Our immune system is the body’s first line of defense against unwanted microbes. Comprised of an extremely complex, highly integrated network of cells, tissues, organs and signaling mechanisms, the immune system gives our bodies the ability to identify and target undesirable organic and inorganic materials. With the ever-present threat of the coronavirus it is vital that we ensure our immune systems are strong, lessening the chances of falling ill.
To optimize the function of the immune system it is advisable to follow good, healthy diet and lifestyle regimes.
- Eat a diet high in vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts and seeds; include foods such as garlic, turmeric, ginger, broccoli and, of course, mushrooms. These are high in nutrients essential for our immune system.
- Exercise – regular exercise has shown to boost the immune system, helping to boost T-Cells. However too much rigorous exercise may have a weakening effect – balance is important
- Sleep – try for 7/8 hours
- Don’t smoke
- Wash hands regularly to avoid spreading germs
- Oregano has a long history of supporting immune health. Containing phytochemicals and volatile oils, oregano is not only a natural antioxidant but also helps the body resist pathogens and support a healthy immune response.
- Cat’s Claw – has a lengthy history dating back to the Inca civilisation and has been used as a traditional medicine in the Andes to promote good health for 1000’s of years. Now validated by modern science and numerous studies, Cat’s Claw’s active compounds, mainly found in the roots and bark, are said to stimulate the immune system, leading to this herb’s various medicinal and healing benefits.
- Vitamin C – this water-soluble vitamin is one the most important vitamins for our survival and for immune support. Our body does not produce Vitamin C, so daily intake is essential. Vitamin C is an electron donor, which is important for the synthesis of enzymes, and it’s a cofactor in the production of numerous essential biochemicals. Vitamin C is also involved in the synthesis of the amino acid carnitine, as well as various neurotransmitters. Vitamin C is also involved in tissue growth and repair due to its role in the formation of collagen, the body’s main structural protein. Perfect companion for your collagen supplement!
- Mushrooms – Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides, particularly Beta-glucans found within their cell walls. These therapeutic, active compounds are highly attributable to mushroom’s immune boosting abilities. Shiitake: Recognized as a superfood as it contains an array of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to help boost the immune system. The polysaccharide, Lentinan, is derived from Shiitake and studies have shown its use as adjunctive therapy for HIV and cancer (primarily in Japan). Reishi: Well known for its anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties, Reishi also stimulates production of macrophages supporting the immune system. Cordyceps: Known as a ‘kidney’ tonic in traditional Chinese medicine. Regarded as both yin and yang, it has a balancing effect on human physiology. Science has confirmed its many purposes including anti-fatigue and anti-stress properties. Studies also show balanced cell function and free radical scavenging properties. Historical use of Cordyceps, as an anti-ageing herb, dates back to 1700BC.
- Probiotics – perform numerous important functions, not only digestive health but support healthy immune function, by helping to modulate specific immune system cells. This helps to maintain gut barrier function as well as other immune aspects.