We can all relate to the current feeling of things being and feeling out of our control due to the circumstances we are facing today. One thing we can take control of is our health; we can become educated, allowing us to feel empowered.
One of the most effective ways to protect yourself from any type of virus is by optimising your immune system so that it can perform as it is supposed to. Key things to focus on for an optimal functioning immune system includes adequate sleep and rest, good nutrition, herbal support, a calm mind, and learning the benefits of slowing down.
Sleep and rest:
Time to hibernate! Well, not really… but you do need to ensure you are getting enough sleep! Lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the immune system. Sleep not only helps to prevent sickness, but it also supports our recovery if we do become unwell. Resting allows the body time to regenerate and restore its defences while beginning the healing process.
Often overlooked, nutrition is a key component of a healthy immune system. Eating well for immunity means getting enough quality protein to build antibodies and aid tissue repair. It also means eating an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits, especially berries, for their antioxidant potential. Cutting down on sugar, caffeine, fried foods, additives, and anything processed will help too.
Calm mind/mental health:
Stressful situations can trigger a chemical reaction in the body resulting in stress hormones being pumped around the body. Though stress hormones can be helpful in acute situations, their ability to interfere with the immune system can result in inflammation. Ensure you enjoy your free moments for reflection to work out how to create more space, reduce stress, and bring calmness into your life.
If there is only one thing you do to support your immune system, please make it keeping those fluids up! No, not coffee or alcohol! Water helps to move oxygen to the body cells and flush toxins out of the body. A litre of water or herbal tea should be the absolute minimum. It is recommended that women drink 2L, and men drink 2.5L per day. If you do enjoy a cup of coffee, add another glass of water for each cup you drink.
Echinacea has been used for thousands of years to strengthen and support the immune system. Some of its actions include being an immune enhancer, immune modulator, and anti-inflammatory. It is best used in acute and chronic infections, respiratory conditions, and immune dysfunction.
Elderberry is packed with antiviral properties and assists in reducing the symptoms of colds, flu, and mild upper respiratory tract infections. Some of its actions include being antiviral, antioxidant, and an immune enhancer. Try using elderberries to make smoothies tastier.
Olive leaf provides effective support for the immune system by assisting by boosting the body’s natural immune response.
Elecampane acts as an expectorant and is anti-catarrhal, reducing excess mucus production, to help thin and aid the clearance of mucus from the lungs and airways. It is anti-microbial attacking bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and Elecampane supports and enhances the lungs as a lung tonic.