Your immune system is literally at the forefront of your health and as we come into winter, most people are looking at ways to boost their immunity in order to avoid being stuck down with the flu. Here are my top tips for boosting your overall immunity.
Stress leaves your susceptible to illness. Studies show that stress results in a delayed antibody production and increases our vulnerability to viruses and bacteria. This explains why a lot of people I talk to become ill due to over working themselves or after they have suffered an emotional upset. Managing your stress levels through relaxation, meditation and down time are all extremely important for your health. Self love is not a luxury, its a must. Try to keep your schedule reasonable, don’t over commit and be sure pen in some ‘down time’ each and every day.
Stop consuming inflammatory seed oils.
Oil from seeds and grains that require chemical extraction, bleaching, degumming and deodorising are not healthy! Consumption of these oils causes systemic inflammation and damage to our cell walls. This is really not good. Read my post here for all the details.
Remove toxins from your life
Cigarettes, alcohol, additives, preservatives and chemicals such as pesticides are all toxins that must be processed by your immune system. BPA in plastics, chemicals in your personal care products and non stick cookware are also among the most common culprits that place an unnecessary burden on the lymphatic system. As your body is busy trying to process, eliminate and repair the damage these are causing, it has less time and resources to remove infections and viruses.
Use movement to flush your lymphatic system
Moderate exercise is a very effective method of flushing toxins from the body. Your lymphatic system is there to filter and remove pathogens and other irritants from the body, but this system of veins and arteries doesn’t utilise the heart for pumping, it relies on our skeletal muscles, gravity and movement of our diaphragm as we breath. So the best way to boost a sluggish lymphatic system is to get moving! You can also practice deep breathing or try the Legs Up The Wall yoga pose.
Identify and eliminate food allergies
Are you listening to your body? Do you really take notice of how it reacts to the foods you are eating? Food allergies and intolerances are a growing epidemic. When you constantly ingest foods that cause undesirable reactions (think: inflammation, allergies, aches, constipation, acne, headaches, bloating) then you are constantly putting your immune system into overdrive. At some point, it will wear out and you will become ill.
Get 7-8 hours of sleep
I don’t care how busy you are, getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night is more important than your to do list. Seriously, getting enough sleep is very very important for both your physical and mental health. It should be a non-negotiable.
Support your immune system when its compromised
If you have fallen ill, you can support your immune system by consuming lots of fresh garlic which contains allicin, a compound which is antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Iron is essential for immunity so be sure to consume liver, beef, oysters, sardines, spinach, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas. Echinacea is an effective herbal lymphatic cleanser. Red capsicum and kiwi fruit are higher in Vitamin C than oranges! Add these to your daily meals to get a good dose of this important antioxidant. Zinc is another very important mineral when it comes to immunity. And last but certainly not least, probiotics should be taken to help maintain a healthy gut microbiota – don’t underestimate the healing powers of the gut!