Boosting your immune system may seem difficult. It is important to implement a number of strategies all year round to protect yourself from the Flu and getting sick.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is key to a strong immune system. This means making sure you eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats from sources like avocados.
A healthy diet can help ensure you're getting plenty of the micronutrients that play a role in maintaining your immune system, including:
- Vitamin B6, found in salmon, chicken, tuna, bananas, green vegetables.
- Vitamin C, found in citrus fruit, including oranges and strawberries, as well as spinach, broccoli and tomatoes.
- Vitamin E, found in sunflower seeds, almonds, peanut butter and spinach
If you are short on time, my go to for an immune boost is a breakfast smoothie. You can mix it up, but this one takes 2-3 minutes tops.
Immune Boosting Smoothie
· 1 Naval orange
· 1 large handful of kale
· 1 banana
· ½ avocado
· Coconut water
· Blitz – you are hitting goals
Physical activity isn't just for building muscles and helping yourself de-stress — it's also an important part of supporting a healthy immune system.
One way exercise may improve immune function is by boosting your overall circulation, making it easier for immune cells and other infection-fighting molecules to travel more easily throughout your body.
Engaging in as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day helps stimulate your immune system. This means it's important to focus on staying active and getting regular exercise. Simply strategies are walking, you do not need to run if that’s not for you. If you like the gym, enrol in a fitness class. It’s best you find what works for you, as you are more likely to stick to it.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Water plays many important roles in your body, including supporting your immune system. A particular fluid in your circulatory system called lymph, which carries important infection-fighting immune cells around your body, is largely made up of water. Being dehydrated slows down the movement of lymph, sometimes leading to an impaired immune system.
How much you ask? 8 glasses of unmixed water every day. If you are not used to drinking this much, then slowly increase. Initially, you may need to pass urine more until your body adjusts. But hang in there, the benefits are enormous.
When increasing water intake, you will need to ensure ¼ table of sea salt each day, no more. Salt is required for your cells to uptake water across the cell membrane. A magnesium supplement would also be beneficial. The more water you drink, can deplete essential minerals in the body.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep may not feel like an active process, but there are plenty of important activities happening in your body when you're not awake. There are important infection-fighting molecules are created while you sleep. Your body burns fat while you sleep as well, that’s a topic for another day…
Studies have shown that people who don't get enough quality sleep are more prone to getting sick after exposure to viruses, such as those that cause the common cold.
Whether it comes on quickly or builds over time, it's important to understand how stress affects your health, impacting your immune system. During a period of stress, particularly chronic stress that's frequent and long-lasting, your body responds by initiating a stress response. This stress response, in turn, suppresses your immune system — increasing your chance of infection or illness.
Stress can affect everyone differently, and how we relieve it as well. Given the effect it can have on your health, it's important to have go-to strategies to deal with stress. Whether it's deep breathing, mediation, prayer or exercise, you should also get familiar with the activities that help you reduce stress.
If you regularly catch public transport, work in an office, childcare, then providing your body with extra support is always good. For extra support, you can take echinacea, vitamin C and zinc to boost your immune system.
I do not recommend mega doses of vitamins C. However an all round supplement is beneficial such as BioNaturals Elderberry with Echinacea, Zinc and Vitamin C.
If you're looking for ways to help boost your immune system, consider adopting an overall strategy is always best and incorporate lifestyle habits.