To say that most of us are currently dealing with high levels of stress is a gross understatement. Living through a pandemic is definitely no picnic, especially when our normal ways of coping with stress such as socializing with friends/family at relaxing gatherings like picnics are highly discouraged, if not banned, at this time. While short-term, acute stress is a normal response to life’s challenges and may even benefit the body, it’s the sustained, long-term stress that is detrimental to our health, with our immune system taking one of the biggest hits. In fact, research shows that chronic stress leads to a reduction in one of our main immune cells known as lymphocytes—the white blood cells that help us fight off infection. Certainly this is something that is far from desirable at this unprecedented time because the lower our lymphocyte count, the higher our risk for contracting infectious microbes, such as bacteria and viruses. This is why here at Olivera Health + Wellness, we are committed to doing everything we can to help our patients boost their immunity through natural and sustainable lifestyle changes.
One of the main recommendations our Lifestyle Medicine expert, Dr. Eva Dec, typically gives to those concerned about the negative effects of stress on their health is to adopt a regular meditation practice. Meditation simply means being more mindful or grounding yourself in the present moment. According to studies, mindfulness is a great technique for stress relief because it naturally balances our nervous system by lowering the “flight and fight” response that typically causes our stress hormones to go up while at the same time stimulating the “rest and digest” system in charge of calming the brain/body. Practicing mindfulness is as easy as just sitting quietly by yourself for 20 minutes and focusing on your breath and bodily sensations.
Another way to manage stress and thus maintain a healthy immune function according to Dr. Eva, is to limit computer/smartphone screen time and media exposure. Although it’s prudent to stay informed about current events, too much focus on the news can cause anxiety and excessive worry. Dr. Eva encourages that you check-in with yourself to see if you’re letting fear control your life and to set boundaries so as to prevent feeling overwhelmed by current circumstances.
Besides practicing mindfulness and setting mental health boundaries for optimal immune function, Dr. Eva also recommends that one follow a healthy, whole-food diet as well as replenish their nutritional deficiencies via a targeted supplementation plan. In fact, professors at Harvard School of Public Health have observed that those individuals who are micronutrient malnourished tend to be more prone to various diseases. With most immune-boosting nutrients, such as antioxidants, being found in plants, it is no wonder why Dr. Eva often recommends a whole food, plant-based diet to those patients who want to maximize their immune function. However, Dr. Eva also realizes that our soil is just not as rich in nutrients as it used to be and even eating 100% organic may still not provide one with enough vitamins and minerals for an adequate immune response. For this reason, Dr. Eva has procured a general list for our patients of some of the most immune-supportive and highest quality supplements on the market, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D3/K2 and Zinc, which you can read about here.
In addition, Dr. Eva is also offering more individualized health consultations for a limited time to help our patients maximize the strength of their immune response. These immune-boosting consults consist of:
- A 45-minute phone session with Dr. Eva where she will answer all of your immunity-related questions and identify any potential areas within your lifestyle that could be affecting your immunity negatively
- A personalized recommendation for a supplement package of immune-boosting products that can be purchased via our Online Dispensary (Fullscript), and delivered right to your front door
- A specific outline on what foods to emphasize/avoid and how to de-stress properly in an effort to enhance your body’s natural resistance against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens
So if you feel like you could use some extra guidance around enhancing your immunity during these stressful and uncertain times, please click here to request your personalized appointment with Dr. Eva.