Six Ways to Boost Mental Health and Immune Function

By | March 30, 2020


As the world experiences a wave of mandatory social distancing measures, we thought it would be useful to list a few ways to boost both your immune system and mental health:

1. Eat Healthy Foods

Eating a healthy diet is common sense for overall well-being. While no single food will magically fend off illness, certain nutrients can help protect your body from billions of bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Some nutrients and foods that support healthy immunity include:

  • Garlic, turmeric root, ginger root
  • Mushrooms – shiitake, maitake, reishi, lion’s mane
  • Active omega-3 fatty acids (EPA + DHA), found in salmon, tuna, and other cold-water fish
  • Zinc-rich foods, like oysters, crab, grass-fed lean meats and poultry, and chickpeas
  • Selenium-rich foods, such as broccoli, sardines, tuna, Brazil nuts, and barley
  • Vitamin C-rich foods, like guavas, kiwis, bell peppers, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, oranges, papaya, broccoli, pineapple, cantaloupe, mango, tomato, kale, and snow peas
  • Vitamin E-rich foods, including sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, hazelnuts, spinach, Swiss chard, butternut squash, kiwis, broccoli, and rainbow trout

2. Get Quality Sleep

Quality sleep stimulates the immune system, while sleep deprivation can raise the stress hormone cortisol. Required levels of sleep do vary among people, but most studies indicate adults should try to get an average of 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Those with a compromised immune system should get even more sleep.

3. Increase Vitamin D

Vitamin D is crucial for healthy immune regulation and inflammatory response. Failure to get enough vitamin D can lead to health problems and other mental and physical difficulties. If you aren’t getting 10 to 30 minutes of direct sunlight each day, supplementing with at least 2000 IU of vitamin D3 is a good idea.

4. Be Physically Active Each Day

Getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity daily will increase your blood circulation and can help strengthen your immune system. The increase in circulation improves delivery of nutrients to your bone marrow, spleen and other organs of immunity. Better circulation also helps clear waste products from the body and transport hormones that keep the immune system alert and active.

5. Stay Hydrated

Hydration is key to the functioning of all our organs including those of the immune system. Every organ system in the body needs adequate hydration to function properly. Water helps cleanse the body and remove toxins. By keeping your body systems well-hydrated, you allow them to work optimally so they can maintain healthy immunity.

6. Practice Stress Reduction Daily

Take a 5 minute break when you can.  This short guided videos can help:

Guard your self-care time. It keeps you healthy.