Shields up, the crazy, hectic, holiday season is approaching!
Getting sick multiple times per year is not a constant. Even if you come into contact with bacteria and viruses, getting completely floored by them is not a necessary consequence.
Following the Reboot Immune Protocol you can boost your immune system and avoid 99% of bacterial and viral illness — and if you happen to get sick, you’ll be relieved to see that you can completely overcome the symptoms 80% faster than your peers. A rebooted immune system makes you virtually sick-proof.
Boost Immune System Performance With The Reboot Immune Protocol
Building and maintaining a bulletproof immune system requires that you adhere to a few basic principles. Are you ready to be sick-proof?
Be Anal About Getting Probiotics
The vast majority of your immune system is housed in your gut, which contains both beneficial and harmful microorganisms. When the ratio of harmful to beneficial organisms gets out whack, your body suffers. In the worst circumstances, this can lead to leaky gut where toxins and other invaders are leached through the lining of the gut and into the blood stream wreaking havoc on your body, causing systemic inflammation, disease, and making you sick (colds, flu, etc.)
Bolstering your gut with beneficial microorganisms is key to maintaining gut health, stabilizing immune function, and reducing systemic inflammation.
While this list is in no particular order, probiotics should absolutely be the number one priority. You can get probiotics through fermented foods like Sauerkraut and Kombucha, algae such as spirulina, or through supplementation. While I do eat some fermented foods, I prefer to get my probiotics through daily supplementation. This way I know I’m covered regardless of the food I have access to that day.
Whole Foods (and now Amazon) sells a coconut water Kefir called Inner-Eco that is one of the most powerful probiotics I’ve found with something like one trillion cultures in a tablespoon or two. It’s my top pick and I take a tablespoon daily.
Eat Bone Broth a Few Times a Month
I know, I know, you’re thinking to yourself, what kind of caveman bullshit is this? Soup made from bones?
That’s exactly what it is, and it’s freakin’ legit. Bone broth has a ton of health benefits from providing essentail vitamins and minerals (Bone broth provides our bodies with bio-available forms of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and other trace minerals that are so lacking in our diets today) all the way down to joint health, but I’ll save all that for a future article. Let’s just focus on bone broth’s immune enhancements for now.
We talked about how important probiotics are for gut health — well, gelatin is important too. If you think of your immune system as a screen door you can see the importance: a screen lets the outside air in — the stuff you want to enjoy — but keeps the pests out. Your gut works the same way, letting the nutrients through while containing and eliminating the bad stuff. Gelatin helps insure that your gut lining — your screen door — doesn’t have any holes in it.
Bone broth is loaded with gelatin.
But that’s not all, bone broth also helps minimize toxicity as it contains glycine which aids liver function. Your liver is responsible for cleaning toxins out of the body and with the food and environmental issues we’re subjected to on a daily basis, it needs all the help it can get.
Drink bone broth once to twice a week for a bulletproof immune system. If you can’t get your hands on it that often, at least make it a priority to get it a couple times a month. You can make your own pretty easy or buy it.
Avoid Sugar and Grains
If you’re following the Reboot Nutrition Protocol then you’re already naturally limiting sugar and you’re not eating any grains. But I had to put them in the list because people don’t understand exactly what these things do to their bodies (aside from making them fat or exacerbating inflammation and other disorders). Many people will say, grains don’t bother me so I’m fine to eat them. Not really, Jack.
Even if you’re not Celiac or grain intolerant in terms of noticeable side effects, grains still wreak havoc on your gut. This in turn wreaks havoc on your immune system: Gliadin negatively impacts gut permeability and gluten causes gastrointestinal symptoms in subjects without Celiac disease.
Wheat is even worse with it’s damaging lectin, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). WGA stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemical messengers (cytokines) in intestinal and immune cells, and has been shown to play a causative role in chronic thin gut inflammation. WGA has a lot of other nasty side effects (including being a neurotoxin), but we’re just dealing with immune system disorder right now.
Note that WGA research is still coming along and there are many people who would argue that WGA is benign. But, I know how I feel when I eat wheat and I’ve seen the huge impact on many other people. I’m not taking my chances.
As for sugar, let’s just start out with this. Aside from feeding some types of cancer, sugar also feeds the harmful bacteria in your gut. Additionally, simple sugars, including glucose, table sugar, fructose, and honey caused a fifty percent drop in the ability of white blood cells to engulf bacteria.
Decline the Flu Shot
I don’t have much to say about the flu shot, except that I think millions of people clamoring for a cocktail of unknown toxins (mercury and aluminum included) mixed with last year’s virus (that has now mutated for the current season) that has a less than 50% effectiveness rate and the potential to give you the exact illness you’re immunizing against is coocoo for cocoa puffs.
