The immune system comprises of organs, cells and chemicals that fight off invading pathogens. There are many ways to complement your body’s capabilities, here I give you 10 tips that I believe will go a long way.
I’ve been fascinated by the ability of the mind and body for a long time and I believe we all should be. Too often people are distracted by day-to-day ongoings to dedicate time to their own wellbeing.
Friends and family in the past have often described me as “somebody who’s into his health” but when it comes down to it, aren’t we all?
All of the advice that I give in this article are things that I implement regularly or have at least tried. Over the last decade I have been experimenting for myself and reading up on lots of ways to improve health. Many things that I’ve embedded into my daily protocol often go unnoticed to me now, but I’ve decided to really peel it back and offer you my own hints and tips.
THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. YOU CAN DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH WITH THE HELP OF WHAT I’VE PRESENTED.
Get Enough Sleep
It always surprises me that sleep still tends to be underrated. Speak to any elite athlete and they will reveal how integral it is to their regime.
Quality sleep can help you regulate hormones, eliminate stress and help you function.
Currently, during this crazy time, it’s more important than ever to gain good rest.
It’s hard to sum it up in a short paragraph but let me pinpoint some benefits of good sleep. The body can create more cytokines, a key immune response against the flu and other illnesses.
Other advantages of resting includes muscle recovery, hormone regulation and great mental health.
The reputable sleep scientist, Matt Walker recommends that everybody gets eight hours of sleep per night. He goes onto state that those that do not meet this could be shortening their life span.
- Boosts Immune System
- Regulates Hormones
- Aids Recovery
- 7-8 hours per night- go to bed before midnight for your circadian rhythm
- I use essential oils such as lavender in a bedside oil diffuser
- Turn off the blue lights on your devices after a certain time or put them away
- Put your phone on flight mode during sleep
- Do not go to bed with a full stomach
- Get amongst nature in the day
- Tryptophan will help create more melatonin
It goes without saying that nutrition plays a huge role in the strength of your immune system.
For a long time now, I have put an emphasis on wholefoods. To me this means foods that have one ingredient, in other words, foods without additives. Generally, oven food, sachets and microwave foods are far from wholefoods.
Opt for leafy greens, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nut butters and nut milks.
A balanced diet with lots of vitamins will help you create a strong immune system. Feed yourself with vitamins, fibre and minerals. A healthy gut will improve your chances of fighting off harmful pathogens.
I wanted to add a bit to this section, with what I like to enjoy as part of my regime. I make the most of green, Chaga mushroom and elderberry & echinacea tea. My meals have lots of herbs and spices added- ginger, cloves, garlic, onions and turmeric. I ensure healthy fats such as coconut oil (not heated), nuts and seeds. Also embrace lots of fruit, veg, shungite water and quinoa.
- Lots of vitamins helps fight colds and flu
- Regulates Hormones
- Encourages a healthy gut
- Get lots of greens, b vitamins and wholefoods into your diet
- Enjoy a balanced diet
- Check that you are having lots of wholefoods
- Ensure healthy fats
- Get leafy greens
- Try to eat predominantly organic
Each of these tips qualify for an entire article, on one subject alone. In fact, there are millions of books on each topic and I encourage you to delve a little deeper after you’ve read this article.
Regular exercise helps boost your mood and regulate your hormones. But there’s a lot more to improving your fitness.
Moderate levels of exercise can help you reduce inflammation and also make your body more efficient in regenerating cells. Plus, lots of exercises can do wonders for your lungs and heart, and subsequently have a positive impact on your overall physical health.
- Exercise can reduce inflammation over time
- Regenerates cells
- Strengthens muscles, bones and of course, mindset!
- 30 minutes per day at very least- even if it’s just walking
- Find a fun physical activity that you can enjoy
- Use these 10 min home workouts
We’re often unaware of the amount deficiencies that we have.
Due to the deteriorating quality of the soil, we are often lacking in magnesium. Over 75% of the population are deficient in magnesium and the other 25% are making an active effort to ensure they are having enough.
The best way to ensure that you’re getting enough is to buy a high-quality spray. The foods are lacking in what used to be an easily gained mineral.
It is responsible for over 300 chemical reactions in the body and plays a key role in distributing calcium.
You can try lots of high magnesium foods such as seeds. Other minerals we are often lacking includes iron and vitamin D. More on the latter shortly but what about iron? Often a balanced diet will help aid many of these minerals but be sure to get lots of iron into your diet too.
- Deficiencies are a lot more prevalent than you’d expect
- Many are lacking sufficient magnesium, iron, B12 and vitamin D
- Get out in the sun
- Enjoy magnesium sources- seeds, avocado, dark chocolate etc
- Ensure iron sources- seeds, quinoa, herbs etc
- Don’t obsess over potential deficiencies but be aware
- A balanced diet and get out in nature
Connect with Nature
Getting out and about is key for all of us.
We are far detached from our connection with the great outdoors. We’re seemingly connected more with technology than we are with mother earth.
When you get into nature, you begin to discover how many advantages it brings. It increases serotonin which in-turn, improves our mood and decreases chances of depression. It enables us to get into the sun. Plus, when being around a beach, mountain or wooded area– we feel the benefit of negative ions.
These ions make us feel great, relieve stress and help our circadian rhythm.
- Getting out will help you get vitamin D (more on that shortly..)
