Immune Health and how to Improve it Naturally
Your immune system is the most effective way to avoid contracting any infectious disease. Create the right internal environment and your immune system can flourish in these troubling times.
Firstly, work on your digestive health as this one of your body’s strongest immune defenders. Research suggests that healthy levels of probiotics stimulate immune function. You can build healthy GUT bacteria levels through consuming fermented foods and coconut water kefir on a regular basis.
At the same time, stop killing your good microbes with alcohol, coffee, sugar and processed foods. Even synthetic hormones have been shown to reduce the quantity of beneficial bacteria along with antibiotics.
Stress is the number one immune suppressant followed by sugar. Exercise is an excellent stress release and exercise is beneficial for your immune function as well. Don't be afraid to venture outdoors to get some fresh air and exercise. A little warning however is excessive exercise can actually drop your immune function.
Sleep. Make sure you are getting enough of it. Good quality sleep has an impact on our hormonal health, mental health, brain functions, digestion, metabolism, and immune system. It also helps reduce inflammation and promotes energy restoration! When we sleep our body goes into this pro-inflammatory state to once again detoxify, revitalze and fight off any nasties to get you back to where you need to be. HENCE - why sleep is SO important.
A pro-tip is to have your Happy Greens before bed. This little tip is getting rave reviews from ladies within our Happy Healthy You online community. For more tips on how to get a good night's sleep click here.
Antioxidants. Plant based antioxidants in particular have a positive influence on immune function. Turmeric is the most well known and also has an anti-inflammatory effect so its a good one to increase in your diet or you can use Happy Turmeric which has the added probiotics. Having a vegetable juice everyday is one way to ensure your antioxidant levels remain high.
Vitamin C is probably one of the most well known and effective immune enhancers. Stress and a poor diet and lifestyle deplete vitamin C levels. Citrus is a good source of vitamin C and including some of the rind helps to boost bioflavonoids which amplify the effect of vitamin C. High dose vitamin C is also beneficial in times of illness to reduce recovery time.
Capsicum, melon, citrus, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, broccoli, tomatoes, cabbage, leafy greens, berries, and pomegranate are the best foods for vitamin C. The bodies Vitamin C storage capacity is quite small. The best way to keep your immune system strong is to have Vitamin C rich foods in every meal. Or take smaller supplement doses throughout the day.
Zinc is another immune system nutrient which is often lacking. Alcohol, sugar, coffee and stress also deplete zinc. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are a good natural source of zinc and zinc is readily available in health food stores and is inexpensive.
Herbal medicines are excellent for immune support and can act as immune-modulating, anti-bacterial and antiviral support. Turmeric helps inhibit virus entry into the cells, Astragalus increases defence of incoming viruses, Elderberry is a strong antioxidant which helps defend against viruses, while Echinacea is strongly anti-viral and helps support the bodies defence system. Liquorice Root, on the other hand, has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, while Olive leaf extract is an immune rebuilder and defender of incoming viruses.
Garlic is one of the best natural antibacterial and antiviral foods, helps to strengthen white blood cells, Oregano is excellent for respiratory viruses, Ginger helps to stimulate the immune system and finally Medicinal Mushrooms (Chaga, Cordyceps, Lions Mane, Maitake, Reishi, and Turkey tail) have a large bank of scientific research indicating their ability to modulate the immune system and enhance it’s defence mechanisms when needed.
Green superfoods. Spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, wheatgrass, barely grass, alfalfa grass all provide readily available nutrition. At the same time they keep your blood flowing correctly and reduce platelet aggregation. Platelet aggregation comes from dehydration and not eating enough fruits and vegetables. Platelet aggregation inhibits immune function as the white blood cells cannot migrate as quickly as they should.
General Nutrients for Viral support. Vitamin D is a necessary component for helping to rebuild the immune system, Vitamin A protects upper respiratory mucous membranes and lining, Selenium is an excellent immune defence and Iodine is one of the strongest viral/bacterial defenders.
Essential Oils can help protect you from bacteria and viruses (making your own sprays is great). Eucalyptus, clove, grapefruit, cinnamon, tea tree, lemongrass and frankincense should be your first choice. Making a mixture of the above and spraying them on surfaces and inhaling them can assist in preventing and treating immune infections.
Diet and Lifestyle. Our immune systems are extremely dynamic and susceptible to what we eat and how we treat our body. Within hours of consuming sugar your immune system starts to weaken. The best way to build long term immune health is to make the conscious effort to improve dietary and lifestyle choices. It can be very easy to fall off the wagon; however we have just the solution for you.
Our new Lisa Curry Happy RESET program is the ideal way to revitalize your entire system. This 28-day structured dietary and lifestyle program is designed to create the ideal internal environment for your body to flourish. A nice ‘side effect’ is you will also lose weight if your body needs the shift. As the saying goes, “you wont get healthy when you lose weight, you will lose weight when you become healthy”.
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