CHICO, Calif. -- It's the holiday season, and this Thanksgiving, most people engaged in activities that can lower immunity, like eating a lot of sugar, drinking alcohol in excess, in addition to experiencing increased stress due to the holidays.
Dr. Rand McClain, an expert in restorative and regenerative health and the Chief Medical Officer of LCR Health, shows us how Thanksgiving traditions and habits could be harmful to our immune systems and what we can do to get our immune systems back on track and stay healthy.
Here are a few of his suggestions:
1) Adequate sleep – Aim for regular sleep – 7 – 9 hours nightly and during roughly the same
period (ex. 11p – 7a each night rather than at varying times, especially as occurs with
2) Daily exercise – Anything is better than nothing but ideally a minimum of 30 minutes, 3
times per week of effort that amounts to brisk walking. 5 – 6 times per week would be
even better, and efforts of an hour each time would be even better. However, more
than that is not necessarily better.
3) Proper nutrition – This includes staying hydrated, eating a balanced array of whole, non-
processed foods, and spending the time to find what diet works best for you (one diet
does not fit all). In addition, avoid overeating. Most people eat more than is necessary
for good immune health. Keep sufficient fiber in the diet to maintain regular bowel
movements and a healthy gut microbiome – now considered a major factor in
maintaining healthy immune function.
4) Modulate and avoid excess stress – Breathing exercises and other methods (eg,
meditation and yoga) of reducing stress (and excess cortisol levels) can help keep the
immune system functioning at its best.
5) Avoid excess alcohol consumption and smoking – both known to have negative effects
on immune function.