Catching a bug and getting sick is no fun for anyone. When it does hit, you can feel miserable. The best way to help this is to avoid it all together!!! Here are ways to supercharge your immune system.
Garlic is an awesome herb that you can cook with and take in your daily nutrition! It has anti- bacterial and anti-microbial properties as well as reduces blood pressure, reduces cholesterol and is a natural anti-histamine.
Include it in your cooking- you can buy minced garlic or fresh garlic. Both will do the trick.
- Gently warm 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (in the health food aisle of the supermarket) and 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds (in the health food aisle) in 100ml of Apple Cider Vinegar (don’t boil)
- Take it off the heat and add in about 10 peeled and crushed garlic cloves. Mix through.
- Strain the mix, add 2 tablespoons of raw honey.
You can use this as both a medicine and salad dressing.
2. Vitamin C
An old faithful and something you can easily get from both your diet (fresh fruits and vegetables) and as a supplement from any pharmacy or health food store. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which is great not only for the immune system but also for our cardiovascular system and skin.
Zinc is one of those minerals that serves many purposes in our body and deficiencies can lead to poor immune function, along with other disorders.
Supplementing with Zinc can be done by increasing Zinc containing foods to the diet or using a good quality commercial supplement.
Foods high in Zinc include:
- baked beans (home made versions not those sugar filled commercially available varieties)
- egg yolks
- sunflower and pumpkin seeds
So simple, yet during the colder months something we often forget about. Water flushes out toxins from our body, supports the production of lymph, keeps our bowels working well (if we don’t drink enough water then we will often suffer from constipation) plus it supports mood and concentration by keeping our brains hydrated.
Aim to drink 1.5- 2 litres of water a day. This can be as water with fruit infused in it, herbal teas or plain water. Avoid counting coffee or black tea as water intake as caffeine is dehydrating.
5. Manuka Honey
Manuka Honey contains strong anti-bacterial properties that have been found to be effective against digestive, skin and throat infections. When a sore throat hits a spoonful of honey doesn’t just make the medicine go down, it is the medicine. It can be used topically for skin infections, burns and blisters and is great to use on a daily basis just for health maintenance.
Manuka honey can be found at the supermarket.
There are a heap of herbs that you can buy at the supermarket or health food store that can supercharge your immune system.
7. Gut Health
As 70% of the immune system is in the gut, it is the best idea to support it so we support great immune function.
First, we need to feed the good bacteria with fibre. These can be found in fruit and vegetables. You can also take a fibre supplement from the health food store- be wary of heap nasty “fibre” supplements.
Secondly, a probiotic can help support the good bacteria in the gut. There are some fantastic practitioner only probiotics available at many pharmacies.
AVOID SUGAR- this is inflammatory to the gut along with alcohol. Sorry! Neither of these are doing your immune system any favours.
Eat lots of fruit and veggies– support that good gut microbiome that contributes to 70% of the immune system.
A very important aspect of a healthy immune system is simple yet something we find so difficult. A lack of sleep allows the body to be constantly tired and never recharging fully. At these times, we’ll find our immune system becomes compromised and we become susceptible to illness.
Adults require eight hours of sleep per night to enable our body to produce hormones, proteins and chemicals to maintain a healthy immune system.
Sleep deprivation leaves us more vulnerable to viruses and bacterial infections.
8. Keep Moving
Gentle, low heart rate exercise is great for the immune system. Gently moving your muscles pumps the lymphatic system which houses the immune system outside of the gut. This allows the lymphatic system to flush away any viruses or bacteria that your body is fighting.
9. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a nutrient that has been shown to be particularly beneficial for people who are prone to respiratory infections & asthma. Whilst many people already take vitamin D, it is a good idea to have your levels tested to see where they are at before taking vitamin D – more is not always better, and too much can be dangerous.
Vitamin D testing is available here at Total Balance or through your GP.
Your 1:1 Support
There are a variety of ways Dr. Rebecca Farthing (osteopath & naturopath) can support your immune system naturally. Seeing a practitioner has many benefits over self-prescribing products of unknown effectiveness, including:
- Ensuring supplements are safe alongside your medications
- Ensuring the safety of herbs and supplements during pregnancy or breastfeeding
- Matching the right herbs to your needs if you suffer from an autoimmune condition, as you don’t want to exacerbate your condition by overstimulating your immune system
- In-clinic and functional pathology testing options – as mentioned above, we can check for things like vitamin D and zinc, but also look at your immune cells with live blood analysis
- Travel preparation & supplement recommendations to give you the best chance of a healthy, hassle-free trip
- Minimizing sick days and supporting quicker recovery (adults AND children)
- Ensuring you aren’t wasting money on unnecessary supplements – often we are able to keep supplements to a minimum by supporting a few key areas
- Guiding you to the best quality, most potent products. Practitioner-only products are tested for potency and use dosages that match those used in clinical research. It can be extremely difficult to obtain these kinds of dosages when using over-the-counter/online products. Practitioner products are also designed to be hypoallergenic with superior absorption. By seeing a practitioner you can be assured you are getting the most bang for your buck.
Do you want to supercharge your immune system? Dr. Rebecca Farthing (osteopath & naturopath) is available for consultations to support your and your family’s immune health. Book online or call us on 9773 8085
This blog post is an educational tool only. It is not a replacement for medical advice from a registered and qualified doctor or health professional.
Phone: (03) 97738085