How to strengthen your immune system
Everyday, each one of us is surrounded by a cesspool of germs. It is true that the amount of germs we come in contact with is often related to the cleanliness of our immediate environments. That being said, we can’t completely reduce our interactions with germs to absolute zero. Germs come in many different forms… some of them are bacterial, some of them are fungal, and some of them are viral. No, no, no, not viral as in “viral video”, but viral as in the germ is a virus. I had a good chuckle typing that last sentence by the way… couldn’t resist!
Germs aren’t as smart or as capable as more developed multi cellular organisms like wolves, us, and the family of big cats who are capable of sourcing their own food. As a result, germs usually have to depend on other organisms to survive. For this reason, many germs have developed an amazing ability to latch onto other organisms like us in order to stay alive. While this makes perfect logical sense, it usually doesn’t bode well for the organism that the germ latches onto. All those bouts with the common cold (viral infections), vaginal yeast infections (fungal infections), staph infections (bacterial infections) are examples of germs trying to survive by camping out in a human’s nutrient rich body.
If germs are allowed to camp out indefinitely in a human body, they can cause irreversible decay. Thankfully, pretty much all of us come equipped with badass immune systems that are clever enough to adapt to the attacks of all sorts of different germs, and powerful enough to destroy them. The importance of the immune system in our perpetual war against germs is especially highlighted when you consider how quickly dead bodies decay. When humans die, the immune system stops working, and all manner of germs can have their way with our flesh and organs which in turn causes the body to decay rapidly. In short, if you or I didn’t have functioning immune systems, the germs in our environment would have killed us off a while ago.
Given that the immune system is this super important to the maintenance of life and your ability to fight off other annoying illnesses, it is natural to wonder if there is anything that we can do as people to strengthen it. Below are some strategies that are pretty helpful for strengthening your body’s immune system.
Wash your hands after you use the bathroom
Drink ginger tea regularly
- Slice up a stalk of ginger that is about as long as ¾ of your index finger into roundish disks that are about ⅛ inch thick
- Throw all your ginger slices into a small cooking pot of choice.
- Add 2.5 – 3 cups of water and boil for 30 – 35 mins on low heat. For instance, if your stove heat setting goes up to a 10, use 3.
- Use a sieve to pour out your ginger tea base into a mug and add a green tea bag to it
- Use honey to sweeten, and drink up… slowly
Drink a green smoothie every morning
Regardless of if you went to the bathroom to urinate or to “do the business”, it is advisable to wash your hands afterwards. This gives you a much better chance of washing off all the germs that you may have inadvertently picked up during your visit to the bathroom. Our hands are one of the major ways in which we interface with the world and they also happen to be the body part that comes in most frequent contact with our nasal passages, eyes, and mouths. It stands to reason then that the more times you wash your hands, the less chance there is that you will use them to grant some bacteria or virus access to your insides through your nose, mouth or eyes.
I still don’t completely understand the magical powers of ginger but one thing is for sure… it works. It is a very powerful root that has been used for ages in all sorts of different applications. The good news is that in our modern world, you can go to any grocery store and buy as much of it as you want. Some people can eat ginger straight up but I can’t so I found a way to get around it by making ginger tea, or adding ginger to my morning smoothies.
To make ginger tea:
Green smoothies are an amazing way to get more vegetables in your diet. Most of us don’t like veggies, but if you blend them with your favorite fruits and almond milk, they actually aren’t all that bad. Check out this article for a pretty good green smoothie recipe. You may decide to use the exact recipe for Chubanator smoothie 2.0 but please feel free to get creative and modify it to suit your taste… just don’t leave out the green leafy veggies.
Recipe for Chubanator Smoothie 2.0:
- 2 cups of Spinach or Kale
- 2 Frozen Strawberries
- 4 X Peeled Baby Carrots
- 2 tablespoons of avocado
- 1 X 5mm thick slice of ginger (about the same diameter as an american quarter)
- A quarter of an orange
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 scoop of designer whey gourmet chocolate protein powder
- A drizzle of honey to sweeten
- 6 ice cubes
Take daily supplements
All of us should be getting the majority of our needed nutrients through the foods that we eat. Heaven knows though that reality is usually far adrift of the ideal scenario described in the sentence above. For instance, almost none of us get the required amount of Vitamin D each day from the food we eat, and this is especially bad for black folks like me because our deeper skin pigmentation means that we get way less Vitamin D from the sun compared to our lighter skinned brothers and sisters. This is where nutritional supplementation can be very helpful. It is important to note that the word “supplement” in the term “nutritional supplement” means exactly what it says. These little pills are supposed to supplement the nutrition you already get through your diet rather than completely replace your diet. To be clear, you can’t just eat rubbish for the rest of the day just because you took your supplements in the morning. Below is the list of supplements that I take each day… feel free to add them to your regimen if you’d like.
- Opti-men Multivitamin or Beyond Tangy Tangerine
- Kirkland Signature Fish Oil
- Kirkland Signature Vitamin D (2000 IU)
- Nature’s Bounty Joint Support
You know the drill… regular exercise is a must to keep your body healthy. So please find a physical activity you like, a gym you like, and/or a partner that can motivate you to keep going. Enough said.
Get ample rest
The body is a remarkably faithful servant, but it won’t continue to serve you as well or as long if you don’t rest it often. When you shut off the rest of your body by taking a nap or going to bed at night, the immune system can draw upon that energy to do its work. This is why going to sleep once you start to sense the signs of a cold coming on is one of the best things you can do. Full disclosure here, I need to do a better job of taking my advice on this point to be perfectly honest.
So there it is folks… simple everyday things that you can do to help boost the power of your immune system and hopefully avoid annoying illnesses that slow you down. I hope this helps you along on this weird life journey that we’re all on. From all of us here at chubaoyolu.org, please take care of yourselves and each other
Oyolu B.C. Ph.D.
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