We are in the middle of ‘flu season
At this time of year, when the days are short, the nights are long, and it’s cold, damp and miserable outside, it’s easier to pick up a host of common bugs and infections like coughs, colds and other viruses.
Unfortunately, everyone gets ill from time to time, especially at this time of year. However, if you have a strong immune system, your body will be better equipped to fight off the cause of your illness, ease its symptoms and get back to full health in no time.
Boosting your immune system is easier said than done. If there were a magic bullet or quick fix, everyone would do it. Sadly, there’s not.
Improving your immune system takes work and is the result of several diet and lifestyle factors. That said, there are some simple things you can do to help boost your immune system, strengthen your body’s natural defences and make yourself more resilient to the common bugs and viruses that are more prevalent in the winter months.
So, if you’re looking for a natural way to strengthen your immunity, you’re in the right place.
WHAT IS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM?
The immune system is your body’s first line of defence against illness.
It protects your body from infections caused by viruses and bacteria, helps to remove harmful toxins from your system and breaks down malignant cells before they can multiply and do damage.
It is also responsible for controlling the body’s reaction to things like stress, airborne pollutants and allergens. When your immune system functions as it should, it will ward off illness and help you recover quickly when you do fall poorly.
However, when the immune system is in poor condition, it can lead to serious health complications, including immunodeficiencies, autoimmune disorders and allergic reactions. These can manifest in various ways and can increase your risk of developing a host of chronic health conditions.
Around 70% of your immune system is located within your gut, so developing a healthy immune system is reliant on good intestinal and digestive health. So, diet plays a key role.
Boosting your immune system can be challenging. A combination of eating well, exercising lots, staying hydrated and making positive lifestyle choices will go some way to helping you maintain better overall balance.
Good quality natural supplements, including vitamins, minerals and probiotics, can help to top up any shortfalls in nutrition.
Some natural ways to strengthen your immune system and improve your health and wellbeing include:
EAT A BALANCED DIET
The best way to boost your immune system naturally is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Eating a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins, unsaturated fats, wholefoods and complex carbs daily will give you a variety of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals and natural antioxidants. These will not only help boost your immune system but support your other key body systems too.
Cutting back on junk food, refined sugar, processed carbs and foods with lots of artificial additives will also help.
MAKE HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHOICES
Although everyone enjoys the odd tipple or sweet treat once in a while, cutting back on your guilty pleasures can also help boost your immunity.
Alcohol and nicotine both promote toxic activity in your body and can deplete your natural supplies of vitamins and antioxidants as they are processed. Excess sugar and caffeine can have a similar effect.
If you can, limit the amount of alcohol and sugar you consume and don’t go mad on the energy drinks or coffee.
Moderation is key. If you are following a diet or healthy eating plan, the odd cheat day will help keep you motivated, by keeping cravings at bay and giving you something to look forward to as a reward for all your hard work.
Just don’t binge or overdo things.
Stress, anxiety and worry are a huge drain on your mental and emotional health and can also put extra strain on your immune system.
If you’re constantly under stress, your body has to work harder to overcome it.
Stress promotes a hormonal response in your body, which can lead to chemical imbalances that affect a wide range of organs and bodily functions.
So, taking time to relax and destress will help keep your emotions and hormones in check, lift your mood and take the strain off your immune system.
Aromatherapy massage or a nice, relaxing bath with your favourite essential oils can help you unwind.
So, too, can exercise and spending time outdoors.
EAT MORE PROBIOTICS
Probiotics are some of the best foods to improve your gut health and boost your immunity.
They play a crucial role in strengthening the body’s digestive and immune systems, to help build your resilience to illness and disease.
Your gut is home to millions of harmless, healthy bacteria which work together to help the body function properly. They help the body process food, absorb the right nutrients and kill off any harmful toxins that can cause serious health issues.
Probiotics enhance the natural development of your healthy bacteria, while at the same time killing off the more harmful bacteria that can lead to health problems.
Good natural sources of probiotics include unpasteurised sauerkraut or kimchi, cottage cheese, yoghurt, kefir, tofu and miso, along with fermented drinks like kombucha or kvass.
You can also get natural probiotic supplements to give your gut bacteria a boost.
If you’re concerned you might not be getting the right immune-boosting vitamins and minerals from your daily diet, Lily & Loaf’s natural, nutritional immune supplements can help.
They provide a perfect way of complementing your diet to ensure you get the right amount of nutrients you need every day to strengthen your defences and help your body fight off and common bugs or illnesses.
Our supplements can be used as part of a healthy lifestyle plan to meet your daily dietary requirements, support your wellness goals, and improve your overall general health.