Back to basics: Foundation wellness and your immune system

Taking note on foundation wellness

Foundation wellness is an excellent way to support your immune system, in order to thrive and live your best life. No matter how fast-paced your lifestyle, you deserve a calm, quiet moment to give yourself a little daily nurturing. By focusing on the pillars of foundation wellness, you can ensure your immune system is always in fighting form.

What Is Foundation Wellness?

Foundation wellness encompasses the intake daily required nutrients necessary for optimal wellness — from vitamins and minerals, to probiotics and essential fatty acids. Any nutrient the body requires on a cellular level is part of foundation wellness. Nutritional needs can be met by eating the right combination of foods and incorporating supplements, when necessary. Foundation wellness also encompasses a healthy lifestyle habits such as sleep, regular physical movement, and properly functioning digestion.

What Are the Benefits of Foundation Wellness?

The benefits of foundation wellness are numerous, leading to optimal health, well-being, and vibrancy. Let’s take a look at the different pillars of foundation wellness to better understand their benefits.

What you eat. What you eat can have a profound impact on your overall wellness. A diet that is filled with vitamin- and mineral-rich foods provides the various systems of the body with the nutrients necessary to maintain energy, health, and vitality. Supporting the body’s natural detoxifying organs such as the liver, kidneys, and skin can easily be achieved with optimal dietary and supplement choices.

What you eliminate. Keeping your bowels functioning properly ensures that food is digested properly, and its nutrients ultimately absorbed. Your bowels also serve as the body’s waste system, and by giving your body the necessary materials to keep things running smoothly -- namely fiber and enzyme-rich foods -- you’re helping to rid the body of what is no longer necessary, to promote overall health.

How you sleep. Researchers the world over continue to discover the numerous benefits of sleep. Sleep is when your body and your mind have a chance to rest and repair on a cellular level, and without enough of it, or enough quality sleep, your health can begin to suffer. Disrupted sleep is a major contributor to hormone imbalances, skin issues, weight gain, and even a weakened immune system. Whether you’re not sleeping well due to stress, your schedule, or another factor, prioritizing sleep is a key component of foundational wellness.

How you move. Studies show that regular exercise can have a beneficial effect not only on your mood and stress levels, but can help boost your energy, metabolism, and your immune system. Movement doesn’t have to be boring or intense to be beneficial -- you can move in a way that feels good to you while still nourishing your body, mind, and soul.

Always remember, lifestyle habits are just as important as what goes into your body when it comes to building a strong foundation of wellness.

Why Focus on Foundation Wellness?

Focusing on foundation wellness leads to lifelong health and vitality, giving you the ability to tackle your daily to-do list, fight off illness, and age gracefully. A healthy foundation of wellness is key to supporting the immune system and thriving in your day-to-day life.

How to Support Your Immune System Through Foundation Wellness

To support foundation wellness, let’s again focus on the pillars.

What you eat. Good nutrition lights the spark to thrive in all of us, no matter who we are, what our age is, or where we live. Ensuring your diet is as varied and as colorful as possible will help ensure that you’re getting as many essential nutrients as possible. Prioritize whole foods, and limit packaged foods whenever possible. Eating at regular intervals throughout the day keeps blood sugar levels stable for sustained energy. Supplements can also help support a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Ensuring consistent nutrient intake nourishes the body at a cellular level, giving you the energy you need to tackle the day.

What you eliminate. Getting enough fiber, as well as promoting healthy gut bacteria will help keep bowels moving so you can eliminate waste products. Support your body’s detoxifying organs by regularly consuming foods such as cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens, lemon, beetroot, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, and parsley. Supplements such as probiotics can help support intestinal health and contribute to healthy gut flora. Some research suggests that our gut microbiome helps regulate our immune system.

Sleep. Sleep plays a strong role in a healthy immune system, and there are many ways you can support healthy sleep habits. First, having a regular sleep routine is essential. Go to bed and get up around the same time each day. Devote at least 7 hours nightly to uninterrupted rest, whenever possible. Having a routine you complete before bed can help signal the body that it’s time to sleep. Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed, as they have been shown to disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms. Keep your room dark, quiet, and only use the bed for sleeping or sex. Try meditating for 10 minutes before bed as a way to help yourself unwind and prepare for sleep. If your thoughts keep you up at night, keep a notebook by the bed to ‘dump’ your thoughts in order to rest easier.

Movement. Getting in daily movement doesn’t have to be difficult. A brisk, daily 10-minute walk on your lunch break or after dinner is all it takes to benefit the body’s immune and other systems. Strength training a few times a week has also been shown to improve blood flow -- especially to your body’s detoxifying organs -- which can help benefit the immune system. Finally, lower-impact movements such as tai chi or yoga can improve relaxation and stress levels, having a positive impact on the body’s immune response.

By nurturing your good habits to create a strong foundation of wellness, you can help set yourself up for lifelong health and vitality, with an abundance of energy and strengthened immune system.

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