While there is an abundance of information out there about how you can support your immune system and overall wellbeing during this difficult time, the most helpful suggestions are ones you can implement today. Your body is a miraculous organism that thrives when given the right nourishment. Naturopath Ema Taylor shares five ways you can help support your immune system and improve your overall health today.
Sleep is fundamental for healing. During sleep, your body works to reduce inflammation, repair damaged tissues, cells, and organs and create infection-fighting antibodies that help keep your immune system strong.
- Adults - Aim for 8 hours of good quality sleep per night and if possible be in bed by 10 pm.
- Children – Aim for 10-12 hours per night and if possible be in bed around 7-8 pm.
Increase immune-boosting foods in your diet
Colourful, organic fruit and vegetables
Choose an array of colours and mix your vegetable choices up each week to ensure you are getting a variety of vitamins and antioxidants that help fight disease.
Garlic is a powerful antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal. Be sure to chop the cloves up before eating as this releases the active constituent allicin, which is the compound responsible for its medicinal properties.
Bone broth is rich in minerals and has been shown to support the health and function of the digestive tract. A healthy digestive system is fundamental for a strong immune system as around 70% of immune cells reside in the gut. You can make bone broth quite cheaply from used bones and vegetable scraps.
Vitamin C rich foods
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and immune booster. Our body is unable to create vitamin C therefore we must obtain this healing vitamin from the food we eat.
Vitamin C rich foods include - Australian kakadu plums, rose hip, chilli, oranges, guavas, kale, kiwi fruits, broccoli, brussel sprouts.
Supplementing with 1000mg of vitamin C a day when you’re feeling a little under the weather can help speed up your recovery.
Reishi mushrooms have been revered for their immune strengthening and adaptogenic properties. Medicinal mushrooms can be eaten as a wholefood or in a powdered form mixed into soups, smoothies - or my favourite a Ceremony Cacao (www.ceremonycacao.com) hot chocolate.
Make a big pot of immune boosting tea
- 1 knob of ginger sliced
- Juice from ¼ of a lemon
- A dash of raw apple cider vinegar
- A sprinkle of cayenne pepper
- ½ a tsp. of Manuka honey
Add to a teapot of boiling water and let brew for 10 minutes.
Sit in the sunshine
Vitamin D is synthesised in the body from the sun. A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to increased susceptibility to infection and lowered immunity. Aim to sit in the sunshine around midday for 15 minutes with your arms and legs exposed.
Ema wears the Levy Boilersuit in Vintage White
Incorporate stress reduction techniques
When you are stressed your body’s ability to fight infection is reduced. Implement daily stress reduction techniques such as mediation, deep breathing, journaling, going for a walk in nature, yoga, dancing - whatever feels good for you to shake the day's stresses off.
Ema is a Bachelor qualified Naturopath, Nutritionist and Certified Fertility Awareness Educator who specialises in women's reproductive health and hormones. She offers worldwide online naturopathic and fertility consultations via zoom and is also the founder of Ceremony Cacao, a naturopathically crafted, medicinal drinking chocolate powder.