Planning a vacay? While you’re packing suncreams and bikinis, spare a thought for your immune system; what with recycled aeroplane air and the challenge to your gut of eating different foods, it is well worth giving it a boost. Follow these 12 steps to strengthen yours…
Your immune system is probably the most important function of the body – it helps defend against disease-causing microorganisms, reduces swelling, repairs damage in the body, prevents injuries from worsening, and protects the body from external threats and assaults from the environment. But to function well it needs a balanced mind and all round healthy-living. Here are some lifestyle factors that will bolster yours:
Take a good dose of Vitamin C. Many scientific studies suggest that vitamin C can boost your immune system - but the problem is its lack of absorption as supplements are often broken down in the stomach and largely eliminated as waste. The A-List are going crazy for Altrient Liposomal Gel Vitamin C, which stays intact in the stomach and largely absorbed into the body and cells – where you need it most.
Pop probiotics. The majority of your immune activity takes place in your gut, as most of the threats enter via food and drink. Probiotics, or eating ‘live’ yogurt, will feed the healthy bacteria in your intestines, making them stronger and better able to fight diseases and infections.
Crush on garlic. Adding garlic to your food has been proven to directly benefit your immune system as it is loaded with powerful nutrients, including allicin – an antioxidant that helps to halt the spread of bacteria stopping infections.
Time for tea. Green and black tea contain an arsenal of antioxidants that will help to reduce pathogen activity in your body. Black tea in particular increases the production of interferon, which is effective at fighting viral infections.
Take an adaptogen. Adaptogens such as Maca root boost the body’s power of resistance and adapt to external conditions by working with the natural rhythms to help rebuild weak immune systems and re-mineralize poorly nourished bodies, increasing energy and stamina.
Love electrolytes. When the body is under stress, minerals can be depleted at a rapid rate, so a pinch of himalayan salt in your water will add natural electrolytes to your system.
Spice up your life. Strengthen immunity and reduce pain and inflammation by adding turmeric to your diet. The active ingredient curcumin fights free radicals that damage cell membranes and DNA.
Try the Hayo’u Method. Gua sha, an East Asian therapeutic healing technique, is proven to increase microcirculation by around 400%, reducing inflammation and increasing immunity in the process. To administer your own version, press and stroke the skin with a jade facial tool around the chest, focussing the movement towards your neck, until slight redness appears. This will enable the free-flow of circulation and assist detoxification by supporting the lymphatic system.
Cut back on the sweet stuff. Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after snacking on sugary treats, so reduce your intake for a healthier system.
Laugh out loud. Chronic stress leads to an over-production of adrenaline and cortisol, two hormones that devote all of your body’s energy to physical performance (the fight or flight response). Too many of these hormones suppresses the immune system, so make laughter part of your day to curb the levels of stress hormones in your body and boost a type of white blood cell that fights infection. And it works more quickly than you’d think - just anticipating a funny event can have a positive effect on your immune system.
Spend more time in the sunshine. Vitamin D helps your immune cells to produce the chemicals needed to fight illness and pathogens, and can reduce the risk of auto-immune disorders.
Add some exercise. Exercise improves the lymphatic system, which eliminates toxins, viruses, bacteria, cholesterol, and foreign microbes and keeps your immune system working well, which means the more exercise you do, the fewer sick days you will have.