How to boost your immunity while self-isolating
-Apr 8, Jenny Paul , Health -
Spring signals allergies, and seasonal coughs and colds, so we have looked at ways to help fight them off.
Your immune system is your body’s frontline defence against illnesses, germs and other harmful micro-organisms, so it is incredibly important that we support it and help it provide us with the protection we need, especially in the coming months.
Try Lumity Morning & Night supplements
A healthy immune system is essential as our body’s first line of defence; this complex network reacts to protect us on a daily basis. Lumity’s Morning & Night supplements help to maintain this vital service with Vitamins A, C and D plus Selenium and Zinc, which all contribute to normal immune system function.
Essential lockdown nutrients
The biggest change our bodies notice while we’re inside more is the change in light levels as not possible for us to absorb the required amount of Vitamin D from sunshine. And Vitamin D is an immunity hero. “It’s an immune-regulatory vitamin and if you don’t get enough you are more susceptible to illness,” explains nutritionist Karen Alexander. “I would recommend 1000u a day.”
As well as upping our Vitamin D levels we also need to ensure we are getting enough Vitamin C. Sarah adds, “Vitamin C is extremely helpful when fighting infection, so at the first sign of a cold be sure to increase your intake by eating plenty of berries, citrus fruits, papayas, broccoli and red peppers which will help keep you protected.” A good supplement will also ensure you are getting enough. Vitamin C is also important as it helps the body access ‘unlock’ other nutrients from our foods too.
All of these nutrients are included in the Lumity formula.
Protect your gut – so it can protect you!
In recent years, the link between our gut health and our overall health has been firmly established. “Around 80 per cent of our immune system is in the gut, so if you have an overgrowth of bad bacteria your immune system will take a knock and you will be more susceptible to viruses,” says Karen. So making sure you include a probiotic, in tablet or powder form, and foods which encourage the good bacteria we need is sensible in the winter months. Fermented foods like Sauerkraut and kombucha also help good bacteria thrive.
Flaxseed oil for immunity
It can seem strange but if you want to boost your immunity then it’s worth including an Omega-3 based supplement in your diet. “Omega-3 supplements are particularly useful for supporting our immune system, as they contain the strongest immune-enhancing properties and enhance the functioning of immune cells,” confirms Amy.
This is because Omega-3 reduces inflammation in your body. “Your fatty acids are very important for your immune system and for your cellular communication,” says Karen. “It’s very important to manage inflammation in our bodies, we need some inflammation but we need to keep it in check and most people don’t get enough Omega-3.” Plant-based sources include chia and flax seeds, some nuts and soya beans.
Lumity’s Morning & Night capsules are suspended in flaxseed oil for a healthy daily dose of Omega-3.
Lifestyle choices to help boost your immunity
As well as supplementing our diets, we can help boost our immunity with the lifestyle choices we make. Stress damages the immune system and makes us more prone to infections. “Chronic stress really impacts immune system as it causes a reduction in absorption of nutrients – because it affects digestion – and impacts thyroid function and will cause the body to prioritise production of stress hormones over other hormones which will impact immunity,” explains Karen. Ideally address the sources of stress in your life and take measures to minimise their effects and make sure you do all you can to support your immunity.
Flush out colds and flu this spring
Also make sure you stay hydrated, this is easier in the summer when we feel warm but in spring while the days are a little chilly, we can easily forget to drink enough. “Drinking plenty of water helps keep the cells flushed and prevents toxins building up in the system,” says Sarah. “Grab some herbal teas as they can really help, especially sage, liquorice, turmeric, or green tea. You can also try immune-boosting broths. I am a huge fan of bone broth, packed with collagen, immune boosting properties, vitamins and minerals.”
Why sleep – and exercise – helps prevent colds
When we sleep we also fight bugs before they can take hold so make sure you are not burning the candle at both ends. It can be tempting to snuggle in while self-isolating and abandon exercise too but that’s not going to help your immunity. “Exercise increases blood flow which promotes the process of expelling toxic waste out of your body,” says Amy. “The improved blood circulation also promotes circulation of antibodies and white blood cells that are important for fighting off infections. As little as 20 minutes of walking five days a week can help your immune system perform at its best.”