Improve your immune system
Your immune system is a complicated structure of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect your body. The thymus, bone marrow and lymph nodes are key to immune function, as are our white blood cells which explore and fight off infection. When there are rogue pathogens in your body, it rapidly tries to control the spread of all invading germs and gives your immune system time to mobilise and react against the specific infection you're faced with. During a health crisis, there will be lots of advice out there to help you keep well. You can explore a lot of information online but it can be overwhelming, in which case you may decide to seek the advice of a professional nutritionist. Either way, putting your health first is always a sensible idea.
For now, why not take a moment to go outside in the garden and enjoy the fresh air. Here are a few pointers that may help you:
Sugar in certain amounts (simple sugars) can compromise your immune system by reducing the ability of white cells to overpower and destroy bad bacteria.
Drink plenty of water- 30mls/1 kg body weight is what we would need ordinarily to hydrate but when your health may be threatened by a virus you can up this slightly to flush out the toxins and waste. However, if you have renal issues or other conditions where you need to minimise the amount of water you drink, please ignore my water increase and follow the advice of your doctor.
Your liver needs to flush out all the waste products so eat foods such as broccoli, cabbage, kale etc. (there is a long list on google to research) to improve your immune system.
Anything with lots of vitamin C in is a bonus - so all citrus foods - smoothies etc. as well as salad. Eat foods full of antioxidants which neutralise free radicals in your body. Eating a well-balanced diet will help.
One way of giving your body some improvement is to increase movement/exercise. This can be simple things by walking around quicker, increasing your pace, going upstairs or basically having some fun with the kids. This will increase oxygenation and level of leukocytes in the body and help to fight off nasty bugs.
Sleep and rest also can help you increase your immune system but too much can also compromise it.
Ayurvedic medicine claims ginger warms the body and helps to break down the accumulation of toxins in the organs, specifically the lungs and sinuses. This root also helps to cleanse the body’s lymphatic system, which is known as the body’s sewer system. Along with ginger, there may be some truth in eating lots of garlic - as in its raw form it is known to be antibacterial, antiviral and rich in antioxidants.
Relaxation/mindfulness/meditation/yoga etc. can also benefit your body and help it fight against rogue bacteria/viruses that suppress the immune system. Cortisol released during anxiety and stress will create havoc in your immune system if you are on high alert.
I’m a big believer in thinking positively (you are what you think), acting positively and emitting positive energy. Part of this is to smile and laugh - (we emit happy hormones endorphins) as this fights any infection found in your system. Pop on a funny film so you can have a really good belly laugh. Pop around to your neighbour or have a call on your phone/ipad etc. as a chat can help improve your mindset. Doing something nice for someone else is also not only helpful to the receiver but to yourself, as it really does make a difference to your immune system - be happy.
Some people will take a vitamin/mineral supplement as part of a daily routine. If you do this you must take it with food and not on an empty stomach as it won’t be fully absorbed. Zinc is one of those supplements which is said to increase the immune system but it can also be found in red meat, chicken, some seeds, fish and eggs.
Hopefully, these tips will give you some guidance in looking after your immune system. If you feel that you need some further help with navigating through any health challenges, speak to a qualified nutritionist for expert advice.