All year round, during all stages of your life, you’ll always want a bulletproof, strong immune system! It’s imperative to great health, without a sturdy immune system, the likelihood of you spending a majority of your life sick – is highly likely. Of course, like everything – your body is interlinked with all the other systems. Everything connects, your gut health may affect your immune system, just as your mental health may affect it. Balancing the health of your entire body is the key to overall, substantial health.
So what exactly is an immune system? & What variables are the determining factor of a ‘strong immune system’?
The immune system is a set of tissues which work together to combat infections. It can detect the difference between the body’s own healthy cells and ‘foreign’ cell. The immune system records each microbiome, in order to better understand if the body is under attack from unknown viruses. Once an infection has been recorded and defeated, the immune system has taken note on how to do it again next time – increasing it’s tolerance and defence, each time.
Did you know?
When you get a mosquito bite, the red lump which appears afterwards is a sign of your immune system at work.
Signs you have a weakened immune system:
- Being sick constantly – when you fall sick with a cold, this is a prime example of your immune system failing to combat the germs and infection.
- You have lots of gut issues – always have gas, diahrria, bloating etc. 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract.
- Your wounds are slow to heal – Your body works to protect the wound by sending nutrient-rich blood to the injury to help regenerate new skin. (PennMedicine, 2020)
Dr. Melinda Roberts, from Advanced Naturopathic Medical Centre actually says that if her patient comes in saying that they never get sick, it’s actually not necessarily a good thing. It may mean bacteria and germs are coming into your system, but your immune system isn’t being activated to remove it. Your immune system may be suppressed. Dr Roberts says, a sign of a strong immune system is to have those first symptoms of sickness (eg. tickle in throat, sniffles) but it dissipates before it becomes any stronger – your immune system fights it off before it reaches a further point. (advancednaturopathic, 2021)
7 Ways To Strengthen Your Immune System:
- Next time you get sick with the flu (something of minor risk) allow your body to fight the sickness on it’s own. Resist the urge to go on antibiotics. Every time your immune system fights off an infection on its own without any interference or suppression, your immune system gets stronger.
- SLEEP – imperative to a strong immune system. Sleep is when your body repairs and rejuvenates your entire system and it needs time to do so! 8 hours minimum is the standard recommendation. If you have trouble sleeping, try a lavender based essential oil, does the trick for me!
- Step out into the sunlight – natural light helps our body produce Vitamin D, and this vitamin is essential to a healthy immune system. Vitamin D also helps your body to use certain minerals, like calcium. Natural light also helps to set your internal body clock as well as boosting serotonin levels, which can give you more energy, help you stay calm and positive, and get to sleep at night. (endeavour, 2021)
- Focus on the health of your gut – a healthy gut can help contribute to a strong immune system – and the key to a healthy gut is a healthy diet and fibre, which organisms in the colon feed off. One of the ways you can stay fighting fit is to stock up on gut-friendly, polyphenol-rich, vitamin-full fruits and vegetables.
- Supplements – of course eating the right food is most important, but if you need some assistance – Vitamin C and Zinc supplements may reduce the length and severity of a cold. Taking these vitamins on the regular may boost your immune system. I personally take 3 high dosed Vitamin C tablets when I feel a cold coming on, with some ginger.
- Reduce Life Stress – Practice daily meditation, yoga and deep breathing, and make time to see friends and family and have fun. Isolation can cause ill health and lessen your immunity.
- Exercise – A daily 30-minute walk that elevates your heart rate is enough to boost your immunity. This will promote lymphatic and vascular movement, which nourishes and oxygenates the body’s cells, while also removing waste products. (endeavour, 2021)