Are you looking for easy and effective tips for boosting your immune system?
Remember, your immune health is not about finding that magic pill or quick fix.
It's an ongoing process.
But there are some simple ways that you can help to support your immune system on a daily basis and we have some of them for you below.
Can you actually ‘boost’ your immune system?
This is a question that often pops up.
This is because some people argue that boosting your immune system could lead to autoimmune health concerns.
But this isn’t how the immune system works.
Autoimmunity is when the immune system dysfunctions and overreacts to normally safe substances or triggers.
Because of this, the terms ‘optimise’ and ‘support’ are more widely accepted.
So there are ways that you can optimise how your immune system works.
But this doesn’t mean that you’ll never fall ill, but you can minimise your risk with some diet and lifestyle tweaks.
Because of this, we prefer to use words like ‘support’ and ‘optimise’.
So if you want to know if there are steps you can take to support and optimise your immune system?
The answer is yes!
Now let’s take a look at ways to support your immune system and stay healthy year-round.
Focus on plenty of wholefoods
To function optimally, the immune system needs the right types of fuel to function.
This includes vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and even essential fatty acids.
You could try and memorise all of the nutrients needed for immunity and the foods that contain them.
But there’s an easy hack that you can use as a daily guide, just make sure you eat a variety of wholefoods and you’ve got most of the bases covered!
So what types of foods should you be eating daily?
You should aim for a mix of these foods and ingredients below.
If at least 75% of your daily food choices come from this list above, you’ll be giving the immune system the fuel it needs to thrive.
And you'll notice (over time), all of the potential extra health benefits that come with eating well and having a healthy immune system too!
If you're looking for a quick and easy whole foods snack, you can't go past our Wholefoods Bars.
Convenient and tasty!
Soak up some sunshine
One nutrient that we can’t get a good dose of through the diet is vitamin D.
Vitamin D isn’t a true vitamin and it's closer to a hormone in its function.
But it is also critical for a healthy and balanced immune system.
Unfortunately, many of us can be deficient in vitamin D, particularly over the winter.
This is part of the reason why we are more likely to fall sick over the colder months.
What's the solution for getting more vitamin D?
Get out into the sunshine for at least a few minutes each day with as much skin bared as possible.
The best time to produce vitamin D is in the middle of the day, between 10am and 3pm.
During winter, the reduced UV rays may prevent adequate vitamin D production in southern areas such as Melbourne and Adelaide.
So if you live in the southern states of Australia, you might need to consider a vitamin D supplement to suit your needs.
Read more like this
Move your body
You heard it here, that gym session or run can help to support healthy immunity.
In fact, studies have found that frequent exercisers are less likely to catch a cold over winter.
You might not be feeling like hitting the pavement if you’re already sick.
The good news is that you don’t need to, gentle movement might still help.
Doing some stretches or yoga at home can help boost your lymph flow.
The lymphatic system is an important part of immunity, so increasing the flow may help you to kick the germs quicker.
Manage your stress levels effectively
We all feel stressed from time to time (some more than others).
But if you’re constantly feeling stressed out, your immune system might be suffering along with you.
But even a short burst of stress can be a potential problem for your immunity.
Studies have found acute stress can suppress the immune system and make the body more vulnerable to infection.
The right way to manage your stress depends on you and what you enjoy!
Some people enjoy calming methods such as yoga, meditation, gardening or even journalling.
Others prefer spending time with loved ones or cuddling and playing with their pet.
The key is finding a few ways to relieve stress that work for you and prioritise them when your life gets hectic.
Get a good night of sleep
Been staying up late and binge-watching Netflix again?
Too much time on social media checking out what's happening with everyone else?
It might feel good at the time, but your immune system isn’t a big fan of missing out on all of those zzz's.
Studies have found that just one night of partial sleep deprivation can reduce the overall immune response.
Poor sleep can also help to alter the genes that affect inflammation and immune function.
When it comes to sleep, a big point to remember is quality is just as important as quantity.
You should focus on getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night and feeling well rested when you wake up.
Thinking about your immune all of the time
The old saying goes, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.
You could change this if you want to, 'if it is broke you need to look at fixing it'.
This is true if you find yourself getting sick more often that not.
First you might want to consult a professional to see what's happening and work out a remedy from that angle.
Second, you might want more dietary advice on improving your food to help you improve your immune system over time.
A dietitian or a nutritionist might be the person to see in this instance.