As a general principle, decline almost everything the government tells you that you must buy from Big Pharma. It’s almost always for money, not health. In this case, it’s almost certainly not good for you or your immune system.
Thanks to the fitness industry, the majority of Americans don’t have a lack-of-exercise problem, they have a chronic exercise problem. While they may lack long-term consistency, when they’re motivated they’re generally approaching chronic levels of exercise.
Open your Groupon and you’re bound to find lots of choices for Boot Camps (the new craze). These programs typically invite people to work out for 45 minutes four to five days a week at pretty high intensity. That’s too much — both too long and too often. And it’s because people haven’t been told the truth about exercise and body composition.
What that level of exercise amounts to is stress — after all, that’s what exercise is at its most basic level. Acute stress is not an issue and nothing the body can’t handle. It’s even beneficial. But the law of diminishing returns is pretty clear in this area.
Overtraining has been shown to affect blood levels of important neurotransmitters such as glutamine, dopamine and 5-HTP, which can lead to feelings of depression and chronic fatigue. The stress caused by intense, excessive exercise can negatively affect the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, possibly causing conditions such as hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is known to cause depression, weight gain, and digestive disfunction along with a variety of other symptoms. As we know, high stress in general can cause symptoms of hypothyroidism, and the stress caused by excessive, intense exercise is no exception.
Another major effect that extreme exercise has on our bodies is an immediate increase in cortisol, the hormone that is released when the body is under stress. Chronically high levels of cortisol can increase your risk for a variety of health issues, such as sleep disturbances, digestive issues, depression, memory impairment and reduced immune function. Excess cortisol also encourages fat gain, particularly around the abdomen.
The implied ramification of all of this is completely compromised immune function. Scale it back, gym rats.
Reboot Your Schedule & SLEEP
Not only are we chronic exercisers in America, we’re chronic overschedulers. We’re busy, busy, busy. And we’re dying from it.
If your schedule doesn’t have plenty of time for you to sleep a lot, tinker with hobbies, play with your kids, vacation, and enjoy life then you’re dying a little bit each day. Overworking is not just stressing people out, it’s actually killing them. And in the meantime, it’s making them sick. If you want a bulletproof immune system, you must reboot your schedule and your outlook on work and life.
During the holiday season, force yourself to retire to the bedroom an hour earlier than normal. Due to increased stress, weight gain (half of annual weight gain occurs during holiday season), reduced access to natural Vitamin D exposure, and so on, your immune system needs all the help it can get.
“A lot of studies show our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived and inflammatory cytokines go up. This could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu,” says Diwakar Balachandran, MD, director of the Sleep Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Sleep your way to a bulletproof immune system. You’ll be more productive too.
Load up on Vitamin D3
The best way to ensure proper Vitamin D levels is to get plenty of full body sun exposure. The problem is that it’s winter my friends — I highly doubt you’re out in the snow naked collecting all of that Vitamin D your body desperately needs. Deficiency in vitamin D is associated with increased autoimmunity and an increased susceptibility to infection.
There’s a double benefit here too. Ever heard of the “winter blues?” It’s also called Seasonal Affective Disorder. You don’t have to experience the symptoms of full blown SAD to just be a little bit down on yourself and additionally stressed. Vitamin D deficiency has a huge impact on mood (it’s the only vitamin that’s a hormone) and stimulates the release of (dopamine/serotonin).
A large percentage of the population is already D3 deficient heading into the winter. That’s no bueno! Start supplementing. This is especially important for all my dark skinned friends out there 🙂
It may benefit you to supplement with a few other things as well. Make sure you check out the Reboot Supplement Protocol.
Ditch The Hand Sanitizer
Most hand sanitizers contain a chemical called Triclosan. We could debate the health impacts of this chemical all day, but just know that it’s possible that Triclosan does harm to you (it affects hormone regulation in rats). It’s also possible that Triclosan makes bacteria more resistant.
I know that’s not an overly compelling argument, but when combined with the following statement, it’s a good enough reason to ditch the hand sanitizer: “At this time, the agency (FDA) does not have evidence that triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.”
Why take the risks of having hormone fluctuations and making bacteria stronger when you can just use soap and water? Convenience? Let me remind you that “convenience” is linked to almost every reason for why we’re dying and dysfunctional. Find a sink.
I have to make sure you understand an important point: Having a bulletproof immune system isn’t about following a few tips for a few weeks. If you truly want to sick-proof yourself, it requires a holistic approach year-round. But, by following the advice in this article you stand a really good chance of not getting sick. And if you do end up sick, you’ll likely see a huge decrease in severity and an increase in recovery time.
Stay healthy, my friends.
Founder of Rebooted Body and host of The Rebooted Body Podcast. Kevin helps men and women finally get a body and life they love with his unique blend of real food, functional movement, and psychology. To work with him personally, choose a program.