“How can I boost my immune system?” It’s one of the most common questions we get asked at D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition. Although it feels like the answer should be bigger or grander in some way, our answer remains exactly the same through the years: Follow The Blood Type Diet, focus on beneficial foods and be extra careful to stay away from Avoids.
Over 40% of the immune system is located in the digestive tract, so what you eat is your number one defense against lurking germs and viruses. Your blood type is the key to your body’s entire immune system and eating right for your type is one of the best tools to improve immunity and support the body's defense against disease. If you don’t already follow The Blood Type Diet, now is the time to get started!
Of course, there are other steps you can take as well, including proper exercise, sleep and supplements. In this blog, we outline 10 ways to boost your immune system effectively and naturally.
Natural Ways to Boost Immunity During Stressful Seasons
1. Eat more Beneficials
Focusing on the foods that are most advantageous for your individual blood type, AKA Beneficials, can go a long way towards helping reduce inflammation, balancing the immune system and lowering the stress load on the body. These blood-type-specific superfoods can have a positive and direct impact on the state of your health and overall well-being.
You may remember reading about the 80/20 rule. You know, the one where your diet should be comprised of 80% Beneficials. Well, if immune support is your goal, focus on upping that 80% to as close to 100% as possible. Foods that are beneficial for your blood type help to reduce inflammation and help reduce the stress load on your body so that your immune system can work its magic.
2. Remain vigilant about not eating Avoids
Sure, everyone strays once in a while. “What’s the harm in one little cheat?” you might say to yourself at your best friend’s wedding or a family gathering.
When boosting your immunity is of utmost importance, you really have to remain alert. Watch out for temptations, recognize them and then let them be. Reach for a beneficial food instead, reminding yourself of its immune-boosting benefits. Remember that Avoid means avoid it.
3. Download The Blood Type Diet App
Stress levels are high enough. Don’t go at it alone. Use all the resources available to you to help make meal planning and preparation as easy as possible. The Blood Type Diet App keeps all of your food lists at your fingertips and makes shopping lists for multi-blood-type families a breeze.
4. Keep a food journal
When we get busy or experience stressful times, keeping a “normal” schedule is challenging. And that goes for eating as well. Without that structure, it can be hard to remember just how many Beneficial and Neutral foods you’ve consumed throughout the day. Keeping a journal of what and when you eat is an easy way to keep yourself on track. Read more about food journaling here, and get a free printable chart to get you started.
5. Reduce alcohol intake
A glass of wine may be enticing, but avoiding (or reducing) alcohol is actually a gift to yourself. Alcohol can act as an immune suppressant, and since the goal is to boost immunity, it’s best to avoid it if you can.
6. Exercise Right 4 Your Type
Moderate exercise can both help reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regularly regenerate. But all exercise is not created equally. Just as different foods react differently to blood types, so do different types of exercises. While intense exercise plays a key role in lowering stress for Type O individuals, Type As do best with low impact relaxation-based workouts like tai-chi and yoga. Learn more about how to best exercise for your blood type.
7. Get adequate sleep
Sleep and immunity are closely tied. Inadequate or poor-quality sleep is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you’re having difficulty falling or staying asleep, try limiting screen time for at least an hour before bed. Going to bed at the same time each night is also helpful in establishing a natural sleep-wake cycle.
8.Keep stress low
Long-term stress promotes inflammation and can cause imbalances in immune cell function. Because stress and immunity go hand in hand, it’s important to focus on both in a way that complements the other. Try practicing stress management strategies that work for you, whether that is meditation, going for a walk or calling a friend. Read more about keeping stress at bay during challenging times.
While eating right for your type is the best way to boost immunity, adding select supplements may also be beneficial. When it comes to strengthening the immune system, there are a few standouts that provide excellent immune support for every personalized nutrition plan.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is well known for its immune system support and is probably one of the top supplements you think of when considering immune-boosting supplements. Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s personalized multivitamin, Polyvite, contains vitamin C plus other vitamins and nutrients to help support blood-type-specific needs.
- Vitamin D: This essential vitamin both strengthens immunity and helps prevent overactive immune responses. While many vitamin D supplements use the D2 form, D3 is recommended as it is the natural form that your body makes from sunlight. Phyto D 2000 contains vitamin D3, which is biologically "ready to go" to fulfill its role of supporting healthy bone formation and immunological signaling.
- Elderberry: Native Americans and European herbalists have long used elderberries, the fruit of the Sambucus tree, for a range of health benefits, including boosting the immune system to help the body fight off colds, flu and other respiratory infections. Our Proberry 3 Liquid and Proberry Caps feature elderberry.
- Chinese Skullcap Root: This herb, a member of the mint family, contains Baicalein, an antioxidant that supports healthy digestive function and helps strengthen the immune system. Dr. D’Adamo’s latest formulation ImmunoSynergy harnesses the power of this botanical while ensuring its proper absorption and action with herbal, nutraceutical and probiotic synergists.
For more information on supplements that are right for your blood type and health goals, please visit Vitamins & Supplements.
10. Incorporate extra protection when needed
While diet, supplements and exercise are important to keeping your immune system performing at its best, there are some simple everyday strategies that offer extra insurance against illness and can give you peace of mind during cold and flu season.
- Carry antibacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer: At home, it’s easy to wash your hands frequently, but visiting public spaces such as retail establishments, restaurants, outdoor recreation spaces and gas stations may be more challenging. That’s why having a stash that goes with you is a solid strategy. While wipes are no substitute for soap and water, they can provide a temporary stopgap until you have access to a sink.
- Wear a mask in public if at higher risk: Masks can both help protect the wearer from becoming infected while also protecting others. While using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections, it may offer extra protection when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
Boost Immune System Health with The Blood Type Diet
Following these simple steps to boost your immune system can go a long way towards keeping you healthy. And if you do get sick, a healthy immune system may cause your symptoms to be milder and shorter in duration. There’s never been a better time to focus on a personalized nutrition plan with The Blood Type Diet.
Since nearly half of our immune system is located within our digestive tracts, it should come as no surprise that our first line of defense against germs and viruses is what we eat. And spoiler alert: it’s not the same for everyone.
Your blood type offers a genetic blueprint to better understand your metabolism, your digestive processes and yes, your immune system. Following a personalized nutrition plan specific to your unique blood type is the single best tool in your immune support toolbox.