Be more resilient- how to strengthen your immune system?
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Your body is smart and is all the time trying to find the balance and constantly healing itself where needed. Your role is to support it so it can do its job well. If your immune system is under-active, it can result in infections and tumours, and over-active immune system is linked to allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases.
So, what can you do boost your immune system and reduce inflammation in your body?
It's important to prioritise sleep as it helps to fight the infections and restores the immune system and cellular structure. Aim to get 8h of sleep a night in a dark room and away from your electronic devices. Make sure you switch your phone on Airplane mode and ideally leave it out from your bedroom before going to bed- ideally this should be done couple of hours before actually going to bed to avoid exposure to blue light, which reduces the production of melatonin (hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle). I wear blue-light blocking glasses if I need to look at the screen after 9pm.
Wash your hands regularly
It is one of best ways to protect yourself from germs and pathogens. Use soap and water and wash your hands for 20-40 seconds at a time. Use alcohol based hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available. And avoid touching your face, especially nose, mouth and eyes with unwashed hands as these are the areas on your body, where the virus tends to sneak into your system.
Eat immune-boosting nutrient-tense foods
Eat all the colours of the rainbow- a variety of vegetables and fruits are key here.
Include foods like garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potato, carrots, turmeric and berries that contain a lot of phytonutrients (blueberries, raspberries, sea buckthorn etc) .
Consume organ meats, such as liver, as it is high in Vitamin A and C and known to support your immune system. Liver is also highest in iron from all the foods.
Make sure you use different fresh or dried herbs that have strong immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory properties, like rosemary, thyme, cilantro, oregano and basil.
Boost up your water intake and stay hydrated
When you wake up in the morning, make sure you drink a big glass of water with a slice of lemon or a tea-spoon of apple-cider vinegar. I also add a pinch of Himalayan pink salt into my morning water as well as during the night you loose water and minerals from your body and it's a great way to up those minerals in the morning.
It's also great to drink in the morning freshly blended celery juice after you have had your morning water. Celery juice is known for cleansing the liver, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood-pressure, restores hydraulic acid in your gut, so you digest and absorb better nutrients from your food etc.
Bone broth is one of the best foods to drink during the flu season and when your body needs to fight off viruses. It's great to use the home-made or store-bought broth as a basis for your soups.
Drink dandelion tea or matcha green tea because of their high level of anti-oxidants.
Avoid processed and added sugar
Sugar as well as gluten and processed dairy are known to be inflammatory for your body. If you are looking to give your body the best tools to fight the virus, I advice you to stay away from sugar, gluten containing foods and processed dairy. But if you were to gut out anything and you know you are not gluten or dairy intolerant, I would advice to drop the sugar containing foods and any foods sweetened with artificial sweeteners. So which sugars and artificial sweeteners to leave out from your diet:
White and brown sugar (used in cookies, cakes, some breads)
Syrups (corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, processed honey)
Natural sweeteners (coconut sugar, maple sugar, corn sugar, cane juice crystals, beet sugar, concentrated fruit juice etc)
Artificial sweeteners (aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, glucose, fructose, maltodextrin, maltose, dextrose, sucrose etc)
So read your labels when you purchase packaged products. If there is more than 5g of sugar in a food product you buy, pass it on and you do your immune cells a favour.
Avoid Hydrogenated Oils
Avoid oils like canola, corn, soybean. Hydrogenated oils raise your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, lower your good cholesterol (HDL) levels, and therefore can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke and also raises the risk of diabetes.
Instead consume oils like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee and grass-fed butter.
Best supplements to use for your immune system
- Vitamin C (helps to create white blood cells in your body). 1000-3000mg daily
- Vitamin D
- Zinc (if possible, separately)
- Magnesium Glycinate (if possible, separately)
- Methylated B-Vitamins (if possible, separately)
- Vitamin A
- High Quality Probiotics
- Astralagus root
Reduce your stress levels
Stress suppresses your immune system. Lessen your worry and any panic in current situation. Do whatever feels relaxing for you and that supports your body- a walk outside in the nature; a bath filled with Epson salts to increase magnesium and reduce muscle tension in your body; get a massage from your partner or from your children; a yoga or meditation session etc. Following essential oils also help to reduce stress levels: lavender, cedar-wood, clary sage, frankincense.
Essential oils for immune system
Essential oils that help to boost your immunity include oregano, eucalyptus, frankincense, myrrh, peppermint, ginger, lemon and cinnamon. These essential oils effectively destroy different viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens. Because antibiotic resistance amongst humans is becoming such a major threat in our modern conventional health care, using these essential oils as a form of independent therapy can help to fight off bacterial infections in a more natural and safer way.
Make sure you get minimum half an hour walk in the fresh air outside to make sure your lymphatic system is flushing out all waste. Ideally you should do in addition a combination of strength training, cardio and yoga 3-4 times a week.