If the past year has taught us anything, it's the importance of our health and wellness. Having (and maintaining) a healthy body is dependent on a strong immune system and vice versa. We want our body to fight off viruses, pathogenic bacteria, and parasites without launching an immune response to things like pollen and foods like dairy, nuts and gluten.
There are many ways that we can naturally support our body and help to build a strong and healthy immune system.
1. Eat nourishing, whole foods
Whole foods provide our immune system with the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs for optimal function. On top of this, did you know that up to 75% of your immune system is located in your gut? So, whatever serves your gut health, also serves your immunity. Win-win!
We know that processed, refined foods are damaging to the gut lining, and pro-inflammatory. On the other hand, fresh, whole foods support the health of our gut, and in turn, boosts our immune system.
2. Get your 8 hours sleep
Sleep is essential for our wellbeing, both mental and physical.
You know when you get sick, and you just want to sleep all day? That's your body trying to get you into a state where it can undertake repair processes to help you recover.
Routinely getting to bed by 10pm is a good way to keep our hormones in check - particularly the hormones that control our immune function.
If you are looking for extra sleep support, Deep Sleep provides a nourishing blend of nutrients and herbs to wind down and support your precious sleep and Magnesium Restore can help your body and mind relax.
Read more: The Importance of Sleep
3. Boost your nutrient intake
Adequate nutrient levels are essential for a strong immune system. Here are a few key vitamins, minerals and nutrients that particularly support the immune system
- Zinc: this acts as a cofactor in over 200 enzymatic reactions in the body - many of these are part of the immune function. Found in oysters, red meat, beans, nuts and whole grains.
- Vitamin D: sometimes thought of almost as a hormone, it helps to control the immune response in the body (an autoimmune response is the result of an overactive and unchecked immune system reaction. Read more here). Found in sun exposure, oily fish like sardines, egg yolks and small amounts in mushrooms.
Vitamin C: master nutrient for supporting immune function. Found in capsicum and kale, and fruits like citrus kiwifruit, tomatoes, and berries (especially strawberries).
- Selenium: vital mineral for building and fuelling the immune system. Found in brazil nuts, whole grains, turkey, chicken and fish.
- EPA and DHA: these essential fatty acids work as anti-inflammatories in the body. Found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines.
4. Stay hydrated
As the temperatures get cooler, we tend to reach for our water bottles less often. However, it's still important to make sure we're keeping our fluids up as our immune system functions best when well-hydrated.
Keep your water bottle handy and opt for more warming beverages such as herbal teas and hot water with lemon. Find out how much water you should be drinking here.
5. Practise relaxation techniques
Stress is one of the biggest compromises of the immune system. This includes physical stress, environmental stress, and mental or emotional stress.
Meditation, mindfulness, and legs up the wall are three means of letting your nervous system know it is safe and can relax. When we send the message to our nervous system that we are relaxed - every system in our body can function better, including our immune system.
Prefer to watch? Check out our live chat with Ben Warren, where he discusses stress and its impact on immunity.