How to boost your immune system naturally

As we sadly see Corona virus cases on the rise again locally, it seemed a good time to write a blog on how to look after your immune system and keep it in tip top condition. As well as the pandemic, we are also entering cold and flu season, so ensuring our immune system is working optimally is so important. At the moment I am also incorporating reflexology for lymphatic drainage into most of my treatments as this amazing technique helps balance and boost the immune system which seems so important for everyone at the moment.


1. Try some reflexology

Stress has a majorly detrimental effect on your immune system. Reflexology is a great way to help reduce your stress. As well as this, I am trained in the amazing reflexology for lymphatic drainage, which works to help boost and rebalance the immune system.

2. Get enough sleep and manage stress

Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function. Being a reflexologist, I am very aware of the effects stress has on the body and immune function. Reflexology is a great way to reduce stress, improve your sleep and give your immune system a boost. Also great are meditation, gentle exercise and ensuring electronic devices are not used for at least two hours before bedtime to help.



1. Reduce alcohol consumption

Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.

2. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds

These will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. Make sure you get a good variety as this increases the variety of vitamins and minerals in our diet. Eat the rainbow!

3. Consider probiotics.

Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. Fermented milk products and probiotic supplements have also been shown to reduce respiratory infections in adults and kids.

4. Stop smoking

It undermines basic immune defences and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, and middle ear infections in kids.

5. Vitamins and minerals

As well as being great for your bones, vitamin D is essential for maximum efficiency of your immune system. Make sure you get some sun exposure, or consider taking a supplement in the winter months. Zinc is also essential for lots of the functions of the immune system. Vitamin C is also a really important powerhouse of the immune system and is also a free radical scavenger which protects against infectious diseases.

6. Consider natural antimicrobials

Honey

Quite a bit of research exists on the benefits of honey as a natural immune booster, natural anti-inflammatory agent, and antimicrobial agent. I love warm water with a teaspoon of honey and half a squeezed lemon for an extra hit of vitamin C!

Garlic

You might be surprised to know it’s not just vampires garlic wards off! This superfood has very strong antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Heat does destroy the active compunds, so it best added to food just before serving. Supplements can interact with some medicines though, so always check if you are on regular medicines that garlic is ok with them.

Echinachea

This herbal remedy is used for its antiviral properties.

Wishing that everyone stays safe and healthy this Autumn and Winter.

Karen - Cheshire Clinical Reflexology

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