From sleep to supplements, baths to bio-fermentation, here’s how to support your immune health, naturally...
Your immune system is a sophisticated network of billions of cells that move through your bloodstream, organs and tissues. Its job? To defend you from unwelcome invaders—such as bacteria and parasites—that can make you unwell. Supporting and strengthening your immunity is an important task, but thankfully, it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. Below, eight simple ways you can bolster your health—and feel better for it.
Move A Little More
Did you know that as little as 20 minutes of exercise can have a positive effect on your brain chemistry? Exercise triggers the release of feel-good neurotransmitters, lowers your stress hormones and even boosts immune function. Need some inspiration? Here’s a list of our favourite mindful movement exercises to get you started.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature can be a major health booster. Forest bathing— or Shinrin-yoku, as the Japanese call it—lowers salivary levels of your stress hormone, cortisol. Getting into the great outdoors can also help to lower your heart rate, reduce muscle tension and calm your parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), making it the ultimate happiness hack!
Up Your Antioxidants
To do its job well, your immune system needs a constant supply of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can be obtained by eating a diet that’s rich in wholefoods. Antioxidants are particularly important for immunity, as they work by “hunting down” free radicals, the unstable molecules that damage your cells, cause inflammation and tax your immune system. A simple way to up your intake of these compounds is by enjoying a tablespoon of ANTIOXIDANT Inner Beauty Boost every day, which has a new supercharged formula. With added elderberry and selenium to support immunity, plus vitamin C to help protect against free radical damage, our delicious bio-fermented elixir is a powerful ally when it comes to combating oxidative stress and brightening your complexion.
Favour Fermented Foods
While most of us know that fermented foods like sauerkraut, yoghurt and GLOW Inner Beauty Essential contain probiotics, what many of us don’t realise is that they also contain postbiotics—the cell walls of the probiotics that have “died” during the fermentation process. Postbiotics have been shown to possess powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating properties, making them a powerful addition to your diet. Kimchi, anyone?
It’s fair to assume that you don’t always feel like smiling, but turning your frown upside down can actually trick your brain into feeling happier. Smiling triggers the release of your feel-good hormones, dopamine and serotonin, which has a positive effect on our brain chemistry. Believe it or not, smiling and laughing have also been shown to boost immunity—a good reason to get your giggle on!
Enjoy Feel-Better Food
The good bacteria that live in your gut produce many of the neurotransmitters that affect your mood, including 80–90% of your happy hormone, serotonin. To make key neurochemicals, we need to consume a diet that’s rich in wholefoods. This includes complex carbohydrates (from whole grains and starchy vegetables), amino acids (mostly from lean protein), antioxidants and phytonutrients (from plant foods), vitamins and minerals such as folate (found in leafy greens and legumes) and essential fatty acids (from oily fish, nuts, extra virgin olive oil and our very own OMEGA ELIXIR).
Sleep Yourself Happy
By simply getting seven to nine hours of shut-eye most nights, you’ll not only improve your immunity but also boost your productivity and enhance your mood. A 2014 study found that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to experience repetitive negative thoughts, which means that hitting snooze in the name of your health and happiness is totally okay!
Your lymphatic system is an important part of your immune system because it carries white blood cells around your body via your blood. These cells, also known as leukocytes or leucocytes, protect your body from infection. In order to make lymph fluid, however, your body needs water, which means that staying hydrated is essential for immune health.