Building a strong Immunity

May 15, 2017

I think it is safe to say that the warmer weather is well and truly behind us and we are heading into the colder darker months.  Personally I find this change of season quite refreshing as it encourages us to stop being as busy, to rest more, go to bed earlier and generally slow things down a few gears.  However, what comes with the change of season, and also the slowing down is our immune system likes to show its head as we tend to battle through with colds and flus. Getting 1-2 colds per year is actually healthy as it gives your body a chance to renew your White Blood cells and clear out a lot of waste, and kick your immune system into gear a bit but … any more than a mild 1 or 2 colds and its time to support your immune system.

Here are my gold tips to start boosting your immune system to keep you and your family strong this winter:

  • Slow down.  Give your body a chance to rest and recuperate after a busy summer.  Allow your cortisol to regulate out, which then allows your immune system to function at its best.  When we are stressed out our immune system is suppressed.  Also going to bed earlier and allowing your body to follow its natural circadian rhythm will allow for more healing, detoxification and supportive functions of all organs.
  • Eat for the season.  More warming nourishing foods such as casseroles, slow cooked meats, soups, bone broths etc.  Not only will your slow cooked meats render more minerals and immune boosting collagen from the slow cooking process, but the soft food makes it a lot easier for your digestive system to break down allowing your body to focus on all other functions not just a struggling digestion.  
  • Support your digestion with prebiotics (asparagus, onion, garlic, leeks, unripe bananas) to feed your good bacteria, probiotics (supplementation is best, but food such as sauerkraut,  kimchi, kombucha, kefir are also good options).  Your gut is 80% of your immune system.  If you have a dysbiotic or imbalanced digestive microbiotica this will greatly effect your immunity.  
  • Check for food sensitivities or intolerances.  Low grade intolerances will cause a constant level of inflammation in your system.  Often these foods aren’t just the common foods such as gluten or dairy but can be random specific foods that you are consuming on a daily basis.  This constant inflammation will down regulate your immune system leaving you open to more infection.
  • Supplement with key nutrients if you are susceptible to getting sick.  The key nutrients I suggest are Vitamin D, Zinc and C.  If you are exposed to a lot of bugs (ie school teacher) then I also suggest immune boosting herbs such as Echinacea, Andrographis, Astragalus, Elderberry and if stress is involved Rhodiola and Withania.  (talk to me or your health care provider to get you a specific mix that will suit your needs).
  • Add some spices into your diet to boost your system such as Turmeric, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon which all help to reduce inflammation and increase circulation.
  • Get out and exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the most efficient ways to boost your immune system, clear out old cellular debri, boost your cellular energy, decrease inflammation and increase overall mental health which goes a long way in keeping your body healthy.
  • Last but not least, surround yourself with happy people.  There has been a lot of research to show the effect on cellular health with those in a positive state compared to those who are in a negative frame of mind.  If your mind is feeling low, chances are your body will soon follow. 

Embrace the colder months for a chance of hibernation.  Keep warm and nourish your body.  Remember too, that getting sick is often a warning signal that we are rundown, stressed out, not looking after ourselves physically or mentally.  Take note of it and make the necessary changes to boost yourself up x

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