6 easy ways to improve immunity

6 easy ways to improve immunity

There are some things in life we never truly value until they’re gone. Health is one of them. 

So, as summer nears and gyms fill with crazed people looking for their perfect beach body; we thought we’d highlight the importance of looking good (and feeling good) on the inside too

Today we’ve put together 6 easy ways to improve immunity and stay boosted throughout the year, particularly handy for times when we’re just not feeling ourselves.

But before we dive in, it’s important to clarify that there are many types of health: physical, mental, emotional, social and even spiritual health and that health in one area does not necessarily imply health in any of the others. 

That being said, what is clear is that Health is the result of healthy habits and healthy habits promote more healthy habits which branch out into other areas of our lives. So the more small, positive habits we build the closer we are to setting ourselves up for lifelong quality living.

6 easy ways to improve immunity

1. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient with an impressive list of biological functions. It is well known that Vitamin C deficiency results in higher susceptibility to infections and impaired immunity, (1) but it’s important to note that not all vitamin C supplements are the same.

The majority in the market have an absorption rate as low as 15%, meaning 85% is literally thrown away. This wastage is due to the fact that the vitamin is mostly destroyed by the digestive tract before making its way to the cells of the body.

The best options are Liposomal vitamin C supplements which encapsulate the vitamin in a protective barrier ensuring over 90% of the vitamin reaches the body’s cells where it is needed the most.  Altrient C from Abundance&Health is our top choice.

2. Artemisia

Artemisia annua also known as sweet wormwood or chinese wormwood is used throughout Asia and Africa to treat malaria and related symptoms. It exhibits immunoregulatory properties thanks to its active ingredient artemisinin.

Its use is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, nor advised for prolonged periods; but taken as a tea for a couple of weeks is enough to reap the wonderful benefits of this ancient herb.

3. Vitamin D

The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium and keep our bones healthy but did you know there are important interactions between vitamin D and cells from the innate and adaptive immune system? 

Research confirms that vitamin D is important in prevention and treatment of a range of conditions including asthma, heart failure and autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

Severe vitamin D deficiency is found in more than 10% of Europeans and up to 40% have levels below the recommended (2)

The sun is the best natural source of vitamin D, as very few foods contain significant amounts of this vitamin. If you need a supplement we love “Liquid vitamin D3” by solgar, it’s easy to take and tastes nice too (always a bonus)

4. Sleep

Ever wondered why you sleep more when you’re sick? Turns out sleep and immunity are linked. Sleep affects various immune parameters and is associated with a reduced infection risk

Prolonged sleep deficiency can lead to chronic, systematic low-grade inflammation and is associated with various diseases that have an inflammatory component like diabetes, atherosclerosis and neurodegeneration. (4) 

For best sleep avoid digital screens at night and try to be in bed before midnight. This is because the circadian rhythm (the body’s natural cycle) synchronises the movement and functions of the body’s cells to the levels of light and darkness in the environment.

5. Mushrooms

Mushrooms contain biologically active polysaccharides that mostly belong to a group of beta-glucans. (3) These substances increase host immune defense, enhancing macrophages and natural killer cell function. 

Reishi, lion’s mane, chaga, shitake, turkey tail and cordyceps are some of the most powerful. 

We’re in love with the Spanish brand “Hifas da Terra”, which uses organically grown medicinal mushrooms second to none. They have a wide selection of products for different complaints including a line for cancer, children and animals.

6. Reduce your stress levels

Globally more than 25% of individuals are affected by anxiety and depression disorders which result in biological stress. This is a complex topic which we’ll cover more in detail in future posts but to sum it up, stress typically triggers a fight-or-flight response, prompting corticotropin-releasing hormone and catecholamine production in various parts of the body, which ultimately disturbs the microbiota

In the absence of stress, a healthy microbiota produces short-chain fatty acids that exert anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour effects. (5)

High stress levels can be accompanied by chronic inflammation which can contribute to the development of immune-related diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.

So there you have it, the perfect recipe for a truly sexy body for summer, autumn, winter and spring! Hope you’ve found this useful and be sure to stay posted for more bite sized health and good living tips.

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