Top Diet & Lifestyle Tips To Support Your Immune System

Top Diet and Lifetyle Tips to Support Your Immune System

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

If you have any particular concerns and you would like personalised dietary, lifestyle, and supplement advice, please do contact me and find out more about our Pure21 Healthy Lifestyle Programme here

 Stay safe and keep in touch. I am here for you and we will get through this together.

Essential Oils

Choosing Essential Oils

I absolutley LOVE essential oils, but sadly not all essential oils are created equal.

Each step in the creation process important in order to ensure a pure, high-quality essential oil. From farming and sourcing the plants, flowers, and herbs, to actually distilling the essential oils and then bottling and storing the final product, you want to be sure you’re buying essential oils from a company which has the highest standards for purity and quality.

Many essential oils on the market have added synthetic ingredients, or the oil is extracted using chemical processes. While these oils may still smell nice, their healing, well-being, and vibrational properties are significantly diminished if not eliminated entirely.

Why I Use Neals’ Yard Organic Essential Oils

Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Essential Oils are the oils I personally use and recommend. They are therapeutic-grade oils that are pure and while there are other essential oil companies that claim the same purity, I personally love that NYRO  essential oils are mindful of protecting the planet.  Many companies are not ethically sourcing their ingredients nor are they concerned with sustainability of the soil, plants and areas where they harvest their oils.

NYRO  are directly involved in the farming, sourcing, low-temperature chemical free distilling, bottling, storing and shipping. Their high level of care in each step of the process ensures the highest quality product. Click here to read more

We also have many organic products to help you transform your home into a more balanced, harmonious, and environmentally friendly home.  Click here to see the fabulous products that are avaiable

Organic ingredients are better for you because they contain the highest levels of beneficial vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They’re also free from contamination by toxic pesticides and chemical fertilisers, better for you, the farmers, their families and communities.

TIPS FOR PROTECTING SKIN DURING THE COLD WEATHER

Winter Skin Tipsas published on Watchfit

As the colder weather arrives do you find that your skin starts to get dry and flaky? You need to pay attention to what you skin is telling you no matter what time of the year and all you need to do is tweak your skin care routine depending on the season.

You should always protect your skin and supply it with beneficial nutrients inside and out to keep it healthy all year-round but as the weather changes in the winter you need to adapt your skin-care routine as the air becomes drier inside and out.

Don’t forget your skin is an outer reflection of your inner health, I believe that a nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, with particular attention paid to certain vitamins, minerals, and other compounds, is a powerful tool helping your skin stay supply and moisturised throughout the winter – many people miss the opportunity to make major improvements in their skin simply by changing what they eat.

Flaky, chapped lips are common in the winter months and may require some extra TLC, use a gentle exfoliate to remove dry, dead skin cells and follow up with a nourishing lip treatment for super smooth lips.

Two effective remedies against dry, itchy winter skin:

  • Getting sufficient amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats in your diet, and
  • Using coconut oil to moisturize your skin

Top Tips for protecting skin in the winter

  • Stay active — it benefits your mind, and body, work out at home, or bundle up and go for a long walk outside. When the weather turns cold, it is tempting to curl up with a good book, but maintaining an active lifestyle will keep you healthy from the inside out.
  • When going outside, protect your skin from the elements by wearing a hat, scarf and gloves. Cold, dry weather can wreak havoc on your skin, but by wearing the proper attire is an easy way to prevent exposure.
  • Introduce more nourishing skin care products for the face and body.
  • Start the winter season with refreshed skin, slough off the summer residue to start with refreshed skin that may be dry from too much summer fun in the sun – do a gentle exfoliation on a weekly basis.
  • Coconut oil or Almond oil: both natural home remedies that keep the skin smooth and moisturized – massage almond oil over the dry areas. Can also be used for the lips
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera provides all the essential nutrients to the skin and makes it smooth and glowing.
  • Homemade Sugar Scrub: mix sugar with coconut oil and use as a scrub. You can add some honey – this mix will exfoliate and moisturize the skin.

Apart from taking adequate care of your skin during winter, it is also necessary to focus on what you eat. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Keep the body well hydrated and drink plenty of pure water
  • Keep away from junk and processed foods
  • Citrus fruits can strengthen the body and keep the skin healthy – they are filled with Vitamin C which is a great anti-oxidant for the body and skin
  • Lemon: Lemon is rich in vitamin C – drinking a cup of warm water with fresh lemon added helps to detox the body and balance the pH which helps to ultimately give you skin a natural glow.
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants.
  • Add ginger and turmeric to your food.

Six steps you can follow to ensure healthy skin in the winter and all year-round:

  1. Watch Your Environment: remove as many toxins as possible from your environment
  2. Enhance Your Digestion: make sure that your digestion is working optimally – your skin is a reflection of your internal health
  3. Ensure Outstanding Detoxification: make sure all your detox pathways are working effectively, I recommend doing a natural supported cleanse at the change of each season.
  4. Balance Your Blood Sugar
  5. Keep Your Hormones in Check
  6. Boost your Nutrient Intake

Top Tips for Supplement to Protecting Skin in the Winter

  • Zinc
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids
  • Probiotics
  • Zambroza – an all round antioxidant formula
  • High Strength Multi Vitamin and Mineral

You can order your supplements here and enjoy a 15% discount

Recommended Skin care Products to Protecting Skin in the Winter

Use good quality natural and organic skin care products, I personally use Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic products and recommend them to my clients, the benefits of using natural and organic skin care products is that they nourish and treat your skin, allowing your skin to breathe and stay healthy. Most conventional skin care products are made from by-products of the petroleum industry and are not nourishing or healthy for your skin and your overall health so choose your products wisely. If you want a free, no obligation skin care consultation please contact us at health_vlf@btinternet.com.

I believe that the best way to protect your skin during the winter, along with a nutrient-dense diet and pure water, and using a truly all-natural, organic moisturizer can help you achieve a clear and radiant complexion all winter long.