There are some many wonderfully effective ways to boost your immune system naturally. In my blog, Coronvirus Update: How to Boost Immunity I went through some of the recommended hygiene practices but here I’d like to talk to talk about immunity in general, and how we can boost it effectively, to remain feeling at our best.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
We all know the impact of stress on the body in general and the immune system is no different. Allowing anxiety and fear to creep in under the current environment is understandable, however it is so important to address and balance this.
Some really useful tools to incorporate daily are:
Breathing – belly breathing, diaphragmatic breathing, yoga breathing, almost all breathing techniques act to slow us down and take us out of the flight and fright response. Unless we are truly in danger, this heightened anxiety response does not serve us well.
Yoga Nidra – a guided relaxation technique. I will add a Yoga Nidra to the website later this week, but there are many you can access online.
Meditation – try adding in just 2 – 5 minutes a day to begin, then build from there. A stillness meditation or a walking meditation are good places to start.
Mindfulness – such a wonderful tool, mindfulness can be practiced throughout normal daily activities and brings us back into the present.
Grounding – a great practice to start the day, taking only a couple of minutes. Stand barefoot outside in the sunlight and fresh air. Stand tall in mountain pose, your head held high to the sky, your feet grounded to the earth. Combine with deep breathing and mindfulness if possible, or set a positive intention for the day ahead.
Stay positive by surrounding yourself with uplifting influences as a balance to the hysteria. Write a gratitude journal and consider this as a time to also reflect, create time and space, regroup, re-evaluate and become more connected globally.
Did you know sugar can reduce your immune system’s activity? Reducing refined sugars and processed foods and filling your diet with colourful vegetables, fruits, good clean protein sources including fish and legumes, lots of fibre to feed the microbiome, and fermented foods will significantly improve your health in numerous ways.
Add garlic, ginger and turmeric to your foods. Make a batch of hearty chicken or vegetable soup. Sip on a lemon juice with manuka honey and warm water drink in the morning, or start with an immune punch with apple cider vinegar with horseradish.
There’s no better way to rejuvenate and recharge reserves in the body than good sleep. Aim for quality hours before midnight and a relaxing winding down, unplugged period before bed.
Simple but important for detoxification and the respiratory system, the first line of defence to viruses. Having dry mucous membranes in the nose and throat such as when you fly or are dehydrated can be avoided by keeping up your water intake.
Aim for 2 litres a day. If you do fly, use a saline or essential oil nasal spray.
Get some circulation and oxygenation moving as well as the release of feel good hormones with some exercise daily. Try a gentle walk, a bike ride, swimming, trampolining with the kids, yoga, Zumba or dance. Anything that you enjoy will be easier to make a habit.
Supplement with Immune Boosting Nutrients
As well as improving the intake of nutrients through diet, supplementing with Vit C, Zinc and Vit D is especially helpful. We know that many of us are deficient in these minerals, zinc especially is a difficult mineral to get through food sources alone in Australia.
Certainly, add pumpkin seeds to your diet and get some sunlight, but everyone would benefit from supplementing with these nutrients at this time.
Anti-bacterials don’t help viral infections, specific antiviral and immune support is needed. As there is little available from a pharmaceutical approach, herbs come into their own with a long, evidence-based history of use.
I like the combination of Olive Leaf extract, Andrographis, Echinacea and the Medicinal Mushrooms. The extract of Shitake mushroom (AHCC) is being given to health practitioners in China exposed when treating patients with COVID-19.
For an individual prescription, please respond to this blog post by email and I can recommend a tailored product that suits you to be posted to your home or work.
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene provides the best defence against viral infections.
- Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, coughing into your elbow, immediately disposing of tissues and using alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- If unwell, seek immediate guidance from a medical professional
You may be advised to isolate yourself from the general population for up to 14 days to stop viral spread, and slow down or flatten the curve of exposure.
While it’s frustrating, and many people still need to continue working from home, if you find yourself at a loss, try focusing on activities that can help the community from home, or plant a veggie patch, play music, journal, listen to podcasts, watch TED talks, create - paint, draw or sew, read a good book, cook or take up an online course.
Above all stay happy and healthy.
Play and Laughter
Laughter is the best medicine! It’s certainly known to have a wonderful impact on our health. As we spend more time at home, try to bring in laughter and playfulness, time with children is great for this but sitting down to a comedy flick is perfect too.
Seek out the positive and playful. Connect with others online, especially our elderly to brighten their day too.