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Immunity

Wellness Blog

5 Natural Ways to Support Your Immunity

Immune health seems to be on everyone's mind these days. Although it would be nice to take a magical concoction that makes us invincible to any cold or virus, the science is not quite there yet. What we can control is our lifestyle. Of course, it does not make us bulletproof, but it certainly can make us more resilient. There should be no argument that feeling run down, eating poorly, getting very little sleep, sunlight, and exercising can make us vulnerable. Have you ever gotten sick after a week of exams, a stressful work week, or a night of too much alcohol? Case in point. 

 

Here are 5 tangible goals that we can all try to incorporate:

  1. Eat More Protein

Many people are not aware that we need protein to make immunoglobulins. Think of these as little soldiers that help fight infections. When our protein intake is low, it leaves us more prone to opportunistic infections and can increase severity. A good rule of thumb is to get around 1.4g/Kg. This translates to a 150 lbs person needing around 100g. To put that into perspective, one chicken breast is around 30 g, one cup of cooked beans is 15 g and one scoop of protein powder is around 25g. A simpler approach to incorporate this is looking at your plate and trying to fill about a quarter of it with a protein source.

  1. Is Sugar really THAT bad?

The answer is yes - when in excess. Eating or drinking sugary foods can curb our immune system cells that attack bacteria and viruses. This effect can last up to 5 hours, which is more than enough time to let our immunity guard down. Now, this is not to label “good” foods or “bad” foods. Please enjoy the treats - they are enjoyable and can bond family and friends. This is more for knowledge and understanding of how we can control some aspects of our health.

  1. Support the Microbiome

It has been estimated that the human gut houses 100 trillion microbial cells, which is 10 times the number of human cells. We are more bacteria than we are humans! The immune system is particularly interconnected with gut bacteria. In fact, 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut. Bacteria relay messages about foreign invaders (ie viruses and pathogenic bacteria) so that the immune system can respond appropriately. If we have an unhealthy and less diverse microbiome, then this communication and consequently immunity is compromised. Improving your diet by cutting out processed foods and including more prebiotic fibre (vegetables and legumes) can increase biodiversity. Also, having probiotic-rich foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, and probiotics may restore the composition and a more efficient gut microbiome.

  1. Check your micronutrients

A deficiency of single nutrients can alter the body’s immune response. Research has found that inadequate intake of zinc, magnesium, selenium, iron, copper, folate, and vitamins A, B6, C, D and E can all have a major effect on immune health. These nutrients help the immune system in several ways: working as an antioxidant to protect healthy cells, supporting the growth and activity of immune cells, and producing antibodies. Research has found that those who are poorly nourished are at greater risk of bacterial, viral, and other infections. Some of these micronutrients can be hard to get in our diets despite regular consumption of whole foods. A high-quality multi-vitamin can help fill the void that may be missing.

  1. What is your sleep like?

While you’re asleep, your immune system releases a type of protein called cytokines. This is necessary to fight infection, inflammation and protect your body from the effects of stress. If you’re regularly sleep-deprived, your immune system’s protective cytokine production may decrease. Sleep deprivations also put people at risk for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which consequently has additional effects on immunity. Typically 7-8 hours is recommended for most adults and can be attained by following sleep hygiene practices, exercising earlier in the day, as well as stress management techniques.

About Dr. Rachelle Viinberg

For further immune support, I am accepting a limited number of new patients. Learn more: https://drkristylewis.ca/rachelle-booking/. Lifestyle, nutrition, stress management, a detailed blood work analysis, and targeted supplements can help you attain your best self. 

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals. Medications and various diagnoses need to be properly evaluated by a healthcare professional before incorporating any supplementation.

Wellness Blog

Boost Your Immunity & Protect Against Colds, Flus, and Viruses

No one likes catching a cold or flu, period. It's always important to take care of our immunity and health. At this time of year we know many are searching for immune-boosting solutions. The best way to avoid getting sick is to avoid exposure to the sickness altogether, but that's not always possible! The next best way to avoid getting sick is to boost immunity, which is both an effective preventative measure, and integral to recovery if you do end up catching something.

One of the best tips we can offer is one you've heard time and again: wash your hands often with soap and warm water, for at least 20 seconds. It seems intuitive, but many of us have been washing our hands improperly since we were taught how to as kids! See this helpful infographic for tips on how to wash your hands effectively to prevent the spread of germs.

A hand-washing guide infographic

Beyond hand-washing, try not to touch your face, make sure to cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow (do not cough or sneeze into your hands), and keep hand sanitizer with you in public situations. Getting a good night's sleep (ideally 8 hours) and exercising regularly are also important habits for maintaining good immunity and reducing the severity of sickness when we do catch something.

Luckily we’ve put together a Tool-Kit of immune-boosting staples that will help turn your immune system into a bug-fighting machine, and ensure a speedier recovery if you do happen to fall sick.

Soul Warmers

A Turmeric Latte with added honey and cinnamon for extra immunity-boosting properties.

