Our immune system. Key word there is “our.” This system depends on us, and the sun, but mainly on us. Here you will find a list of nine simple yet possible ways of improving your immune system. Building this up, for our line of work, is necessary because we never know who we will encounter, where we will be, or what we will be exposed to while on the job. You and I might as well do what we can, to give our bodies a fighting chance. So here is the list, and I challenge you to stay consistent.
Juuuust before I get to it, a bit of a disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. You make your own decisions. Please consult a doctor and/or read the directions on supplement labels. If you turn blue because you drank too much colloidal silver, it is not my fault. Ok, you get the point. Time to dive in and stay well!
- Spinach and Kale
You are not a little kid anymore. There is no spoonful of sopping, steamed spinach being “airplaned” to your mouth, so do your best to shake off that traumatized feeling when you hear these words, because it does not have to be that way. There are plenty of ways to sneak these items into your diet and/or dress them up that will satisfy even the pickiest of palates. Plus, I can confidently state that that spinach and kale will give you a clearer mind and a much less sluggish body than that giant cookie you impulsively groped for by the gas station coffee pots. Guilty as charged!
So go ahead and treat your body to these nutritious immune building foods. Cookies just treat the mind for maybe thirty seconds.
I could write an entire book as it relates specifically to the importance of exercise for law enforcement folks. There are so, so, so many ways to exercise. Some of the ways to exercise are wrong and many of them right. There is honestly no excuse to not commit to at least a moderately challenging program.
The good news is this: just twenty minutes to an hour on alternating days will be enough to maintain a healthy fitness level if you actually push yourself.
Zinc (and magnesium) are vital for immune system function, thyroid function, muscle performance, and more. Zinc is a trace mineral which means that not a lot is needed, and if you take in too much, it’s not a good thing.
Zinc can be found in, wait for it, spinach! It can also be found in red meat, almonds, cashews, and more. There really is not an excuse to not get zinc in your body to help it out.
- Vitamin C
Yes, Vitamin C is especially helpful for immune protection, growth and development. It also holds many applications for adults of all ages, including continued immune support and even dental health.
It is still vital for you to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin C, and not just in a seasonal way. Taking Vitamin C should not be seen as a temporary treatment to fend off illness, but a permanent practice to maintain overall health.
I like to take Solaray Buffered Vitamin C as a supplement to my diet. You can order it online. Just a suggestion.
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D is vital in immune system health, bone density, gut health, and more. Yes, I mentioned gut. Your gut is crucial to your health. That is a book or twelve in and of itself. Darn it! I digressed!
In addition to sunlight, you can still source Vitamin D from food, although this will be an uphill battle from the start if you hardly ever go outside. Vitamin D can be found in egg yolks, beef liver, salmon, mushrooms, and other foods. In the case of Vitamin D deficiency, you are likely to experience skin problems, energy level problems, immune system deficiencies (which manifests in about a hundred other problems), and more. The best practice to ensure adequate levels is to simply get an annual checkup and/or have a blood test taken for Vitamin D and other nutrients.
- Herbal Tea
Are you still reading this?! I know, tea sounds very warrior like, right? Not at all. It would be hilarious if the SWAT commander told the team to show up for the next warrant briefing with a glass of tea.
If you are like me, and put health over being joked about, tea is something that is highly recommended to stay in your routine, or be introduced to it. Yeah, I’ll drink it!
All kidding aside, law enforcement can be very stressful nowadays. Why refuse an effective countermeasure to the stress? Tea aids greatly in creating a sense of calm, improving digestion, fat burning/detox, and much more.
Here are some teas you can easily find at the grocery store, or on Amazon: Chamomile, turmeric, green, ginger, and peppermint.
- Colloidal Silver
Admittedly, we have approached a bit of a fine line. I am compelled to tell you that the FDA does not recognize that colloidal silver is beneficial in any way, but that does not mean the substance is harmful.
Yes, there are risks involved with taking any non-FDA-regulated supplement (and even regulated ones), but the lack of regulation just means that more research is required. To be frank, it could mean that it is not politically advantageous for the FDA to go down this avenue at this time (I mean, just look at CBD).
Either way, there is a growing body of evidence affirming the health benefits of colloidal silver. It has been shown to boost the effects of antibiotics, and it facilitates immune function when you are not sick as well. Colloidal silver is indicated for a vast field of conditions, and in my case, greatly alleviates problems like colds.
It has been a popular staple of grocery store end caps and commercial spots for some time now, but that does not mean elderberry is not the real deal. In fact, this is one of the few over-marketed health “gimmicks” that does actually work in more ways than one.
In his YouTube video entitled “Elderberry vs Illness – Does It Help?” fitness and nutrition expert Thomas DeLauer breaks down several of the life-affirming qualities of elderberry products. He cites a study conducted by the Journal of International Medical Research to validate his claims. This is what the study said, per DeLauer’s video:
In a group of 60 patients aged 18-54 who were suffering from influenza-like symptoms, 15 ml of elderberry syrup administered 4 times a day for 5 days showed improved symptoms in 2 to 4 days (as opposed to 7 to 8 days for the control group).
I do not know about you, but I like to recover at a quicker rate, when I get sick.
You probably saw this one coming from a mile away, and for good reason. Sleep is absolutely imperative for more reasons than one – especially in law enforcement. You may be able to muddle through a shift in the cubicle with less-than-optimal sleep however unpleasant it may be to you. In our world though, the stakes are much higher.
Here is how: get a handle on your distractions, turn off all your electronics at least thirty minutes before bed, stretch, and actively remind yourself that you are not in danger. You are off work, you and your family are safe, and it is okay to shut down. These methods will work together to facilitate your brain’s production of melatonin and other helpful sleep chemicals. This means more deep and consistent sleep, which also means:
- Mood disorder prevention
- Renewed motivation
- Short-term and long-term memory preservation
- Renewed ability to focus
- Decreased workload for the heart and other organ systems
- Immune system repair
WE NEED SLEEP!
There you have it. Nine affordable, practical, and important ways to help your immune system. Is it imperative during this COVID pandemic? Yes, it is, but we face many other threats to our immune system It is a great thing we know what we can do in order to build it. Now the next time you have to go into a house where you can see the bugs crawling up the walls, your body will be ready for battle against the germs, bacteria, so on and so forth. If you want to learn more about physically wellness and fitness for duty, you can get my book, “101 Health Tips for Police Officers.”