In times of uncertainty, it’s important to uplift your body and soul in a gentle, healing way. There are steps we can take to nurture and boost our immune system, decrease our stress levels, and stay positive in the face of fear.
Here are five tips to cultivate wellness from within:
Nourish your body
Do you turn to sweets in times of stress? It’s not uncommon…and it’s also not great for your immune system. Consuming a surplus of sugar can slow down the immune system cells that attack viruses and bacteria.
Instead, try to include some of these known immunity boosters into your diet:
- Citrus fruits: Fun fact, your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C—you need to consume it frequently to enjoy the health benefits. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes are rich sources of vitamin C.
- Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and arugula are packed with folate, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and K, and have been shown to help your immune system function properly.
- Garlic: Raw garlic boasts natural antimicrobial properties and has long been used as a remedy to fight infection. Compounds found in raw garlic even help maintain homeostasis of the immune system.
- Green tea: The high levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) found in green tea enhance immune function and prevent cell damage. EGCG can also help fight off viruses.
Move, stretch, and breathe
Your body is designed to make its own medicine, and physical activity is a way to set your personal healing mechanisms into motion. Fortunately, you don’t have to run a marathon to enjoy the benefits of movement.
Try one of these…or all three:
- Get your heart rate up: Moderate exercise improves immune function and has even been shown to improve outcomes in the case of viral respiratory infections. How you do it is up to you! If you’re cooped up, we recommend a vigorous dance party to your favorite playlist.
- Implement a yoga practice: Yoga strengthens your immunity in a few ways. First, it lowers stress hormones that inhibit your immune system. Second, it conditions the lungs and respiratory tract as you breathe through different movements. Lastly, it helps to detox your body by stimulating your lymphatic system. Try some Yin yoga to enjoy full relaxation benefits.
- Breathe deeply: Pranayama, or Healing Breath, is a simple and powerful immune-booster that you can utilize anytime, anywhere. Check out ZENTS founder Cord Coen’s video to learn the art of pranayama.
Limit screen time
Especially in times of tension, we can find ourselves ceaselessly scrolling through social media feeds and news headlines. While it’s important to stay connected and informed, it’s also wise to step back from technology and focus on soul-care.
What can you do to occupy your mind without screens? Set aside time to disconnect with intention, and you may notice lower levels of anxiety and stress.
Get your zzz on
Lack of sleep doesn’t just give you undereye bags, it also affects your immune system. Adequate amounts of sleep drop levels of certain chemicals, like adrenaline and prostaglandin, which are known to suppress immune function. Conversely, sleep deprivation decreases the production of important proteins that help you fight infectious diseases.
If you have trouble falling asleep or sleeping deeply, a sleep meditation practice can help you slow your busy mind. Try the Insight Timer app, which offers free sleep meditations.
Use these wellness-supporting ingredients in your self-care ritual
ZENTS takes self-care a step further by using ingredients that enhance wellness. Check out these powerful elements, straight from Mother Nature herself:
- CONCRETA: Our versatile balm uses coconut oil, packed with medium-chain triglycerides that have antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties.
- LUXE SOAP: This soap uses neem, a gentle staple of Ayurvedic medicine that is naturally antibacterial. Rich shea butter suds prevent dry skin, even in times of frequent cleansing.
- ZEN BLEND: We call this our “stress-relieving happy juice.” Spritz into your mouth to receive the medicinal benefits of organic flower essences, such as dandelion to release toxins and an antimicrobial plant aptly named self-heal.
What are you doing to support your wellness today? Check in on Instagram using @ZENTSofficial. May you and your loved ones be surrounded with peace, love, and healing today and always 💛
Web MD (no author): “6 Immune System Busters and Boosters” July 7, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/10-immune-system-busters-boosters#1
Li, et al.: “Exogenous Stimuli Maintain Intraepithelial Lymphocytes via Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation” October 28, 2011. Retrieved from https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(11)01136-6?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0092867411011366%3Fshowall%3Dtrue
Rodrigo, et al.: “Immunomodulation and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Garlic Compounds” April 15, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4417560/
HJ, et al: “Anti-influenza virus activity of green tea by-products in vitro and efficacy against influenza virus infection in chickens.” January 19, 2012. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22184430
Martin, et al.: “Exercise and Respiratory Tract Viral Infections” October 1, 2010. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2803113/
Mandal, et al: “Antibacterial Potential of Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) Seeds” 2011. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123756886100957
Mahboubi, et al: “The antimicrobial activity of Prunella vulgaris extracts” 2015. Retrieved from https://www.degruyter.com/downloadpdf/j/hepo.2015.61.issue-1/hepo-2015-0008/hepo-2015-0008.pdf