The best place to start building your immune system is with the gut.
“Prevention always trumps intervention,” says Laura Korman, DC, DACBN, and owner of Korman Relief & Wellness Center in Port Charlotte, Florida. “We don’t want to wait, hope, and cross our fingers that we don’t get the flu; we want to be proactive and build our immune systems.”
What are the offenders?
“80% of our immune system is formed in the gut. We want to get the gut healthy,” explains Dr. Korman. “We need to determine what is decreasing the health of our immune system; what are the offenders? We want to get to the bottom of that!”
“Sugar and processed carbohydrates in our diets are, by far, the biggest offenders, and they actually decrease your white blood cell count, leaving less of your own army available to fight those invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells. Getting rid of those processed carbohydrates means eliminating the juices, sodas, cookies, cakes, popsicles, crackers, etc.,” advises Dr. Korman. “We need to do a ‘reset’ and eliminate, or reduce, the inflammatory, toxic, and chemical-laden foods and drinks from our bodies if we want to restore and optimize our health.”
Dr. Korman further explains that, “another factor in our decreasing immune systems is our sleep, or lack of it. We stay up late on computers, e-readers, phones, video games, tv, etc., and are missing our sleep! It’s particularly important that we get enough sleep.”
We can strengthen our immune system!
An excellent way to boost your immune system and heal your gut is to enjoy flavorful and healthy bone broth! Bone broth is great for many reasons!
Bone broth is much healthier than consuming a can of chicken & noodle soup. Your healthiest choice is Organic Bone Broth. You can find this at your grocery or health food store. Look for it near other soups and broths. Verify that the label clearly says Organic BONE Broth. It can be chicken or beef, but BONE broth is different than just “broth”.
According to Brian Korman, of Korman Relief & Wellness Center, “we have gotten away from collagen building proteins by eating only the flesh of an animal, instead of eating from the ‘tip to the tail,’ that is, eating the whole thing, including the organ meats, and cooking with the bones.” Dr. Laura Korman adds, “The bones carry collagen-building proteins which are not only healing for our gut, but also for our joints, skin, nails and hair! Those proteins are very healing for the gut and are full of minerals, as well, which we tend to be deficient in.”
Another gut friendly food option is fermentation of veggies and the making of kombucha, both healthy, fun ways to care for your immune system, especially at this seasonal time of year when illness and viruses loom.
Dr. Korman advises caution about finding so-called “fermented” products at the grocery store. “Fermented veggies are hard to get from a grocery store. Sauerkraut, for example, is hard to find, truly fermented, at the store, because they basically just add vinegar to it and call it sauerkraut. It is then pasteurized and sterilized. So, while it may taste good, it does NOT have those beneficial probiotics in it. By making it at home (it’s very simple to do) you end up with an array of these fermented probiotics that you can consume and have multiply in your colon for a natural army against invaders.”
You can also consume probiotics in supplement form. The important message here is to avoid choosing just any probiotic off the shelf of the grocery or drug store. “More times than not, these products just would not be viable,” says Dr. Korman. “When you actually consume the probiotic capsule and swallow it, it is important that it gets down to your gut and multiplies after you swallow it, that’s where you want it. I don’t care how many millions or billions of strains of the bacteria the probiotics have, according to their label. What matters is the amount that multiply and get to your colon! Go to a local, reputable health food store, or chiropractor’s office,” Dr. Korman adds, “where getting a high quality probiotic is really your best and safest bet.”
One of the best nutrients for a healthy immune system is vitamin D, and we can get that naturally by sun exposure. Vitamin D should probably be first on your list to optimize your immune system. Because most people are indoors this time of year and not getting enough sun, many probably need to supplement with Vitamin D.
Have your blood levels tested to see how high of a quantity you might need. Typically, anywhere from 2000-4000 international units of Vitamin D is considered safe, but Dr. Korman always recommends that patients get their blood levels measured because everybody is different when it comes to absorbing sun, and actually, your skin’s ability to make vitamin D!
Another good thing to consider would be Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a wonderful anti-oxidant and is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is a misnomer that Vitamin C only comes from oranges or orange juice, rather it is also found in many vegetables, such as bell peppers, parsley and herbs. If you are eating a good array of above-ground veggies, then you are getting plenty of Vitamin C.
“You want to take continued steps to strengthen your immune system so the next time the cold, flu and other viruses come around, your immune system will be more equipped to fight those viruses off!”
Dr. Laura Korman, of Korman Relief & Wellness Center, accepts patients who care about their health and are willing to take control of their health destinies. She is a Diplomate of the American Clinical Board of Nutrition and has over 600 post doctorate classroom hours in nutrition.
Dr. Korman can meet with you remotely or at her Port Charlotte, Florida clinic. Please visit Dr. Korman’s website at www.drlaurakorman.com to learn so much more about so many things!
Laura R. Korman, DC, DACBN
Korman Relief & Wellness Center
16954 Toledo Blade Blvd
Port Charlotte, FL 33954