Ways to Boost Immunity Resilience

Stress is defined as an organism’s total response to environmental demands or pressures. And as you know, emotional stress (seasonal affect disorder) and physical stress (chills, bugs…) are turned up during the winter. Are you armed to meet the moment? Let’s build your tool box, shall we?

{drum roll, please…} Ways to Boost Immunity Resilience

Sleep

Being asleep may seem like the ultimate form of inactivity, but those unconscious hours are actually a time of hard work for your body. Rudimentarily speaking, during sleep, breathing and muscle activity slows down, freeing up energy for the immune system to perform critical tasks. This is why having consistent, uninterrupted, deep REM sleep strengthens immunity, all year, but especially in the wintertime when environmental factors make your felt sense of well-being less a sure thing.

What can you do to get your necessary, and solid Zs?

Focusing on your habits, routines, and sleeping environment is known as sleep hygiene. 

1. Cultivate consistency. A consistent sleep schedule (number of hours, and when you got to sleep/wake-up) goes a long way to setting the stage for bodily and mental repair. For example, sticking to a strict 11pm–7am schedule, alone, is very supportive towards staying well. ★ Pro-tip: Seven to eight hours of sleep is still the recommended daily allowance.


2. Seek synchronicity.
 Sleep is one part of the whole rhythm of life and when that rhythm is disrupted, the biology becomes less efficient, and that inefficiency can lead to disease. Circadian rhythm, a metaphorical master clock in your brain, is directly influenced by environmental cues, especially light. One way to get right with your rhythm is simply to get outside and in sunlight during the day and avoid artificial light at night. Every day. ★ Pro-tip: A satin charcoal sleep mask creates an optimal environment for a dark, uninterrupted night's sleep.


3. Prioritize pre-sleep. 
Instead of making falling asleep your goal, it’s often easier to focus on relaxation. Relaxation techniques, including tai chi, herbal tea, and paced breathing, calm the mind and improve sleep while enhancing immune system function. ★ Pro-tip: A good night’s sleep is the natural result of a relaxed mind. An evening ritual of calming tea and dermal massage feels good —and does good.


4. Release resistance
. Pain, soreness and tension are no friends to a good night’s sleep. Relieving the body of aches signals your mind to follow suit. Psychologically and physiologically. The two work together in delivering the rest your body needs for recovery and vitality. ★ Pro-tip: A chill book and a magnesium bath is a sleep power-couple. Make it a thruple with the right CBD product (call the shop to find the right fit). 

 

Hydration

Our immune system is highly dependent on the nutrients in our bloodstream, WHICH! is made mostly of water. If we don’t have enough water, we cannot properly transport nutrients to each organ system. Staying well-hydrated is also very important for detoxification pathways, increasing lymphatic draining, and making sure we are clearing out any foreign invaders and other waste materials.

Not drinking enough water? Your immune system will suffer.

1. Respiratory woes. When you don’t drink enough water, excessive mucus builds up and produces a plethora of side effects in your body. The overproduction of mucus can form in the back of your throat, nose, and lungs. The mucus that is created is oftentimes thick and sticky which more easily attracts, contains, and quickly produces illnesses in the body and wreaks special havoc on the respiratory system. ★ Pro tip: In addition to more H2O, keep your breath flowing with a water + essential oil Diffuser. For respiratory support, use 10-20 drops of Clean Sweep, a blend of pine, lemon, and clove EOs. 


2. Inflammation again. Inflammation is a buzzword, but also… believe the hype. Inflammation is the cause of many chronic and acute ailments, and it for sure negatively affects our immune system's ability to do its thing. 

Hectic modern life is a major cause of inflammation as it often depletes us of the necessary minerals— disrupting our ‘inner ocean’ and compromising cellular function. This is why getting your daily dose of minerals is key to your ability to fight illness. ★ Pro Tip: Re-mineralization is critical, and a daily ampule of Seawater Electrolytes replenish + support cellular and electrolyte balance, sleep and relaxation, alertness, and the immune system (directly and indirectly).