Golden Mylk - This turmeric based drink is a delicious way to boost your immune system and will have you feeling better in no time if you find yourself a feeling under the weather! Traditionally made with turmeric, honey, coconut oil and any type of non-dairy milk, this beverage has great anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that will help soothe your cold & flu symptoms while also tackling the root of the sickness. We’re loving Botanica's Turmeric Golden Mylk powder because of how simple and easy it is without sacrificing its delicious flavour. You simply combine the powder with your favourite type of milk and you’ve got yourself a perfect turmeric latte packed with immune-boosting goodness!

Woman Cooks Bone Broth in a Large Pot to Boost Immunity

Bone Broth - Known for its incredible healing properties, bone broth is a must-have for boosting immunity and ensuring a speedy recovery when you’re not feeling on top of your game. It’s packed with collagen and glutamine, plus a ton of minerals that help heal your body from the inside out. Aside from its amazing health benefits, bone broth is great for soothing your throat and your stomach and warming you up when you have a chill you just can’t shake! We’ve been loving Organika bone broth powder which allows you to whip up a cup in a fraction of the time that traditional bone broth takes. Plus, it comes in an original flavour and a ginger flavour to please everyone’s taste buds.

Woman sips some soothing tea and honey

Tea & Honey - Another staple in our tool kit is tea and honey. There’s nothing like a hot cup of tea with a teaspoon of raw honey to soothe your throat when you’re sick or to warm you up on a chilly day. We have a ton of great teas including condition-specific teas from Traditional Medicinals as well as some organic holiday teas from Stash. We love these teas with some raw honey from the Unheated Honey company!

A couple makes a pot of warm, delicious soup

Soup - Soups are a great choice when you’re feeling under the weather but find yourself without much of an appetite. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, soups are a perfect way to get in a ton of immune-boosting veggies at once. We have some great soup recipes on our blog and in-store from Pacific Foods and Amy’s that cater to all tastes.

Immune Boosting Supplements

Echinacea Flowers for Immune-Boosting

Kardish Echinacea —Echinacea has long been used to support the immune system. When taken upon the first sign of infection, Echinacea can help your body fight off the infection. Echinacea is traditionally used to help relieve symptoms of colds and upper respiratory tract infections. Kardish Echinacea is super potent, containing the equivalent of 3000 mg of dry Echinacea. Kardish Echinacea is Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly, Non-GMO, and Kardish Quality Verified.

A bowl of vitamin C-packed fruits to boost the immune system.

Kardish Vitamin C - Another staple in our immune-boosting tool kit is vitamin C. Vitamin C is crucial in supporting immune health and works wonders in getting you back to health when you’re feeling sick. Some of our favourite vitamin C supplements are our house brand, it's available is easy to swallow capsules and powder! We also love Ener-C which is a drinkable form of vitamin C which tastes delicious and makes it super easy to get your daily recommended intake.

Oil of Oregano for Immunity

Kardish Oil of Oregano - Working as a very potent antimicrobial, oil of oregano works effectively at preventing and eliminating cold & flu symptoms and fighting off infection, and can be taken daily for prevention. Although it comes with a very intense taste, oil of oregano works wonders. We have our very own Kardish brand of oil of oregano that can be found in all of our stores and will be a staple in your own immunity tool kit!

Remember: Stay Calm and Try to Reduce Risk

Wash your hands and protect your immunity, to try and reduce the chances of any type of sickness spreading. Whether you are sick or not the best way to reduce the chances of germs spreading is to practice good hygiene. If you are sick already, see our guide that covers 5 Ways To Ditch That Cold Or Flu For Good.

Source: Personal Trainer Pioneer

Wellness Blog

The Importance Of Protecting Our Microbiome

BY: AMY WILSON

Adjusting to the “new norm” of COVID-19 has led to a drastic increase in hygiene practices. To protect our health, businesses and organizations are following protocols and adhering to recommendations made for our safety. Unfortunately, a lot of these hygiene practices include harsh disinfectants and chemicals that kill off our natural microflora. While we still learn about this emerging new disease, it is definitely important that we take all measures to protect ourselves and others. However, to keep ourselves safe, it is also vitally important that we keep our immune system strong. In order to do this, we must protect our natural microflora.

Humans are naturally home to trillions of beneficial bacteria of an immense variety, that make up our microbiome. These bacteria live both on us, and in our digestive tract, protecting us and keeping us healthy. Antibacterial products, such as the ones used for disinfecting, are a threat to our natural microbiome.

I am in no way saying stop using strong antibacterial products during this time. Instead, I am suggesting we take into consideration ways in which to implement practices that will balance some of the adverse effects of the chemicals we are using to disinfect and clean. So, until we fully understand transmission of COVID-19, let’s remember the basics that will help protect our microflora.

The gut is #1

Protecting our digestive tract is fundamental in caring for your internal microflora. When your digestive tract is healthy, it helps your microbiome flourish, and in turn, works to keep your immunity strong. Here are some considerations to implement when thinking of the overall health of your digestive tract.

Remember to get outside

Find yourself in nature more often. Being in nature will not only reduce stress levels, but can also have a positive impact on your microbiome. Breathing in fresh air, and being close to trees, dirt and water, can increase the diversity of your microbiome.

