Supporting your immune system this winter can be easy when you have some tips and tricks up your sleeve!
Your immune system is a very intelligent system. To allow it to do its thing optimally it needs the right balance of nutrients and positive lifestyle factors.
One of the philosophies of naturopathy is 'Prevention Over Cure.' This means supporting your body and immune system so your body is able to fight off any infections before it becomes a problem.
Your immune system is run by many different vitamins and minerals and also by your gut bacteria!Did you know that over 70% of your immune system is based in your gut?So it makes sense to ensure we are eating optimally.You can also use a range of different essential oils to help with your immune system with their antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
Here are some tips for supporting your immune system naturally this Winter:
Fruit & Vegetables
Include lots of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. This is where you can get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Important vitamins and minerals to increase include vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium. These can be found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, tomatoes, citrus fruits including lemon, kiwi fruit, oranges, and blueberries. Other herbs and spices that may assist immune system include: ginger, garlic, turmeric, oregano, basil and thyme.
A little bit of sunshine everyday - Vitamin D is essential for a health immune system. Approximately 1 in 3 Australians are Vitamin D deficient.
Manage your stress - who else goes on a holiday and gets sick straight away? This can be due to your cortisol response in your body and how stress can place larger demands on the body’s nutrient supplies which can result in depletion of nutrients. Stress can cause imbalance with the gut function, increase sugar cravings, impair sleep habits and reduce immune function. Meditation, adequate sleep and self care can all assist with stress management.
Increases blood circulation which helps the nutrients in the blood to be taken around the body more effectively. Exercise helps to balance stress hormones and as you exercise you are usually naturally getting more vitamin D as well! Double win!
Proper Hand Hygiene
Hygiene - Hand sanitiser and washing hands often can help prevent picking up anything that others may be carrying around the place!
Nutritional and herbal supplements - Very beneficial to people who have busy lives and not enough time to eat the amounts of fruits and vegetables needed to assist daily intakes. Also great for picky eaters who may not get enough fruits and vegetables into their diet. Always consult with your health care practitioner before starting nutritional or herbal supplements.
Last but certainly not least - essential oils! There is a lot of information about how essential oils can assist with immune function. Some properties that essential oils have are but not limited to:
Antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti allergic, analgesic, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antitussive and astringent. All of these functions of essential oils may help with conditions such as colds and flu, coughs, excess phlegm, inflammation, sinus blockage, headaches, body aches, bacterial and viral infection and most of all - preventative!
Vetiver helps us to connect back to the earth and receive emotional healing and guidance. An extremely relaxing oil that can be useful to help with insomnia and support us during times of lowered immunity due to overactivity.
Skin can reflect our state of health. Feelings of stress, fatigue or even contentment readily show up on our faces. Essential oils are a part of a holistic skin care program because they not only have properties to improve and maintain skin they also support our emotional state.