Are you suffering from the effects of colds, flu or infection? Or are you just generally feeling sluggish and run down? These all impact your lifestyle in their own ways – and linked to how well your immune system is functioning.
Your immune system is complex.It actually comprises your skin, bone marrow, the thymus (a gland in your upper chest), white blood cells and the lymph fluid that carries them, your lymphatic system and lymph nodes, the spleen, and the mucous membranes (i.e. the lining of the inside of your mouth). In fact, the first line of defence is your skin and mucous membranes.
Researchers are continually exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age and stress on the immune response but what is known is that looking after your health can certainly support your immune system. That means eating a fresh, clean diet high in vegetables and fruits, avoiding smoking and alcohol (or at least in moderation), keeping fit with regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting a good night’s sleep. Simple steps like hand washing and ensuring meats are cooked properly are also key to giving your body a better chance of avoiding infection.
35 per cent of Australians report experiencing a significant level of distress and anxiety symptoms . That means over one-third of us are already putting pressure on our immune and adrenal health – so consider techniques that can help manage stress such as talking to friends, family or a professional, trying yoga, tai chi or meditation (there are plenty of great apps like Calm) and support your sleep habits with a creating a relaxed environment and helpful apps like Relax Melodies.
Garlic mushroom pizza anyone? Mushrooms and garlic can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing. Garlic has long been renowned for its health boosting properties, mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties, and researchers from the University of Florida have discovered that eating a cooked shiitake mushroom every day can boost immunity over significant periods of time . So get creative in the kitchen.
A study assessing the effects on your secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels of petting a dog found that the group petting a live dog yielded a significant increase in IgA. So take your dog for a walk or playtime in the park or visit the RSPCA – man’s best friend may actually be a great mate to your immune system too .
There are plenty of natural remedies you can try, but we love the combination of these four cold-busting and immune-boosting powerhouses to help support your adrenal health.
Maintaining good health and wellbeing is so important to all aspects of your life. Taking care of your nutrition, exercise and sleep are all especially important, but supplementing your diet can help when you’re feeling sluggish. Be sure to talk to your healthcare professional to ensure the right combination for you.
References available on request