You may think of your heart as separate from your immune system, but in reality, they have no choice but to be inextricably intertwined. And it’s a good thing for you that they are.
The blood coursing through your body is supercharged with immune cells that are totally devoted to you. Even your blood vessels have their own specialized department within your overall immunity. It’s a package deal that is dedicated to keeping you as lively and healthy as possible, as long as you feed it the right kind of information.
Feed It the Right Kind of Information?
What does that mean — “feed it information”? Everything you do, eat, experience, sense, and feel is information for you and your brain, heart, and all those immune cells zooming around, hard at work protecting you. If you feed them healthy information through how you live, they can stay well trained to respond to your every vital need.
Yet, as growing piles of medical studies are beginning to show, conflicting information from how you eat, sleep (or don’t!), rest and exercise (or don’t!), and get along with other people and your environment eventually reflects in whether or not your immunity has what it needs in order to handle all the challenges it faces from your busy life.
So what kind of living information feeds the strongest partnership between your immunity and your cardio function? This team depends heavily on a few crucial things that are well within your power to change for the better:
- Count how many hours it is from your first calorie of the day to your last, and if it’s over 12 hours, try to find ways to hold it down to 9 or 10 hours instead.
- Include plenty of omega-3 fats in your diet — they are the only fats your body really needs. Most of us don’t get enough omega-3s, though we tend to get plenty of non-essential fats! Supplements are a great way to top up these marvels that aid immune balance.
- Try to stop consuming caloric foods and beverages at least 3-4 hours before bedtime, and aim for 7-8 uninterrupted hours of sleep in a cool, quiet, dark area that’s free from distractions.
- Enjoy regular — and sometimes vigorous — physical activity. It’s an excellent trainer for all those immune cells, while keeping your circulation strong.
- Perhaps most important is to keep your diet centered on fresh produce, especially foods that are grown nearby and change with the seasons, if possible. Why? Because these plants have grown under conditions more like those in your life, and their immune experience can directly benefit your own.
For a Deeper Dive
If you like personalized health tools, you might also consider using a device to monitor your HRV (that’s Heart Rate Variability), because it can clue you in to things that positively or negatively impact your heart and immune power.
And here’s a related science article that details how fresh produce — especially foods rich in immunity-building plant nutrients like quercetin — helps protect hearts and circulation. What’s really interesting is that many of these events actually take place in what we would call the immune system!