1. Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Vitamin C
Did you know there is more vitamin C in a head of broccoli than there is in an orange?
Vitamin C is one of the water soluble vitamins that our body excretes if it isn’t needed or used. Therefore it’s important to keep ourselves topped up with this immune supporting vitamin on a daily basis.
Sources of Vitamin C include: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, kiwi, butternut squash, spinach and other dark leafy greens.
2. Supplement with Vitamin D
Vitamin D (aka the sunshine vitamin) plays a huge role in you immune system and given that the majority of the UK population are deficient in Vitamin D, it’s a really good idea to add in a supplement between October and March.
We have an article on our website that will advise you on how to supplement and recommended dosages. You can read the article here.
3. Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is so important for the immune system! When you sleep your body releases important immune cells known as ‘T-Cells’. These immune protecting super stars fight off pathogens such as flu, viruses and unwanted bacteria.
Adults need a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night on a regular basis. Less than 7 hours creates a ‘fight or flight’ state which increases stress hormones, which then blocks the effectiveness of these immune cells.
If you struggle to sleep, consider implementing a bedtime routine that includes limited use of electronic devices, not eating too late and making sure your bedroom is a calm quiet environment for you to drift off.
If you’re achieving 7 hours sleep regularly, but still feeling not quite yourself… our article ‘Tiredness and Low Energy’might be helpful to you.
4. Manage Stress
We know from point 3 above that stress hormones inhibit immune cells from doing their job. Highly stressed individuals are more likely to catch colds and flu’s more frequently, so if this sounds like you –
it’s time to break the cycle.
The first thing you can do is reduce ‘stress on the body’ and give it a hand ensuring you are eating well and choosing nutritious foods over convenience/processed foods.
Alongside this, we find that the clients that work on mindfulness, meditation and journalling have the best results. Doing any (or all) of these on a daily basis encourages the body to relax and understand it is in a ‘safe place’.
Try this breathing exercise – you can be in the car, the shower, or just sat on a train – all you need to do is breath in from the belly for the count of 4, hold for the count of 3… and then breath out for the count of 7. Repeat this for a minimum of 10 times and notice the difference it makes to how you feel.
5. Look After Your Gut!
80% of your immune system is housed in the gut so it’s important to keep it topped up with beneficial bacteria.
You can supplement with probiotics (article coming soon on that!) but we like to encourage including fermented foods in the diet that are rich in super helpful bacteria.
Fermented foods include: Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Pickles, Miso, Greek Yoghurt, Kombucha and Kefir.
Our favourite brand to buy from is Barrel & Bone which is found in most health food shops.
Alternatively, if you are local to Warwickshire book on to a ‘Rewild Your Gut’ Workshops and learn how to make your own fermented foods that are low cost and really easy. They even throw in a healthy gut loving lunch!