It's a scary time. I can't remember any other time when I felt this much panic in the world. But within this global fear, lies global union. We are all brought together by the need and hope to make it through this tumultuous period in our history.
For the first time in a very long, we are all forced to be still and address our health and wellness in a very serious way. I know everyone is wondering right now what we can do to protect our own health and the health of our loved ones. I'll be giving you my favorite quick, easy, and science-backed methods for strengthening your immune system and protecting yourself from getting sick.
Here are six tips and tricks to consider when trying to strengthen your immune system. Whether you decide to do one or try them all, I think any number would be a great addition to your daily routine to keep you healthier for longer.
#1 Increase Your Intake Of Vitamin C
It's crucial that you take high doses anywhere from 1000 mg - 10000 mg per day. At the higher dosing level it is usually given intravenously; please check with your integrative practitioner if you think you need higher dosing (greater than 5000 mg). Vitamin C at high doses acts as both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, which is vital to helping wounds heal.
I take a combination of oral vitamin C from Thorne, eat foods high in vitamin C, such as oranges, and try to get an IV at least monthly. During this scary time, I would recommend getting at least weekly IV vitamin drips with high dose vitamin C.
#2 Increase Your Intake Of A Variety of Mushrooms
Mushrooms work like magic when it comes to helping the body and treating ailments. Different types, taken as a whole, strengthen your immune system dramatically by targeting different aspects of the body.
A key reason mushrooms are such a game-changer when it comes to your immune system is Selenium. A powerful antioxidant that reduces DNA damage and oxidative stress. Studies show that increased blood levels of selenium are associated with enhanced immune response, specifically linked to influenza.
They also reduce cytokines and are rich in polysaccharides, which are connected to protecting you from colds and the flu by boosting your immune system. Mushrooms must be taken cautiously during this time as COVID-19 has also been shown to stimulate the immune system, and there are some concerns regarding a synergistic effect between mushrooms and COVID-19. At this time I would highly recommend discussing the use of mushrooms (because there are so many varities) with your integrative practitioner before you begin.
#3 Decrease Your Stress Levels
It's a stressful time. As much as I can understand being stressed right now, try your best to practice ways to decrease your stress levels in order to keep yourself healthy (and happy!) during this period of anxiety.
High levels of continuous stress lead to near-constant suppression of your immune system. It can also cause issues with your digestive system and circulatory system, which only serves to further diminish your health.
During this time my yoga studio has even stopped offering their classes, which I understand given the circumstance of social distancing, but I cannot recommend yoga and meditation enough to decrease stress levels. Try doing yoga at home with Youtube videos along with meditating for at least 20 minutes a day.
If you don't have time for yoga, then just meditating every day can make a huge difference, not just with your mental health but your physical health as well. There have been many links made between meditation and decreases in inflammation.
#4 Supplement Your Magnesium
I take magnesium supplements every day as well as try and take in magnesium-rich foods. Magnesium helps normalize muscle function in the body. Most importantly, magnesium helps the heart maintain a healthy rhythm, which regulates blood pressure and the production of cholesterol. This is all crucial in keeping a healthy immune system. Magnesium also benefits the body in a variety of other ways that can help protect you from sickness such as promoting better sleep.
I recommend oral magnesium from Thorne as well as eating magnesium rich foods like spinach, kale, bananas, avocados, and broccoli.
#5 Fresh Garlic
As fresh as possible! Garlic can help boost your immune system fighting off viral infections while also lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure. This is because of the Allicin within garlic, and it's antioxidant properties. It's crucial to eat garlic raw or semi-cooked in order to benefit from these properties!
I recommend eating two to three cloves of garlic a day or even drinking it through garlic tea.
#6 Oil Of Oregano
Oil of oregano is another herbal secret that is absolutely magical when it comes to boosting your immune system. The compounds in oregano oil have powerful antioxidant properties. It also has antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. These all decrease inflammation, which is key to modulating your immune system and keeping you healthy.
I mix my oil with some water in a shot glass and take it early in the mornings.
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It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.
Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.
Read with a Purpose
Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.
Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.
When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.
Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.
You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.
Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.
Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.
If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.
Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.