The most effective ways to supercharge your immune system

Supercharging your immune system is something you should look at doing regularly so that you don’t fall ill, ensuring you feel great the majority of the time. You may not always be able to stay away from bacteria and germs, but you can make your immune system strong enough to fight these things off.  The less time spent ill, the more time you can spend enjoying life and taking part in it!

Below are some of the most effective ways to supercharge your immune system. Take a look and see what you can add to your routine:

Pay attention to the food and drink you’re putting into your body

The first and most important thing you need to do is make sure you’re paying attention to the food and drink you’re putting into your body. This is more important than anything else, as the things we eat and drink play a huge role in our short term and long term health, our moods, our energy levels, and more. We are literally made of the things we put into our bodies, so make sure you’re doing yours a favour and putting the right things in there.  To put it a little more bluntly – if you eat crap, you’ll feel like crap in one way or another!

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Do your research so that you’re clued up on nutrition. Know what’s good for you, and don’t fall for fads and marketing ploys. Here are some pointers:

  • Always eat for health. It’s about eating vibrant, micronutrient rich foods. You aren’t supposed to be starving yourself or eating ‘low calorie’.  A calorie is not always a calorie.  That’s proven in a film called ‘That Sugar Film’ where he doesn’t change his calorie intake at all each day, but he does eat more sugary foods with shocking cosequences!  Be wary that ‘low fat’ often simply means the fat has been removed and replaced with sugar… a poison… which if not burnt off or used will be stored as, you guessed it, fat!  Another clever marketing scam…
  • Get plenty of fruit and veg each day. Aim for 2-3 portions of veg with each meal and at least a couple of portions of fruit each day.   Don’t assume you’re healthy because you get 5 a day.  Getting your 5-a-day does not make you healthy.
  • Always go for natural options when you can – stay away from deep fried foods, foods smothered in sauce, chemical laden food with flavourings and additives and so on. Always cook foods from scratch.  If you can’t understand the ingredients on food labels then you should seriously be questioning what those ingredients are and whether they have negative effects on your body.  Research and educate yourself.  Also the bolder the claims on the packaging about how healthy something is, probably the worse it is for you.  Fruit and veg sit quietly in the fresh produce section making no such claims, yet they are the healthiest products in the store.
  • You can have smoothies and juices, but make sure you include portions of veg.  Healthy green smoothies, for example, are healthiest when packed with veg.  I make a mostly veg and salad smoothie each day with one piece of fruit to sweeten and a scoop of organic green superfoods powder.  Purely fruit smoothies are going to be high in sugar.  Yes, it’s natural sugar, but it’s still worth watching the content and not going over the top with pure fruit juice.

When you have a good knowledge of nutrition and what’s good for you, you’ll be able to make smarter choices. You can still have the odd treat, but the healthier you eat, the more your tastes will change. Eating the right food is a great prevention and cure.  Plus your treats will even become healthier and more natural.

Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of pure water is essential for your wellbeing. When you’re getting enough water you’ll notice you feel healthier and more energized. Now; it’s important to note that filtered water is healthier than bottled water. Bottled water is not regulated and you could still be drinking dissolved solids like mercury!

If you want to go down the water filter route, then perhaps invest in a water filter system like the Zero Water filter (or even a whole home system if you have the budget). Aim to drink 2 litres minimum a day. You know you’re hydrated when you have several clear toilet trips throughout the day.

Personally, we prefer distilled water.  We have a distiller at home and we create around eight litres of distilled water per day for drinking and cooking.  It’s the purest water as it removes all the inorganic materials from the tap water.  It also tastes so much nicer too.  I measured our tap water once with a TDS (total dissolved solids) stick and it has 200ppm of dissolved solids, whereas our distilled water only measures 2ppm.  Once you start seeing the sludge in the bottom of the distiller after a few uses and researching what this could be, you’ll want to drink purified water too!

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Stay active

Staying active helps to strengthen your immune system to no end – but bear in mind that overdoing it can weaken your immune system, too. Make sure you’re sticking to a schedule you can manage so that you’re not burning out.   Ensure that the type of exercise you’re doing is enjoyable, too. You won’t stick to it if you don’t have a good time doing it!

It can be tough to get into the habit if you’re not into it already, but commit to just three times a week for half an hour and then build yourself up if you can. Once you’re in the habit, it can be equally as hard to get out of it.  Make exercise a part of your weekly routine and once it becomes habitual and even enjoyable, it will no longer feel like a chore.  The benefits are so incredible, it’s absolutely worth it.

Look into powerful vitamins and supplements

It’s never good advice to rely on supplements and vitamin tablets instead of eating healthily, so always avoid this advice!  Supplements are just that – they are to supplement a healthy diet.  You can never replace a healthy diet and expect your immune system to function properly by consuming junk and popping a multivitamin each day.  However, some may be beneficial for boosting your immune system.

