In the current environment, boosting immunity and keeping strong and healthy is paramount. Whilst there is no magic pill we can take for steel immunity, there are some key “inside and out” measures that we can all easily take to ensure our immunity is supercharged, leaving our bodies more resilient to infection. Many of these recommendations are classic, tried-and-tested immune-boosting activities that we should all be engaging in, especially during the time of an infectious pandemic when risk is heightened.
Boost Your Vitamin C Intake
Firstly, ensuring you are eating an abundance of vitamin C rich foods will encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection. The body does not store vitamin C, so you want to make sure you are having vitamin C rich foods daily. Eating foods rich in this immune system bolstering nutrient is superior to taking synthetic vitamin C in the form of pills and tablets. This is because the body absorbs vitamin C bound in foods more effectively. Foods also have an amplified nutrient profile (more than their sum of parts) compared to taking a processed pill. Foods including berries, papaya, capsicum, kiwi fruit, spinach, broccoli and citrus fruits. For an extra boost, incorporating a natural vitamin C rich superfood powder daily is a fantastic way to receive a concentrated source of vitamin C in a 'supplement' form.
Don’t Forget Your Gut
Gut health and immunity are intricately linked with over 80% of our immune system being found in our gut. My approach to gut health is all about encouraging the growth of healthy gut flora and weeding out the bad guys. Fibre and polyphenols are a fantastic way to do this. Taking 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal, ensuring you are eating wholegrains, nuts and seeds daily, and supplementing with a gut health powder such as our Gut Replenish (which is rich in polyphenols) is a fantastic way to build your body’s resistance and immunity.
Sunshine promotes immunity! If you are not getting your daily sunshine dose of vitamin D, consider supplementing with 1,000 IU daily (or more under the guidance of a health practitioner).
B, B, Bounce!
B Vitamins, in particular vitamin B6, are key when it comes to supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system. B vitamins can be found in dark leafy greens and legumes such as chickpeas, so having something like a big bowl of kale, spinach and rocket along with chickpeas (or hummus) and walnuts with a squeeze of lemon juice and dash of balsamic vinegar can be a delicious way to get your B vitamins in and your immunity up.
Coconut oil is a hero in our skincare but one of the things that people do not know about coconut oil is that it can reduce the length of a cold or flu. Having 2 tablespoons of coconut oil a day is the perfect dose for getting to a virus before it takes hold.
Sleep More, Stress Less
Sleep deprivation can affect the production of infection fighting antibodies and cells. Ensuring you are getting quality sleep of at least 8 hours is key. Similarly taking measures to reduce stress will keep your immune system in check. The hormone cortisol can impact the body’s production of antigens which are fighting off disease. Taking the time to do breathing exercises (my favourite is Pranayama) or deep belly breathing daily to help ensure you are keeping stress levels down naturally. Mindfulness, yoga, walking, and any for of exercise you enjoy are also gold for this!
Ensuring that you are regularly washing your hands or using a hand sanitiser when water is not available is paramount to keeping germs at bay. Regularly wiping down desks, benches and surroundings is also critical.
Tea tree, eucalyptus and lavender oils all have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which are able to fight and kill harmful bacteria. Add them to your oil diffuser, pop them in your homemade cleaning products and use diluted versions of them on your skin.