1. Choose the right foods
The body works holistically and we get many important vitamins and minerals from a wide range of foods groups, therefore we shouldn’t ever be eating anything in isolation. However, there are some foods that have extra powerful immune boosting properties, some of our favourites include – garlic, ginger, kiwi fruit, cinnamon, manuka honey (high grade), shitake mushrooms, oregano and anything green!! These foods all have antibacterial or antiviral properties which are essential for boosting the immune system. Mention vitamin C and many of us reach for the orange juice when in fact kiwi fruit provides approximately twice the amount of vitamin C that oranges do. Last but not least, greens – we all know how important they are so we need to get them into our diet, especially if we are feeling low and in need of an energy boost.
2, Move your body
Getting regular exercise is a great, natural way to support the immune system. Working up a sweat helps to remove any excess toxins being stored in the body. It also improves circulation and may help in flushing out bacteria from the lungs and airways. Exercise also slows down the release of stress hormones which can protect against illness.
3. Reduce stress
When we are stressed our body produces hormones in order to help us cope with the situation. Adrenaline and cortisol make our hearts beat faster, pupils dilate, we become alert and ready to deal with the stressful situation. However, when we over produce these hormones due to being in a constant state of stress, our bodies become depleted, exhausted and our immune systems become low. Exercise, meditation and eating the right foods all contribute to lowering stress levels.
4, Reduce sugar (yep that includes alcohol)
Sugar and refined carbohydrates can really deplete our immune system. They are often the first things we reach for when feeling low on energy and vitality. High levels of sugar affect the body in a complex way between hormonal, metabolic and immunologic processes. Sugar can reduce the performance of white blood cells which in turn reduces out capability to fight infection. The body also responds to sugar by producing cortisol which is one of the stress hormones. When our cortisol reserves are depleted it can leave us suseptible to colds and viruses.
Let your body get all the rest that it needs. Having just the right amount of good quality sleep is vital. It allows the body to carry out all of it’s important overnight repair work without giving it the additional stress it gets during the day. Create a calm and peaceful sleeping environment. Switch off your phone or move it to the other side of the room, make sure that the room is pitch black and read something gentle and soothing rather than a complex novel so that you are not stimulating your brain and engaging in too much hardcore activity just before you nod off.