I think the best way to get your vitamins and minerals is from wholefood sources, including powerful superfood powders.  I add a scoop of a mixed green superfood powder into my smoothies each day or I even make it into a small shot.  These sorts of powders contain spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, matcha powder and more.  If you research these you’ll see they contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals and the best thing is they are from real food.  These vitamins and minerals will help support a healthy immune system.

One incredible supplement with many health benefits is spirulina.  Though I find the powders overbearing, I do take an organic 100% spirulina supplement each day to try and boost my health.  As I’m vegan it contains some of my B12 and also has powerful anti-cancer properties.

There are lots of natural herbal remedies that can help with various ailments and I think these are worth exploring over pharmaceutical medicines in many instances.  I really believe in the healing power of plants for many common everyday complaints.  For example, Echinacea is a common garden flower and helps to reduce inflammation as well as helps fight the common cold.  It can be purchased as a capsule or even drank as a tea.

Zinc also offers many potential benefits for the immune system. Many people are finally acknowledging zinc as a great way to keep the immune system healthy, particularly in older people. Foods rich in zinc include spinach and pumpkin seeds, but many people choose to take a supplement.   It’s possible to get a wholefood zinc supplement so again, do your research and check out various brands and their claims.

We all know that vitamin C can be tremendously beneficial for the prevention of colds and other health issues too. There are supplements for vitamin C but you can get plenty from food sources such as red peppers, broccoli, oranges, leafy greens, spinach, tomatoes and more.

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Go for regular health check-ups and follow your doctor’s advice

Don’t miss out on your regular health check-ups if you want to supercharge your immune system. They can catch something early on and give you the advice you need to sort it out. If you’re planning on travelling abroad then there may be some vaccinations you need to get in order to prevent catching any dangerous illnesses in the countries you are visiting. You can check out sites like https://www.cbdmedical.com.au/ to get more of an idea of the vaccinations you may need. Listen to your doctor’s advice, and don’t be afraid to get a second opinion if you’re unhappy with what they’ve told you.

Get plenty of sleep

Make sure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. You’ll feel so much better during the day, more productive and able to get things done. Plus, a lack of sleep is just plain awful for your immune system. You’ll feel run down and lethargic most of the time if you’re running on a lack of sleep. Plus, when you do get a chance to sleep in, you’ll waste half of the day.  Those who have a healthy sleeping pattern really don’t feel the need to sleep in. Get into good habits with yours now.

Adopt a positive mind-set

Studies have shown that those who have a sunnier, more positive outlook actually have a stronger immune system than those who have a ‘cup half empty’ sort of mentality. Some people are more inclined to looking on the bright side than others, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work on changing your mind-set and becoming a happier, ‘cup half full’ type of person. Do your best to put a positive spin on things and you’ll be doing yourself a favour both now, and in the future.

Get some sunshine every day

Do your best to get some sunshine every day, even if you just spend 10 minutes sitting outside. This gives us an important dose of Vitamin D that does the world of good to both our mood and our immune systems.

You may not always have sunshine where you are, so try investing in a SAD lamp and getting a feel for what that can do for your mood. People think it’s normal to feel under the weather during winter, for instance, but are surprised when they begin using a SAD lamp and feel 10 times better.

Another option is to take a vitamin D supplement to ensure your body is getting enough of this vital vitamin.  As a follower of a vegan diet I take a wholefood D3 supplement to ensure my levels are sufficient throughout the year, particularly in our long winters.  I’m sure I suffer with SAD and so started taking the supplement this year to see if there’s a noticeable difference this coming winter.

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Practice great hygiene

Your immune system isn’t going to need to fight of germs and bacteria all of the time if you’re practicing great hygiene. Make sure you’re washing your hands before prepping food, before eating and after using the bathroom. Be mindful of what you’re touching and doing, especially in areas where there are many people or a high number of visitors and always clean your hands when needed.

Reduce stress

There are plenty of things that could be stressing you out, from your job to your kids. However, you can’t really leave your job (at least not immediately), and you definitely can’t leave your kids! So, how do you reduce stress?

There are a few things you can do. Try meditation, which is an all-natural way of feeling calmer and happier.  You can also try things like yoga and tai chi, combining both relaxation and exercise.

When you’re not so stressed out, you’re not putting such a strain on your immune system.  Your body is more ready to fight off anything that tries to attack it.

Take a probiotic

As well as making sure you’re eating and drinking the right things, consider taking a probiotic supplement. This will keep your intestinal tract healthy – this is so important for an optimally functioning immune system. Your gut will be filled with good bacteria, which will then kill off any harmful bacteria.

For vegans there are fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha tea which contain probiotics as well as soy foods like tempeh and miso if you consume soy.  Otherwise there are lots of supplement options from capsules and liquids to drinks.

 

More brilliantly healthy blog posts:

Why everyone should eat organic food

Is the ‘everything in moderation’ diet a load of baloney?

How to easily eat these 7 delicious super foods every week

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