producing lymph, which circulates our white blood cells. Water helps to carry oxygen to all of our cells and also carries away toxins out of our body.
5. Get Enough Zzzs
Getting a full night’s sleep is imperative so that the two hormones produced while sleeping (melatonin and prolactin) can do their job to support the white blood cells. Sleep also gives us our needed rest and time to internally repair.
6. Be a Jock
Exercising on a regular basis helps circulate antibodies and raises our body temperature to help fight invading germs. It helps reduce stress and promotes a feeling of well-being.
7. Relieve Stress and Relax
Managing stress is a necessity to maintaining a healthy immune system. Effectively dealing with difficult emotions, feelings, and situations helps keep the two stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) at a lower level. Too much of these hormones over a period of time raises blood sugar, adversely affects digestion, and greatly impairs immune function, making us more vulnerable to illness. Building relaxation time into our schedule, whether it’s for hobbies, traveling, or connecting with family and friends, provides us with outlets that increase our resistance and keep us healthy.
Chiropractic is an effective therapy for balancing the nervous system and reducing stress, and Dr. Feldman uses nutritional supplements in her practice when patients have a need for them. As she says, “It takes effort to live a healthy lifestyle, which can be achieved with continuous tefillot to Hashem, motivation, and a positive attitude. It’s all worthwhile, knowing that we are giving ourselves exactly what we need to be healthy and being our best selves for those in our lives.”