Image Credit: Barbara Bui
From fighting stress to fending off a cold before it happens, these simple steps will help give you your strongest immune system ever.
A healthy body depends on a strong immune system and without a strong immune system, it is not able to effectively defend itself against things that can harm it, like viruses and bacteria.
All of us can experience a decline in our immunity, for instance when cold and flu season strikes, busily preparing for a holiday, or when we’re particularly stressed – but the good news is that by being mindful of what we put in our bodies and how we treat ourselves, we can significantly improve our immune system’s natural aptitude for keeping us safe from harm.
Up your intake of vitamins C and D, as well as zinc
The gut is known as the epicentre of strong immunity, as around 80% of our immune cells live there, so it makes sense that what we eat can have a huge impact on our immunity. By strengthening our gut, we can strengthen our immune system.
Vitamin C is known to many as the ‘immune boosting vitamin’ and for good reason. A vitamin C deficiency has been associated by many studies with an increased frequency and duration of common colds, alongside immune system defects. Vitamin C fights off free radicals and protects against infectious diseases, so it’s crucial to keeping your immune system healthy. It’s found in many foods such as oranges, broccoli, tomatoes and potatoes.
It’s also found in the WelleCo Immune System Support Super Booster, a therapeutic herbal formula that can enhance immune defence and help stimulate a healthy immune system. The Super Booster derives its high vitamin C content from Australian Kakadu Plum and Acerola Cherry, both of which are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants to help fend off free radical damage.
Simply add one vial to ice cold water, stir, sip and over 200% of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C will be coursing through your system, helping your immune system to perform at its best.
Zinc also impacts several areas of the immune system and acts as an antioxidant, fighting off free radicals. Zinc deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies worldwide as many of the foods that we eat don’t contain a sufficient amount to support our immune system, making it doubly important to make a conscious effort to add more zinc into your diet.
Vitamin D is easily absorbed through sunlight and is also within some fortified foods like whole grains, breads and pastas – however, the levels of vitamin D within fortified foods often isn’t enough alone to support the immune system and with our modern lifestyles, the desk jobs that many of us hold mean we don’t always get enough sunshine to reap the benefits of ample vitamin D.
Image Credit: Grotto Sauna
Step into the sauna
Several studies have found that using an infrared sauna on a regular basis improves the health of our white blood cells, along with the increased temperature making it more difficult for bacteria and viruses to survive in our body. The theory goes that when you’re sweating it out in the sauna, you’re amplifying the body’s natural detoxification processes through sweat, removing toxins from the body that may otherwise cause an increase in inflammation.
WelleCo’s Elle Macpherson is a fan, with her own Therasage Thera360 Infrared Portable Sauna in her home that she uses every night to unwind, detox and boost her immune system.
Try a bone broth
Bone broth is having somewhat of a moment in 2019 and it turns out – it’s for good reason. Bone broth’s benefits reach to the immune system, with the natural gelatin, amino acids and collagen helping to heal the gut, improve wound healing and supporting the health of lymphocytes, important immune cells.
Consuming superfoods is one of the best ways to build your immune strength on a day-to-day basis. Garlic is one of the best superfoods for boosting your immunity thanks to its incredibly potent antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It contains a powerful sulphur compound, allicin, which is known to help treat gastro-intestinal disturbances, kill parasites and bring yeast infections to a grinding halt.
Chronic stress causes our bodies to produce more cortisol, which suppresses our immune response by interfering with white blood cells’ ability to reproduce and receive signals from the body. This means that the impacted white blood cells are less able to sense danger or infection and won’t always be able to be first on the scene to banish the intruders from the body… so you’re more likely to get sick.
Cortisol also lowers secretory IgA, an important antibody lining the gut and respiratory tract that is an active defender against invading pathogens. To get your stress under control, mediation is scientifically proven to increase levels of IgA and improve your immune function – so swap your late night scrolling through work emails for some stillness, deep breathing and journaling, ASAP!