 

Digestion

Humans have more bacterial cells—a lot more—than human cells. Bacteria live on the skin, in the nose and ears, and, most of all, in the gut. A huge proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI tract (70%!). In fact, there’s an abundance of interaction between your immune system and bacteria in the gut. Making nutrition key to immune function

The diverse array of bacteria and fungi that live in the gastrointestinal tract is called the gut microbiome— and are directly influenced by an individual’s diet and lifestyle.

The foods we eat affect the diversity and composition of bacteria in the gut, which in turn affect immune cells. Dietary diversity and microbial diversity go together.

1. Fermented Foods. healthy gut flora is key to a fully functioning immune system, and the benefits of fermented foods support your getting there. Packed with live probiotics (aka good gut bacteria), fermented foods have many microbiome-balancing benefits. Our pal, Herbalist Rachelle Robinett of Supernatural shares a simple recipe for her favorite Red Cabbage Sauerkraut on YouTube. And has great ideas for how to use it. ★ Pro tip: Eating the probiotic strains that thrive in naturally tangy foods (such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi) can boost your overall health.


2. Herbs
. In the video above, Rachelle mentioned the benefits of fennel for digestion, but a whole slew of herbs can support our gut biome and immunity resilience. When you need extra support, certain vitamins, supplements, tinctures, teas, etc. can come in handy. A lot of these products contain specific herbs that have been used for centuries for immune and health support. Powerhouse herbs to look for are: ginger, turmeric, basil, thyme, sage, cordyceps, reshi, astragalus, and peppermint. ★ Pro Tip: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, smooth digestion is connected to balanced spleen function, and to removing liver Qi stagnation. Smooth Digestion tonic is a collection of herbs that harmonize the stomach and disperse food accumulation, bringing you back to a state of well-being.


3. Pre, Pro & Postbiotics.
 Balancing the gut biome is key for proper digestion, weight loss/retention, skin vitality, and... the overall health of our immune system. A combination of 3 "biotics" takes care of the bacteria that is taking care of you. Pre-biotics nourish the probiotics, Pro-biotics (friendly bacteria) help you digest food and support immune response, and Post-biotics are pH balancing to support digestive function and whole health. ★ Pro tip: Today, due to stress, diet, and lifestyle factors, the ratio of good to bad bacteria (85:15) is very difficult to maintain— unless you supplement with high-quality probiotic support. We got you covered.


4. Fiber.
 The benefits of a high-fiber diet (consuming more fruits, vegetables, nuts and other fiber-rich foods) tend to result in lower rates of mortality and less chronic disease. Fiber is considered good for gut health, as microbes in the gut feed on fiber and use it to produce beneficial byproducts like short-chain fatty acids, which reduces inflammation… and we go round and round and round. ★ Pro tip: Foods high in fiber are found in all aisles of the market. Coix Seed, are ridiculously high in fiber (25 g) and are a gluten-free, complete protein, superfood, carb that everyone at Boketto is ga-ga for.

 

Movement

The human immune system is a well-coordinated network of cells and chemical components designed to recognize and destroy invading pathogens (e.g., viruses, bacteria, etc). Research studies have shown that a single bout of moderate exercise provides a positive boost to both the innate and the acquired immune systems. Each bout of moderate aerobic exercise instantaneously mobilizes millions of immune cells.

These cells, mobilized by exercise, are primed and ready for a fight as they patrol between circulation and tissues.

Note the word moderate. Moderate exercise is the best activity to do in order to boost your immune system. The ‘talk test’ is a simple way to gauge the relative intensity of exercise. You can talk but not sing while doing moderate-intensity activity. 

  • Walk 10,000 steps per day, briskly perfered
  • Take a hike at an appropriate pace and elevation
  • Dance: Play Music that makes you say ‘That’s my jam!’ Or try our Dance Playlist on Spotify.
  • Take a yoga class. Thumbs up: slow flow or Iyengar. Thumbs down: hot or vinyassa.
  • A pilates mat or machine class packs a punch
  • Try weightlifting with lighter weights and more reps

 

Mindfulness

Again, the immune system is comprised of organs, tissues, cells and cell products that all work together to fight harmful substances like the pathogens that cause infection and disease.

If our lives are greatly influenced by the hormones of stress, then the natural function of the immune system is suppressed, which leaves us more prone to illness or disease. Controlling stress can go a long way in promoting a strong immune system. 

