Edible Bozeman

Enso’s house-made Nourishing Heart Tea composed of organic Chinese herbs helps soothe anxiety and promote relaxation. This helps anchor the spirit, calm the mind, and let our body find a more balanced parasympathetic state.

How to boost your immune system this cold and COVID season

Winter is traditionally seen as a time to reflect on our lives and the year we leave behind. Because of the nature of 2020, for many this reflection will revolve around health. In order to aid this reflection, Edible Bozeman sat down with holistic health experts at the Enso Natural Medicine clinic to get their advice on how to stay healthy this winter.

Dr. McKenzie Mescon, a naturopathic physician at Enso, says there is a spectrum of COVID-19 symptoms that range from mild to critical. “One of the issues in severe COVID-19 cases is that your immune system can end up working against you, rather than for you, by progressing to an excessive inflammatory response,” she explains. “More advanced stages of infection can lead to need for hospitalization.”

Your immune system is your first line of defense against illnesses like the flu and COVID-19. Boosting immunity gives your body a better chance at fighting off these viruses.

Karen Mitchell, a certified Integrated Nutrition health coach, says diet has a role to play in immunity. She stresses the importance of eating a well-rounded diet, reducing stress, and talking with your physician about supplements. Vitamins and minerals can be immunity heroes, and Mitchell says the best way to get these nutrients is through diet. “I typically only use supplements as a fill-in. I always go to the food level first,” she says, adding that it’s beneficial to eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies each week.

Self-care and stress reduction are crucial to maintaining a strong immune system. Laine Gallegos, a certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, echoes the importance of a well-rounded diet, while also encouraging individuals to reduce stress and consult their physicians on the best course of action to boost their individual immunity.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine place emphasis on whole-body health. In Chinese medicine, the winter is considered a Yin season. This means that winter is a season to look inward, nourish our bodies, and reflect on our health.

Chinese medicine views the body as having emotional and spiritual components to each season of the year. During the winter, Gallegos recommends doing less intense physical activity and more introspective, nourishing self-care. She also suggests eating nourishing foods such as root vegetables, broths, soups, and teas. Gallegos mixes individualized herbal blends for her patients, and Enso sells her pre-mixed formulas in-clinic.

Health is individualized and the practitioners at Enso make it clear that taking stock of your own health is one of the most important steps to improving it. Take time to decompress, de-stress, and create a well-rounded diet. Lastly, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment with a professional regarding your immune health. Individualized prevention is the most effective way to better your health and immunity.

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