The immune system is a complex network of cells and protein that defend the body against infection and illness. When your immune system is strong and well, it protects your body from germs, viruses, and bacteria. However, if you are bombarded with symptoms of a cold, feeling run down and lethargic, that may indicate you need immune support.
Here’s an interesting fact…your immune system looks after you by keeping a strict record of each past illness, bacteria etc. that it has ever fought against and won. That way if the same germ enters the body again, it is quick to respond, destroying it. This is how you stay well and healthy and why it is imperative to support your immune system.
Thankfully there are ways in which you can increase and support your immune system, and they may not seem as intimidating as you think. Here are some tips and techniques to help you and your family start.
Building a Healthy Immunity
- One of the simplest ways to support your immune system is by walking. Research shows that a sluggish immune system can be reversed by walking three times a week for 20 minutes. This wakes up the sleeping cells, thus potentially increasing your immune system. Remarkably, an increase in white cell count is found to be higher in people who regularly exercise, which means your body has a better chance at fighting off any illness.
- A diet review is also something to consider. By eating foods rich in antioxidants such as fruit and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, and legumes, they can boost your resistance. Consuming high amounts and regular intakes of refined sugars, alcohol and drug use drag your immune system down. It’s best to eliminate them, or begin a reduction so you can ease into a new healthy lifestyle. Microbes love sugar, they feed off it like termites do with wood, destroying healthy organisms that protect your immune system and gut which is where a lot of your healthy bacteria thrives. Your Naturopath can assess and address the health of your gut and bacteria and also prescribe specific probiotic strains that have been shown to boost immunity and reduce the risk of catching a cold.
- Sleep. Do you get enough sleep? Did you know that your body uses sleep as a means to heal and repair? But what can you do to increase your sleeping hours? Before bed remove mobile and technical devices as the blue light stimulates your nervous system. Herbal teas such as chamomile may help you wind down. Meditation and herbs that calm and soothe can be useful also. All of these suggestions are aimed to reduce your oxidative stress so you can get a better night’s sleep, which will support your immune system. Talk to us about other alternatives.
- Stress can also be an additional factor and is often overlooked as a valid reason why the immune system may be lacking. You can remedy this by taking a moment to breathe and collect your thoughts. Breathing techniques, essential oils, herbs and getting out in nature are all ways to assist you to relax and reduce stress. Therapies such as Bowen Therapy and Remedial Massage are additional ways to let go of the stress.
To discover which specific nutrients you may be lacking and what supplements you need to help your levels, speak to one of our Naturopaths today.