Let’s be honest there has never been a better time to skill up on how to boost your immune system naturally using the powerful medicine that is simply good nutrition. Your immune system may already be weakened or compromised so this is when it is a top priority to get a nourishment plan. We are most vulnerable when we are stressed, taking antibiotics, already battling illness or part of an ageing population. Here are some easy ways of topping up the strength of your natural defender.
Adopt a healthy lifestyle
Following general good-health guidelines like no smoking, low alcohol and healthy eating are the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy.
Eat a balanced diet
A strong immune system is the basis of good health, as will help you fight off disease and recover more efficiently. Time to stock up on a variety of foods that provide a natural abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Immunity food superheroes include garlic, onion, ginger, manuka honey, turmeric, berries, dark leafy greens, citrus fruits and bone broth.
Look after your gut
You have probably heard the famous Hippocrates (The Father of Medicine) phrase ‘all disease begins in the gut’ and he was onto something here as over 70% of the entire immune system is located in the digestive system. So, it makes complete sense that when we want to improve the immune system, we need to definitely consider nourishing our already overactive guts with anti-inflammatory foods, prebiotics and probiotics
Drink plenty of fluid
Especially cold and flu symptoms like runny noses and sweating increase the amount of water your body loses; dehydration might occur if your fluid intake is not increased. Drink water, teas, soup, broths and homemade icy poles. Remembering caffeine and alcohol dehydrates the body.
During a time of low immunity, you can consider adding supplementation to your habit regime to booster your nutrient profile. Supplements to consider are zinc, vitamin c, vitamin d and pre/probiotics.
Lower stress levels
Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship between mind and body. We are now starting to accept that many health complaints like nausea, stomach upset, hives, high blood pressure and even heart disease can be linked to the effects of emotional stress. So, get to that yoga class, write in that journal and download that meditation app!
Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. Regular exercise increases cell production, improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, improves circulation, helps control body weight, lifts mood and protects against a variety of diseases.
It can be all too easy to get caught up in the speed of life, always putting more on your plate and actually forgetting to slow down and take time for yourself until that once a year vacation. Rest, including sleep, is absolutely vital for a healthy immune system. Put very simply, sleep helps to heal.
Get some sun
Lack of sun can cause a deficiency in vitamin D which is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as increased susceptibility to infection. There have been many studies associating lower levels of vitamin D with increased infection and autoimmune diseases.
Yup, it raises the levels of antibodies in blood as well as white blood cells. So, invite over your funniest best mate or pop on a comedy!