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6 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

 

With the cold and flu season pretty much upon us, not to mention another virus we’re all rather aware of right now, it’s really important to look after our general health and ensure our immune system is firing on all cylinders!

Here we discuss 6 simple ways to boost your immune system and keep you strong and healthy this year…

1) Vitamin D

This super vitamin has been shown to contribute to a well-functioning immune system as well as having anti-inflammatory properties and maintaining healthy bones. The best way to get vitamin D is through sun exposure, but come September, even on a sunny day the sun is not strong enough to provide our daily dose- so the best way to get it is via a supplement. Taking a daily supplement is advised for all children and adults in the winter (September-March.
Check out our  Vitamin D – the “Sunshine Vitamin” blog post for more information about the benefits of Vitamin D. We also sell a great Vitamin D supplement in clinic, so when you are next in ask one of our friendly receptionists about it.

2) Probiotics

These brilliant supplements are designed to populate our guts with all the good bacteria’s we need. Our guts are incredibly important to our overall health and a poorly functioning gut or one which is overpopulated with bad bacteria is linked with a poor immune system. It is recommended to take probiotics to increase your gut and immune health. Our wonderful Nutritionist Lissa Leader is a big advocate for Probiotics and also works for Optibac as an advisor , so if you want to understand these supplements more, how they could help you and which one would be best for you and your family then please do chat to Lissa. You can find her here. 

3) Reduce refined sugars

Studies have shown that spikes in sugar intake suppress the immune system. Sugar is also very inflammatory for the body so can also increase pain in the body which can also then suppress the immune system. Next time you reach for a mid afternoon biccie, perhaps swap it for a piece of fruit (something high in Vitamin C is even better!

4) Balanced diet

Making a bit of effort in what we eat can really improve our immune health- making sure we have a balanced diet containing plenty of vegetables, carbohydrates, proteins, good fats and varied minerals and vitamins ensures all bodily systems can work well and we remain healthy and strong.

5) Get plenty of sleep

Sleep is vital for the body to rest and repair. When we sleep our bodies make Cytokines- a type of protein that helps fight infection and inflammation. Sleep deprivation leads to lowered cytokines, therefore less ability to fight infections. Creating a good bedtime routine and avoiding ‘blue light’ (phones and computer screens) a couple of hours before bed time can aid a good night’s sleep, as well as taking a Magnesium supplement.
For more information about magnesium, check out our  ‘Are you getting enough magnesium?’ blog post for more information about the benefits of magnesium. We also sell a magnesium powder in clinic, so when you are next in ask one of our friendly receptionists about it.

6) Decrease stress

When the body is dealing with emotional stress it also has an effect on our physical body (we are seeing the effects of the stress caused by this year a lot in our patients in clinic right now.) If the body is in a constant ‘stress state’ , several systems including the immune system are suppressed and cannot work as required making us more vulnerable to coming down with illnesses when stressed or fatigued. A visit to see Jo our Reflexologist is also a good way to relax and de-stress!