Adjusting hygiene practices

  • When in the safety of your home, use good hand washing techniques with natural soaps, and save the alcohol-based/antimicrobial disinfecting for when you are out in public.
  • Make at-home cleaning supplies that are effective and safe for you and the environment. Homemade cleaning products are typically very simple and effective, and can be a fun project, that can also save you money in the long run.

Health officials and scientists are working hard to narrow down the most effective hygiene protocols to keep us safe. The information at times can be confusing. What is clear, is the importance of preventative health measures, and staying on top of our health at all times, to keep us strong and safe!

Wellness Blog

Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System

This year, staying healthy has been on everyone’s mind. But what can you do to help your body fight infections?

As it turns out, there are plenty of simple, everyday actions you can take to strengthen your immune system. Unsurprisingly, most of these behaviours are habits that doctors frequently suggest to boost your overall health and well-being. So it makes sense, right?

Here are some of the top tips from experts to ensure that your body is at its best the next time you come down with a cold or flu.

Take a Vitamin C supplement.

Vitamin C is a natural immunity booster that can significantly improve your health. Vitamin C can be found naturally in several fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, spinach, and tomatoes. However, cooking or heating any of these foods reduces the efficacy of the Vitamin C content so a supplement is necessary to maintain the daily intake needed for a healthy diet. Kardish offers several Vitamin C supplements at all 7 locations across Ottawa. By adding more Vitamin C to your diet, you will be boosting your body’s immune system, helping produce more collagen, and improving your overall health with the help of just one supplement.

Get enough sleep

As with so many health issues, one of the most effective ways to keep your immune system in fighting shape is to make sure you are well-rested. Experts suggest getting a regular 7-8 hours of sleep a night to maximize your body’s ability to fight off infections. Keeping regular sleep hours can help, too. Try waking up and going to bed at the same times each day to keep your body in tip-top shape.

 

Keep stress low

Believe it or not, your stress levels directly affect your capacity to prevent illness. So if you tend to have high stress levels day-to-day, consider what you can do to cut down pressure in your life. For some people, that means adopting a meditation practice, staying more organized, or spending more time doing what they love. For others, it means cutting down on commitments to ensure that they have enough downtime each day. If that seems extreme, just remember—your health is worth it!

Eat right

One of the best things you can do to help your body combat infection is to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need regularly. There is no need to adopt a whole new diet. Instead, just follow the basic principles of healthy eating. Eat natural, real foods, including plenty of vegetables, and enjoy lots of variety in your diet.

Avoid smoking and drink in moderation

It will likely come as no surprise that smoking is bad for your immune system, as it weakens key organs that defend your body against infection. As for drinking, experts say that a few drinks now and then are fine. However, moderation is key. Binge drinking should be avoided o help your body stay at its best.

Get (some) exercise

Exercise can be helpful to your immune system, but extreme workouts are not necessary. A little moderate activity each day is all your body needs to boost its reaction to infection. Consider getting out for a walk each day, biking to the store, or fitting in a quick 20-minute workout throughout the day.

Wellness Blog

Natural Ways To Boost Your Immune System

Looking for "Top 3 Spring Snacks"?

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This year, staying healthy has been on everyone’s mind, to say the least. But what can you really do to help your body fight infections?

As it turns out, there are plenty of simple, everyday actions you can take to strengthen your immune system. Unsurprisingly, most of these behaviors are habits that doctors frequently suggest to boost your overall health and wellbeing as well. Makes sense, right?

Here are some of the top tips from experts to ensure that your body is at its best the next time you come down with a cold or flu.

Get enough sleep

As with so many health issues, one of the most effective ways to keep your immune system in fighting shape is to make sure you are well rested. Experts suggest getting a regular 7-8 hours of sleep a night in order to maximize your body’s ability to fight off infections. Keeping regular sleep hours can help, too. Try waking up and going to bed at the same times each day to keep your body in tip top shape.

Keep stress low

Believe it or not, your stress levels directly affect your capacity to prevent illness. If you tend to have high stress levels day-to-day, consider what you can do to cut down pressure in your life. For some people, that means adopting a meditation practice, staying more organized, or spending more time doing what they love. For others, it means cutting down on commitments to ensure that they have enough down time each day. If that seems extreme, just remember—your health is worth it!

Eat right

One of the best things you can do to help your body combat infection is to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need on a regular basis. There is no need to adopt a whole new diet. Just follow the basic principles of healthy eating. Eat natural, real foods, including plenty of vegetables, and enjoy lots of variety in your diet.

Avoid smoking and drink in moderation

It will likely come as no surprise that smoking is bad for your immune system, as it weakens key organs that defend your body against infection. As for drinking, experts say that a few drinks now and then are fine. However, moderation is key. To help your body stay at its best, binge drinking should be avoided.

Get (some) exercise

Exercise can be helpful to your immune system, but extreme workouts are not necessary. A little moderate activity each day is all your body needs to boost its reaction to infection. Consider getting out for a walk each day, biking to the store, or fitting in a quick 20-minute workout throughout the day.

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