1. Belly Breathing. According to The American Institute of Stress, 20 minutes of belly breathing each day will reduce stress and anxiety.

  1. Find a comfortable, quiet place to sit or lie down. 
  2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other hand on your belly, below the ribcage.
  3. Allow your belly to relax, without forcing it inward by squeezing or clenching your muscles.
  4. Breathe in slowly through your nose. The air should move into your nose and downward so that you feel your stomach rise with your other hand and fall inward (toward your spine).
  5. Exhale slowly through slightly pursed lips. Take note of the hand on your chest, which should remain relatively still.


2. Meditation
. We know that mindfulness techniques help manage stress and mood but research is also showing that meditation reduces inflammation & cell aging, and can boost antibody response.

Taking even just 5-10 minutes in the morning to meditate can change the pacing of your entire day—plus create the right environment for your body to take optimal care of itself. Our very own Oliva Yohai has a beautiful Meditation for Beginners video. ★ Pro Tip: The goal of meditation is not to not be distracted, but rather, a successful ‘sit’ is when you can gently move from distraction back to mindfulness with grace, and without judgment, as many times as need be.


3. Nature. 
Reduced sunlight can affect the body’s circadian rhythms (internal body clock), as well as drop Serotonin and Melatonin levels, which affect mood and sleeping, respectively. Getting out in the sunshine and fresh air, even if it is cold air, can help invigorate your health and spirit. ★ Pro Tip: When you step outdoors, layering is a tried-and-true strategy. Follow the rule of three: 1. Base layer (aka long johns): wicks sweat off your skin; 2. Middle layer (insulating layer): retains body heat to protect you from the cold; 3. Outer layer (shell layer): shields you from wind and rain

 

Recovery

Straight up, immunity resilience is a year-round practice. But what if you’re feeling not your usual self and want relief?  Of course, speak with your health practitioner, and the suggestions below cover both pre-gaming well-being as well as accelerating recovery. 

You don’t need everything listed (thank goodness), so if you have questions, ask! We’re here to help.

1. Reduce Inflammation. Your immune system becomes activated when your body recognizes anything that is foreign—such as an invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. This often triggers a process called inflammation—directed at truly threatening invaders to protect your health. However, when inflammation persists even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader, that's when inflammation can become a problem.

We add powders like Rose Open Heart to our Ceremonial Grade Matcha, both inflammation-reducing powerhouses. #iykyk Boketto’s Thai Massage features a sublime, immunity boosting Lanna Herbal Compress, and Pasha has now made them available to take home. 


2. Superfoods
. This is a buzzword, sure, but foods labeled as ‘super’ tend to be those loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that fight off free radicals (the buzzword for those is 'toxins') and help keep bodies performing optimally. Aim to consume berries, beets, goji, seeds, dark greens, dark chocolate, herbs, and other plant foods on a daily basis, as research has found those to be highest in antioxidant compounds. ★ Pro Tip: Foods such as olive oil, chia seeds, ghee, and avocado provide vital nutrients that help to fight infection.


3. Vitamins and Minerals.
 Vitamin C is well known for being crucial to supporting your body's defenses. Obtaining it through diet is easy, as the compound is found in many foods including citrus, bell peppers papaya and broccoli. Also Lipo-spheric Vitamin C is a Boketto favorite. Vitamin D is another compound vital to immunity, although much more difficult to obtain through diet alone. 2 pumps of Quicksilver’s Nanoemulsified Vitamin D3K2 ,daily, and you're good to go. 100% Seawater, Quinton Hypertonic, offers the minerals needed to help cell renewal and contribute to normal muscle and digestive functions. And speaking of digestion... we take Dr. Ohirra’s Medical Grade Probiotic for all that ails us—and preventatively. 


4. Supplements. 
Relying on a high-quality and diverse diet is the best way to prep your body for good health, but many of us have a difficult time getting the nutrients we need through food alone. 

Ingredients such as Manuka honey, echinacea, cordyceps, garlic, parsley, and reishi are regarded as having healing and antimicrobial properties.

A toast to your good health! Year-round.

Cover photo: Ugo Rondinone