6 Simple Ways To Boost Your Immune System
Featured on the Over Sixty Website, posted Sat Sep 3, 2016. Written by naturopath and nutritional consultant with Australis Natural Health College, Stephen Eddey.
When we think of boosting immunity, it is usually in the lead up to cold and flu season. The trouble is, it can often be too late by then. A better approach is to aim to keep our immune system strong throughout the year so that we’re not as vulnerable to illness when the seasons change.
Follow these tips to increase your immunity not just in winter, but all year around.
1. Sweat regularly
Exercise boosts your heart rate, which helps to remove toxins from the body and improve circulation of immunity boosting white blood cells. Aim for moderate physical activity on most – preferably all – days of the week to reap the health benefits- even getting out of the house for a brisk walk is better than nothing.
2. Swap sugary snacks for fruit
Craving a chocolate bar or a sugary treat? When you have a hankering for something sweet, choose a vitamin C-rich piece of fruit instead, such as an orange, grapefruit or even a pineapple. The sweetness of the fruit will give your body the pick-me-up it needs and the vitamin C and antioxidants will help to support your immune system, leaving you less susceptible to colds and flu.
3. Try olive leaf extract
Fresh-Picked™ Olive Leaf Extract is a powerful antioxidant. It’s known for its capacity to combat free radicals that tend to weaken our immune system, making us more susceptible to catching cold and flu. Fresh-picked Olive Leaf Extract is traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to support the immune system and general wellbeing.
4. Go outside
Vitamin D helps to regulate the body’s levels of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential minerals needed for bone and teeth development. It also assists with healthy immune function, helping to stave off diseases and speeding up recovery. Vitamin D can be taken as a supplement or found in some foods, but the easiest way to boost your body’s vitamin D levels is to spend around ten minutes in the sunshine every day. Just make sure that you are avoiding damaging UV rays in the middle of the day by aiming to head out in the morning or late in the afternoon.
5. Let go of stress
It may be easier said than done, but managing stress is crucial for a strong immune system. Tension and stress wreak havoc on the body and may result in symptoms such as weight gain and even cardiovascular disease. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a walk in the fresh air or practice meditative breathing techniques.
6. Have more fun
Laughter helps you to relax, reduces your stress levels, and leaves you feeling happier and more optimistic – and all of those things contribute to a strong immune system. If you’re starting to feel burnt out, don’t forget to schedule time for fun activities such hobbies, favourite sporting activities, or catch-ups with family and friends. A nice dinner with people you love can do wonders for your state of mind and leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.