How to Boost Your Immune System - Lake Harding Association

How to Boost Your Immune System

By Micah Moen 0 Comment March 26, 2020

– Hi there, it’s Nicki here
from Happy Hormones For Life. I hope you’re okay in
these very difficult times, we are obviously on day
two or day one of lockdown and it’s a new way of living and being, and we’ve all gotta get used to it. At least today and this week, looks like the sun’s
gonna be out and shining so if you do have a little bit of outside or you can get outside and
get some sun on your face, what a relief that is and
it just definetely lifts your mood doesn’t it. So if you’re able to in
this time, in this period, this is a really good time to focus on your self care, your health, try some new recipes, maybe
embed some new habits. And of course we wanna make sure that you’re as resilient
as possible in case you do fall ill. So I ran a training on this last week, on how to boost your immune system. You are welcome to watch the replay and I will put the link in but it is over an hour long. So I thought today that I would
do a quick summary for you, so if you don’t have time
to watch the whole thing, you can just watch this. So today I’m talking about how to boost your immune system naturally. So despite the advances of
modern science and medicine, nutrition and lifestyle
interventions are still one of the most powerful ways to ensure the resilience
of your immune system. Now our immune systems
are incredibly complex and incredibly busy, they are daily, on a daily basis they’re
dealing with a huge number of microbes and toxins that we’re exposed to
from the air we breathe, the food we eat, the environment we’re in, and the things that we touch. So it is a very complex system that we need to be supporting. Now food has a direct impact
on how your whole body works so it’s natural that the
immune system is part of that, it relies on nutrient dense foods and lifestyle interventions
to function well. So firstly, what are we eating? We wanna be eating the
most nutrient dense diet we can eat. And obviously that will
depend on what ingredients you have, you are able to
purchase and get hold of, and whatever else. But the best we can do basically, so that’s really focusing
on real whole foods, the foods that we were
designed to thrive on. Protein, healthy fats, slow burning carbs, and plenty of water and hydration. Now protein is critical
for immune function and protein malnutrition is a big risk factor for death from infection. So protein obviously is critical and we just wanna be making
sure we’re getting good sources of protein, that’s like
from meat, fish, pulses, legumes, and organic dairy
and things like that. So protein is critical. Healthy fats are really important, they obviously support
every cell in your body. Every cell is made from
healthy fats, from fat, so we wanna be eating lots of oily fish, avocados, and olive oil,
and coconut oil, and nuts, and seeds, things like that. So make sure we’ve got
enough healthy fats going on. And slow burning carbs, stay away from the white refined carbs and we wanna be focusing
on brown rice, wild rice, brown rice pastas, sweet
potatoes, potatoes. All your vegetables are carbs as well so load up on the veg and you’ll get enough slow burning carbs, oats as well, really good. And we want to be really
focusing on a group of nutrients called phytonutrients, and obviously phyto means plant so these are nutrients
that are found in plants that actually help the
plant’s immune system, so it protects the plant from radiation, from pests, from pollution, from toxins, and that stops it producing
these free radicals. Now why is this important to us? Because when we eat the plants we also get those protections, those environmental
protections, phytonutrients, they’re really, really critical, and that’s why plant
foods are so important to get into our diets. Now each plant contains 10s of thousands of different phytonutrients and they all act as antioxidants, and that’s why, we talk about antioxidants and what they do, they protect
us from free radical damage which can damage our DNA and make us much, much
weaker in terms of immunity. So what are these phytonutrients? The big five are carotenoids, so we’re looking at the
yellow, red, orange, the carrots, the bell
peppers, the citrus fruits, all of those kind of thing. The flavonoids and they are
basically all the colors of plants and veg, pretty much every fruit and veg has some kind of flavonoids in it. Glucosinolates, easy for me to say, are the phytonutrients, they are found in mostly
in cruciferous vegetables. I talk about the power of
cruciferous vegetables, they’re your brassicaceaes, your broccoli, cauliflower, kale,
rocket, Brussels sprouts, those kind of vegetables because they are high in antioxidants and these phytonutrients. And they also help your
hormones at the same time so get those in. Phytoestrogens again, not only good for your estrogen balance and your hormones, but
also they’ve been found to improve your immune system as well. So phytoestrogens are
things like the organic soy, which is also a good source
of protein by the way, and flaxseeds, chickpeas and lentils, that kinda stuff. And then you’ve got the final big group of phytonutrients called ellagic acid, and these are found
mostly in kinda berries and some nuts. So those are the sort of plant foods we should be looking for, eating the rainbow basically, as many different colors
as you can get hold of. And I know availability is
gonna be really key to that, but as many different
colors and variety as you can will definetely be
supporting your immune system. Specific foods, things like
reishi and shiitake mushrooms if you can get ahold of those, have something called beta-glucans in them which really help to support
your white blood cells. Garlic, onions, and ginger
all antimicrobial properties in them. Spices, so get your spices out, turmeric, rosemary, oregano, thyme, all those really lovely
spices are anti-inflammatory. Fermented foods, sauerkrauts,
the live yogurts, whatever you can get hold of,
you can make your own as well, just YouTube it, it’s
incredibly easy to do, amazing for your gut support and your immune system