- Increases serotonin and relieve stress
- Make use of negative ions and boost energy
- Get amongst trees, beaches and mountains
- Why not workout in the sun whilst enjoying nature? Maybe a walk?
Get Vitamin D
I wanted to extend on vitamin deficiencies. In the UK, over 50% of the population are deficient and that’s judging on a small RDA.
Getting out in the sun is imperative- not only do you need UV Rays to support much of your hormone production, but it also supports bone strength and improves your chances of fighting respiratory infections in the upper-lungs.
Vitamin D is more like a hormone for the most part, it’s a vital mineral and one that you should go outside to collect. Although you can get Vitamin D from your diet and you should attempt to do so, only 10% of what’s required should come from your diet and the remainder should be from getting out in the sun rays.
- Vitamin D is similar to a hormone
- It is responsible for numerous reactions in the body
- Helps fight respiratory infections
- Get out in the sun especially around midday
- You can eat foods high in vit D but majority comes from UV Rays
- If you decide to use a supplement, use the D3 type one
I’ve always been a believer of gaining many nutrients through our diet. Supplements alone will not suffice.
Due to the poor quality of soil and the food production, we’re not privy to as much goodness as we once were.
I have already discussed some of the deficiencies that many have. I’d urge people to try to eat a balanced diet before looking into supplements, but there are some that could offer huge benefits.
I’m not a fan of most capsules that you’re likely to find in Holland & Barrett’s. That’s because many of these vitamins and tablets that isolate minerals often lack in other much-needed requirements. For instance- if you supplement vitamin C and Ascorbic Acid, although both are great- you will then be absent of other integral qualities such as copper.
What happens then? You start to dip into the copper supply in your body, which is already in high demand. It’s about intaking nutrients in symphony, when you begin to look into it, you see just how relevant each element of food is.
That’s why I opt for RawSport or Revolution Foods. There are many other good companies too, when looking I’d advise that you check for wholefood ingredients. That means ensuring they put whole ingredients- for instance, rather than taking ‘Vitamin C’, you could opt for their greens that entail of Chlorella, Wheatgrass and Spirulina, by product they contain lots of the discussed vitamin amongst all of the other important requirements.
- I prefer to steer away from isolated vitamins and minerals
- Use wholefood based companies
- Don’t rely on supplements
- Check ingredients and company certificates, are they Informed Sport certified?
- Use RawSport or Rev Foods
- My favourite supplements includes magnesium spray, vitamin D spray and greens
Look, sugar, sugar everywhere.
Completely unaware, many of those seeking health will pick up a ‘healthy’ snack full of sugar and other additives.
Excessive sugar can lead to plenty of problems from heart disease and other conditions. Read here for details of a study that added sugar can lead to catastrophic illnesses.
There are over 50 different names for sugar and they’re often added to jars, ready-made salads and other meals. It only takes a quick glance of the ingredients to find out.
If you don’t recognise the name of the ingredient, look it up. I know many feel that is extreme, but it doesn’t take long to scope out a catalogue of foods that you know are healthy and it will no longer feel like a chore. A study in Canada discussed how over two-thirds of packaged food contains at least one added sugar.
If you’re opting for wholefoods, as previously mentioned, then this shouldn’t be much of a problem anyway.
- There are over 50 names for sugar
- Check packaged goods
- Most packaged food has added sugar
- Be more mindful of your choices
- Choose wholefoods and real ingredients
- Don’t cut out fruit
Drink Lots of Water
Drink enough water, pretty obvious, right?
Don’t be fooled into drinking too much fruit juice and other sweetened drinks. Although water doesn’t fight off viruses and germs alone, it is a major fighting force behind your body’s ability to function.
Staying hydrated ensures that you can focus, kidneys can remove waste and avoids dehydration that could essentially make you susceptible to illnesses.
- Staying hydrated is important for overall health
- NHS recommends 2-litres, although many say we should aim for 3-litres
- Drink a pint of water the moment you wake up
- Consistently drink throughout the day
- You will need around 8 glasses to get to 2-litres
It’s not just about what you consume in the physical sense.
Stress is a much bigger aspect of illness than you could imagine. Whether it’s work, an unhealthy relationship or not taking time out of your day for yourself.
Stress can suppress the immune system and promote inflammation.
What can you do to help eliminate stress? I know many that like to talk about meditation and other amazing solutions, but first tackle it at the source. If something’s creating huge stress then it’s worth considering the reward from that particular scenario, whether it is work or otherwise.
Wim Hof is a breathing practitioner (amongst many other ‘titles’) that has made waves in the scientific sphere in recent years. Proving that his methods of breathing and exposure to cold water can not only relieve stress but help the average person take control of their own immune system on demand.
- Stress creates excessive cortisol and ruins hormonal response
- Suppresses immune system
- Promotes inflammation
- Eliminate stress- take yourself out of situations or be sure to look after yourself
- Again, get outside and enjoy your surroundings
- Take part in physical activities
- Use breathing techniques and cold exposure- be sure to check out Wim Hof
Taking care of yourself should be a priority. If you respect yourself, then prove it, with how you treat your mind and body.
If you’ve read through the article, you’ll soon understand how the body works in symphony. The same way your body uses calcium, magnesium and vitamin D together, you can use these techniques. For instance, by getting outside, you get to enjoy nature, absorb the sun rays, relieve stress and exercise.
Building your immune system isn’t as difficult as it may seem. But you will need to find a routine and stay consistent.