With further lockdown measures, I just wanted to use this opportunity to impart some positivity during this strange time. There is a lot going on, and a lot of unanswered questions, but this will pass and while we may not know how long it will take, there are many things that we can all do to support ourselves. I encourage you to use this time wisely for reflection and self-care.
We need to do everything we can to harness our amazing natural defence – our immune system – to ensure that it is can respond swiftly and efficiently, to help minimise the risk of illness and infection and to ensure a quick recovery from any illness or infection.
I have put togther my top tips for supporting and boosting your immunity, along with maintaining a positive outlook, and keeping healthy during this challenging time.
Top Nutrition Tips
Building a strong immune system can be achieved by increasing and then maintaining an optimal intake of essential nutrients, together with supporting gut health and reducing stress.
Nutrient dense foods: aim to eat a variety of different coloured vegetables with every meal. Increase your daily intake of fruit and vegetables with a high antioxidant content such as berries, dark leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits, these will provide further protection for your immune system as well as respiratory tract
Broths: Organic Vegetable and bone broths are packed with the healing amino acid, L-glutamine, which supports gut health and in turn helps to reduce inflammation. We can also support gut health it by increasing our daily intake of prebiotic fibre-rich foods such as onions, garlic, leeks, and Jerusalem artichokes and taking a great quality probitic
Spices: This is the perfect time to turn to your spice cupboard and opt for having freshly grated ginger or turmeric tea to enhance your immunity and reduce inflammation, add some raw organic honey for a hint of sweetness.
Water: we need to stay properly hydrated for our body to function optimally. Regular water intake can even help wash any lingering pathogens in the throat down into digestive tract for the stomach acid to kill off, providing additional protection for our immune system.
Batch cook your meals: Make extra, eat what you need and freeze the rest for later, this way you will always have delicious and nutritious food available.
Freeze vegetables: Keep your fresh vegetables for longer by chopping them up and storing them in the freezer so you can easily add them to each meal, guaranteeing a good daily intake of those all-important micronutrients.
Lifestyle Tips For a Strong Immune system
Take time to Stop, Breathe and Reflect. Amidst all of the panic, the lifestyle tips below will help keep you calm and your spirits high:
Prioritise Sleep: For our body to repair and function optimally, we need adequate sleep, between 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night is optimal. There is staggering research showing that those who have less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep are 3x more likely to develop an infection, when exposed.
When it comes to our immune health regulating our natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) is imperative. This means going to bed when our melatonin (our sleepy hormone) is released as it gets dark and sticking to a set bedtime every night creating a sleep routine. Reduce your exposure to bright lights and blue light from devices, such as phones, computers and TV in the evening, as these greatly reduce melatonin production which can then significantly affect sleep.
Breathe: Implement deep breathing techniques daily. Our breath directly impacts our sympathetic nervous system response (our ‘fight or flight’ instinct) and can help to shift our nervous system into a state of calm, as well as help to combat inflammation and strengthen lung function. Try this simple 4-7-8 breathing exercise as follows:
Breath out and empty your lungs of air
Inhale through the nose for 4 counts
Hold for 7 counts
Exhale through the mouth for 8 counts
Repeat until you feel more relaxed
Movement: Most people I speak to are aware that they are at risk of not getting enough fresh air or exercise, both of which are hugely important for our overall health and wellbeing. Take a daily walk if you can to not only get your body moving but improve your mental health and getting outside if there is some sunshine is an excellent way to improve your vitamin D to further strengthen your immune system. Here is a quick video about the importance of Vitamin D3
Reduce stress: Stress reduces our immune response and increases inflammation, which can make us more susceptible to illness and infection. Use this time to explore meditation, yoga, and daily journaling, re-discover your hobbies or find new ones, listen to calming music, watch funny videos, connect with loved ones, these all help you stay connected, relaxed, and help you maintain a positive mind-set. Get your free guided meditation here
Stay safe and keep in touch. I am here for you and we will get through this together.