does live in your gut so we need to be supporting the gut. And of course for foods, you gotta have your chocolate in there, dark chocolate is incredibly
rich in magnesium, that is a stress antidote,
it’s a relaxation mineral, it also does a ton of other things. And antioxidants as well,
because you’ve got the cacao, the rawer you get, the
more denser the percentage, so over 70 up to 85,
90 if you can bear it, the better because that’s
got more antioxidants in it. Hydration obviously, really
key to keep yourself hydrated and nothing wrong with a bit of coffee, if you’re not sensitive to coffee then you can have some real
coffee for the antioxidants, lots of them in there. So we’re really, really loading
up on those antioxidants. What we need to be limiting
is obviously sugar, refined carbs, processed
foods where possible, vegetable oils, alcohol as well, all kind of mostly inflammatory and bad for the immune system. So limit those wherever possible. Supplements, you’ve gotta be
getting your vitamin D in, that’s why I’ve out in
the sunshine this morning just getting some vitamin D on my face, ’cause not only does it feel good, and there’s a reason it feels good, ’cause it’s really good for us, it’s our main immune system regulator and I can’t believe why
people in the government, our mainstream advice has
not been telling people to supplement their vitamin D. It’s a big protector
for your immune system so we need to be making
sure we’ve got good levels of vitamin D, and if
you’re not supplementing and you’re in the UK in the winter now, okay the sun’s up today but we’re probably deficient
after a long winter. So you need to get your
vitamin D levels up in the optimal range. Plenty of blogs on that if you want to go and look for that to see what your optimal range is and see whether you can get hold of some home kit testing which
is very, very easy to do. Vitamin C is your next one,
big, big, big immune regulator, immune defense, and a
huge antioxidant as well. So vitamin C comes in all
of those lovely rainbow veg, bell peppers, particularly
the highest, citrus fruits obviously as well. But vitamin C needs to be
in your diet as well as in your supplement range if
you can get hold of it, and most supermarkets,
pharmacists will have some kind of vitamin C and vitamin D in their range, hopefully still got stocks of those. Vitamin A, very important
for your immune system, again it’s important to get
those carotenoids in there because that beta carotene
is really important to convert to vitamin A, but mostly vitamin A is found
in meat and fish products, particularly liver, so if you like liver that’s going to be nice
and rich in vitamin A. Most multivitamins will
have enough vitamin A for you if you get a good quality one. Zinc and selenium hugely
important minerals for immunity, again if you
get as good multivitamin you will have enough zinc
and selenium in there, if not three Brazil nuts will give you your daily requirement of selenium, and zinc can be found
in most animal products as well as some plants. Magnesium is the next one, magnesium is just so
important especially when we’re kinda stressed and anxious and not really sure what’s going on because the more our
adrenals are functioning the more magnesium we seem to lose. And it’s quite hard to get
enough magnesium in the diet, especially at the moment, so magnesium supplements
will help us relax, de-stress and it does a
lot of other stuff as well, detoxifying and all kinds of stuff. Omega-3s is the next one, omega-3s are incredibly anti-inflammatory, so if you can get hold of some decent good quality
fish oil with plenty of EPA and DHA in there, and
it’s a good quality brand, that’s going to also
help with inflammation and general healthy because that’s obviously
good for your cells. Now going out of food, there are other things that have a big impact
on your immune system, one of them is stress, and of course that’s really
hard to avoid right now, especially if you’re all cooped up and you may have kids at home and we’re all in each others way and all of that, and
we’re worried as well. So stress is a big one. But cortisol is a massive
immune suppressant, it weakens your immune function over time. So this is the time to really build in those
self care routines, even if you just get five or
10 minutes to yourself a day, get onto a meditation
or a mindfulness app, do some deep breathing,
all of the usual stuff I talk about with stress
management, so important right now to just give yourself that time to de-stress and reduce that cortisol because it’s going to improve your resilience
with your immune system. Sleep, another massive one, when your body rests and repairs your body releases
proteins called cytokines which help fight infection
and inflammation. So really important to
prioritize your sleep if you can. Movement also helps your
immune system work well, so if you’re stuck at home get one of the online classes, Joe Wicks is doing his body coach sessions
every morning at the moment, live streaming from his home. There are lots and lots of other brilliant,
brilliant people out there who’ve moved their
exercise classes online, just go look for them, some of them are incredible. If you’re doing yoga some of the yoga teachers have moved online, mine certainly has and so I can still do my
yoga which is amazing. Laughter and connection is
the last one I just wanted to mention, it’s so important. These are sort of heavy,
heavy serious times and just to relive that
heaviness with a little bit of laughter occasionally. So put on a comedy, listen to
somebody funny on a podcast, we put on an episode of
“Friends” every time anyone feels a bit down, just because it’s still funny, in our house anyway. And connection, make
sure you’re connecting, if you can’t see people
obviously face to face then we are just a Zoom
call or a Skype call or a FaceTime call away from most people. So make sure you’re at least speaking to someone at least once a
day if you’re on your own, and look after our loved ones as well, make sure they’re feeling connected to. That’s it from me, I hope that was useful and stay well and I’ll
see you guys very soon, take care.

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