Strengthen Your Immune System With 4 Simple Strategies

 

Strengthen Your Immune System With These Expert-Backed Tips - CNET

Having a healthy immune system and being able to fight off colds and flu is not a case of good or bad luck or genetics.

Your health and immune system are entirely in your hands, and as we are heading into a nasty flu/covid season, we recommend that you take a proactive approach to your health and immunity.  

Here are four things you can do right now to improve your immune system.

Before we dive into the tips, did you know that 70 to 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut? It makes sense when you think about how infectious pathogens such as viruses and bacteria might get into our bodies. Our skin forms a very effective barrier to the external world, so that leaves only 3 main avenues for bacteria and viruses to get in.   

  1. through cuts to the skin barrier,  
  2. breathing them into our lungs,
  3. entering our gastrointestinal system through the mouth.  

If you look at children and the way that they explore the world, they literally put their hands on everything and then their hands go straight into their mouths. The gastrointestinal system is the main way that we are exposed to environmental pathogens, which is why so much of our immune system is located in the gut.

Our immune system’s health is directly related to the health of our gut, so we want to insure that we support both of these as best as we can, and the best way to do this is by choosing the right foods to eat. 

1 — Diet

Boost your immunity

To keep your immune system healthy, you need to get good nutrition. Ideally, you’ll get everything you need from your diet, but sometimes supplements can be helpful. If you suspect that your diet isn’t cutting it, think about taking a supplement that is clinically proven to support your immune system ( such as vitamin D & C, zinc, or curcumin).

Add ginger, garlic, or turmeric to your meals and ensure your meals are colourful.

We say “eat the rainbow.”  Make meals that are colourful—think stir-fries, salads, and casseroles. This way, you get all the vitamins and minerals you need and don’t miss out on any important ones. Different colours have different concentrations of vitamins and minerals, and this is the easiest way to ensure your diet is providing everything that you need for a strong immune system.  

2: Digestive health

Importance of good gut health - EducationWorld Health & Nutrition

Your digestive tract acts as your primary security checkpoint. When it is in good shape, it not only allows the good things in (such as vitamins and minerals) but also keeps the bad things out ( like viruses and bacteria). There are a lot of things that can affect your gut health and, consequently, your immune system, from the foods that we eat to stress to infections.

Reducing your intake of alcohol will help increase your immune system, in addition to the following foods:

  • Natural yoghurt and other sources of probiotics such as Keffir
  • Pickles and kimchi are examples of foods that have been cultured and fermented.
  • Vegetables, especially those that have been germinated, such as mung beans and alfalfa sprouts,
  • Foods that are soothing to the digestive tract include almonds, coconut oil, figs, parsley, and prunes.
  • An increase in dietary fibre, including more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains ( not processed white grains such as white bread and white pasta),

3 – Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is important for your immune system, and regular sun exposure is one of the best ways to get it. However, that is tough right now in Melbourne, so consider a vitamin D supplement after getting your levels checked by your doctor.

4 — Exercise

Strengthening Exercises You Need to Include in Your Routine - GOQii

Regular exercise is a great way to improve your health, including the health of your immune system.  Regular physical exercise has been shown in studies to lower the frequency, severity, and mortality of viral infections. Exercise not only stimulates the movement of immune cells throughout the body during physical activity, but it also increases their presence for up to three hours afterwards. This gives the immune system additional time to identify harmful invaders and prevent illness.

These are simple but effective strategies to help strengthen your immune system this winter.

 

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