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Immunity Boosting 101

Oh, that dreaded summer cold! Don’t be fooled by the warm weather, it doesn’t have to be chilly outside to catch a cold. Here are some tips to keep you feeling fine all summer long.

Good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system. We rely on our intricate and complex immune system to protect us from bacteria and viruses AND an incredible fact is that it also impacts virtually every other system in our body, from your hormones to your nervous system. The majority of our immune system is actually found in the digestive tract and thus what you put into your mouth has a direct impact on the support or challenge you put onto your body’s overall immunity. Finding ways to support your immune system can completely revolutionise your health and even a tiny change can make a huge difference and dramatically influence the way you look, feel and think.

A few of the most common factors challenging our immune systems today are heavy metals, pesticides/herbicides, hormone imbalances and poor digestive health (as Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut”). Therefore when it comes to boosting the functioning of our immune systems, optimising digestion and nutrition are key. For example, eating a healthy, plant-filled diet contains plenty of immune protecting chemicals. One serving of veg can contain over one hundred different phytonutrients (see blog post 1 below for further information) and there is good evidence that the phytonutrients found in plant-based foods like veg, nuts, fruit, seeds, whole grains and legumes are able to support and boost our immune systems. Think carrots, sweet potatoes, beans, berries, seeds, mushrooms, oats & whole grains, green beans, broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower….the list is rather long!

Ensuring your digestion and nutrition are as strong as possible can be the key to boosting your immune system and feeling your best self! Keeping our gut happy and healthy is key!

1. Increase your intake of Prebiotic and Probiotic foods
Prebiotics are found in foods such as rye, wheat, garlic, onions, broccoli + cauliflower. They are also formed when starchy foods such as potatoes /rice are cooked and cooled down. Probiotics refer to foods that contain live organisms, fermented vegetables like kimchi/sauerkrautkraut, cultured yoghurts and fermented drinks such as kefir and kombucha. You might also consider taking a probiotic: (We adore Potion London) Consuming a multi-strain probiotic supplement can help to keep the good bacteria balanced and support a healthy immune response to the stresses and strains put on our bodies during the colder months.

2. Sleep
It is widely known that sleep deprivation can hinder your immune responses thus increasing your risk of picking up seasonal colds and feeling under the weather. Get some quality shut-eye!

3. Add ginger & garlic to your diet
Both have been widely used for centuries in many parts of the world to prevent/treat bacterial and fungal infections in traditional medicine. Add ginger to your morning lemon water or add ginger to your smoothies or stir-fry!

4. Eat more mushrooms!
We love the foursigmatic range of mushroom coffees, hot chocolates and drink sachets to easily incorporate more mushrooms into your diet. Evidence has suggested that daily intake of mushrooms is thought to boost immunity…boom!

5. Indulge in some “me time” and get on that self-love train with a steamy hot bath or shower
Why not add some essential oils – open up those airways and give your mind and body some love.

6. Massage
Yes, it can destress but massage also boosts circulation and thus increases naturally occurring antibodies leaving you well equipped to ward off bacteria and bugs!

7. Take regular exercise
Exercise is a core component of any healthy lifestyle.