Six ways to kickstart your immune system**
1. Dietary tweaks
Make sure your diet is nutritious, regional, and seasonal. Choose fresh, seasonal food that is grown in your region (preferably outdoors), to treat your body to a generous helping of vital vitamins and minerals.
2. Take time for yourself.
Stress is a massive burden on the immune system. While it's easy to take a quick time-out during the summer months - go for a walk, do yoga on the beach, or participate in another relaxing activity — we tend to lapse right back into the old familiar grind once autumn approaches. Be kind to yourself and make time to relax and unwind.
3. Go outside.
Stubborn couch potatoes will probably argue that leaving the house during the damp and cold season will make you more likely to catch a bug, but it’s actually the other way around! Getting outside not only reduces stress, but it also stimulates the cardiovascular system and promotes better blood circulation. It improves your mood and promotes healthy sleep, too – all elements that are conducive to a healthy immune system. So seize the day and head outdoors!
4. Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
Bacteria are most frequently transferred via our hands. Grips and handles on public transport, ATM machines, shaking hands – these are all potential sources of contagion. And, by touching our face (which we do, on average, every four minutes), we make it easier for bacteria to attack us. If you can, try to keep your hands off your face and wash them frequently and thoroughly.
5. Say no to dry air.
Heated indoor air dries out the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, making your body an ideal habitat for viruses and other pathogens. That said, health professionals do not recommend electric humidifiers because of the potential for pathogen colonization. As an alternative, invest in some houseplants and place an uncovered bowl of water (a clay pot is ideal; change the water regularly) on the heater to increase ambient humidity naturally.
6. Boost your defenses with immunoactive nutrients.
By taking the right micronutrients — such as zinc, and vitamins C and D—you are supporting your immune system and making a valuable contribution to your body’s own defenses.
The Naturopathic Physician, Educator, Medical Researcher and Presenter, Dr Ellie Wright, talks to us about efficient ways to build up a robust immune system with botanicals and nutrients to protect us against viral attacks.
Innate vs adaptive defense?
A healthy immune system is made up of both innate and adaptive responses. Both of them have a built-in defense mechanism against viruses. NK (natural killer) cells are part of the innate system, and they are significant players in the recognition and elimination of viruses and bacteria. The adaptive immune system, however, is composed of specialized, systemic cells and processes that eliminate pathogens by preventing their growth.
Nutrients as support
Let's start with the vitamins - Vitamin C supports both the innate and the adaptive immune system and has a pleiotropic effect on those subsystems. Vitamin D protects against respiratory viruses. Other nutrients that work well for your immune system are zinc, quercetin (a flavonoid found in gingko, onions, green tea etc.) or berberine (found in oregano or grape). Also - curcumin, saffron and resveratrol (found in berries etc.) are known to have lots of antiviral properties.**
Watch for more informations in the following webinar with Dr. Ellie Wright!
Here is an overview of the most important immunoactive substances:
A plentiful supply of Vitamin C not only supports your immune system, but it also helps to reduce fatigue. Vitamin C is the perfect solution to boost energy and immunity during the dark and gloomy winter months.
Between October and March, because of the change in the sun’s aspect, we do not absorb as much Vitamin D through our skin. Additionally, if you have a suntan, your skin stops absorbing Vitamin D from the sun. Because of this, our bodies must rely on supplements and the food we eat for our daily dose of Vitamin D.
Vitamin A supports the mucous membranes from the inside. These include those found in the nose and throat. Healthy mucous membranes are an essential protective shield against environmental pathogens.
|Zinc is one of the best-known immune nutrients, and at the same time part of one of the most important systems that protects us against oxidative stress at a cellular level.
Selenium supports normal immune system function, and it also helps protect our cells against oxidative stress.
Iron is a trace element that contributes to normal immune system function. Adequate iron levels are critical for sustained energy and resistance to stress throughout the day.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.