How to Improve Your Immunity

How to Improve Your Immunity

Your best defence against pathogenic viruses is a healthy, well-functioning immune system.  So what are the most important factors that contribute to maintaining robust immune function? 

1) Total Body Wellness - all the systems in the body affect each other. If one system is not functioning optimally, it can affect the healthy functioning of all body systems. Therefore, rather than just focusing on the immune system to improve immunity, it is important to raise the vitality of the whole body, improving the function of all body systems,  which in turn enhances immunity.

2) Stress Reduction- stress has an adverse effect on immunity. During stress the body moves into sympathetic nervous system mode (fight or flight mode). In fight or flight mode, body systems that are not absolutely necessary for immediate survival take a "back seat"; this includes the immune system and the digestive system. On-going stress can have a major impact on the optimal functioning of the adrenal glands also. Poor adrenal function has the potential to throw the immune system into disarray (a well-functioning immune system should be neither under-active or over-active, both of which can occur when the adrenals are "over-taxed" by on-going stress).  So, take time out for meditation and relaxation, get some moderate exercise in the fresh air, get amongst nature, and include a whole lot of positivity, and love and laughter into your life, all of which have the ability to improve adrenal function, immunity, and over-all vitality.

3) Healthy Diet - putting a varied array of health-promoting nutrients into the body ensures that the cells of the body are getting what they need in order to do their job effectively. It is also advisable to reduce, or preferably eliminate, sugar from the diet. A high sugar intake can reduce the white blood cell activity of the immune system, which in turn reduces the body's defence against viral pathogens. Try including some of these anti-viral foods and herbs into a natural, organic, whole-food, plant-based diet to enhance immunity and improve vitality: reishi and shitake mushrooms, astragalus, coconut, garlic, onions, chives, rosemary, cinnamon, aloe veraliquoriceechinaceacalendula, sage, oreganoashwagandha and maca
And also include foods and herbs that are high in Vitamins A, C and E, and the minerals zinc and iron, all of which are important nutrients for healthy immune function: kiwifruit, apricots, cranberries, broccoli, avocado, alfalfa, spinach, parsley, garlic, aloe vera, pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds.  

4) Maintain a Healthy Microbial Profile - having a diverse range of friendly microbes residing in and on the body is highly beneficial for total well-being and better immunity. Encourage the colonisation of good bacteria in the body by a) putting friendly, beneficial bacterial strains into the body via probiotics and fermented foods and drinks, b) not doing things that kill them off, and c) providing them with prebiotic foods which facilitate them to thrive and multiply once in the body. Having a healthy microbiome improves immunity and makes it more difficult for unwanted, rogue pathogens to take up residency within the body.

And always remember, you don't always have the ability to change what's going on in the external environment, but you do have the ability to change your internal environment, by simply making some healthy changes and better choices, so that you have a better chance of effectively resisting disease. 

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