- HEALTH & NUTRITION
5 ways to support your immunity daily
Many of us are guilty of only thinking about our immune health if we have a runny nose, or if there’s a cold making its way around the office. But being proactive and prioritizing your immunity every day will give you the upper hand when the seasons change.
Sep 6, 2023|
Sep 6, 2023
Research-backed tips to support your immunity each day
Stimulate the lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is responsible for immunity and managing the balance of fluids in the body, which helps regulate blood volume and pressure. This crucial system of lymphatic vessels and capillaries is central to the body’s ability to fight foreign invaders (aka pathogens or infections).
Working closely with the circulatory system, the lymphatic system is responsible for collecting waste products (lymph) from the blood and filtering it out of the body via the lymph nodes. Since the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump like the heart, these waste products flow through the body by the movements of our muscles. This means that activity like walking is crucial for lymphatic health, and therefore – immunity. Without the help of our lymphatic system, immune health can be compromised.
Tips to stimulate the lymphatic system
Walk for 30 minutes – research shows that “A daily walk helps shake up and spread out your natural killer cells - which are the Marine Corps of your immune system – making them more vigilant”.
Practice dry brushing – with origins from Eastern and Ayurvedic medicine, dry brushing is thought to support the natural flow of lymph through the body. What has now gained popularity as a self-care practice, dry brushing has traditionally been used to stimulate the lymphatic system to support immunity.
When we’re stressed, our immune system’s ability to ward off foreign invaders is compromised – making us more susceptible to catching that office cold. Why? Because the body releases the hormone cortisol when we experience stress. And if the stress is ongoing, the increased production of cortisol can suppress the effects of the immune system. While it’s not always an easy feat finding moments in the day to practice stress management, these efforts do all add up and can make a huge difference to your immune health in the long-term.
Tips for daily stress management
Meditation – a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that meditation can reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) which is a key biomarker for inflammation caused by infection and immune compromise.
Adaptogens – one randomized, double-blind study found that participants who supplemented with ashwagandha extract each day experienced less stress and had lower levels of cortisol.
Eat for immunity
We can’t talk about supporting daily immune health without mentioning your diet!
Increase your mineral intake – minerals like iron, zinc and selenium support the immune system and promote healthy cells. Mineral-rich foods include nuts and seeds, red meat and green leafy vegetables.
Utilize herbs and spices in your everyday cooking – used traditionally for their flavor and health promoting properties, herbs like garlic, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon have been shown to support the immune system. These herbs have long been investigated for their antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant potential – making them the perfect addition to everyday cooking.
The healing benefits of turmeric
Highly absorbable Longvida® Optimized Curcumin is enhanced with MitoQ to support the immune system, digestion, mental clarity, and post-workout recovery.
Take care of your gut
70% of your immune system is housed in your gut. The food we eat directly affects the diversity of our gut bacteria, which in turn impacts our immune health. Our gut bacteria (aka our gut microbiome) and our immune system are intricately intertwined, and whatever shape our gut is in usually determines the health of our immune system.
Tips for daily gut support
Avoid processed food and refined sugar - support the gut with plenty of fiber instead! This will aid the diversity of bacteria found in the gut and help reduce the body’s inflammatory response.
Take probiotics - probiotics are another helpful way to support the immune system via the gut, with new research emerging all the time that cements their role in immune health. Studies show that probiotic strains like Lactobacillus paracasei and Lactobacillus rhamnosus in particular support immune health and maintain immune homeostasis.
Address oxidative stress
Oxidative stress, like mental stress, plays a major role in determining our immune responses. This type of internal stress (aka cell stress) occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Our cells produce antioxidants to mitigate any damage that may be caused by free radicals, but as we age, our body’s ability to produce antioxidants naturally declines. This can expose the cells to damage, leading to compromised energy production and immunity.
The immune system utilizes free radicals when fighting off infections. Immune cells generate free radicals to kill off pathogens, the free radicals are then used as cell signallers to initiate a wider immune response. While this response is necessary to help the body fight infection, overproduction of free radicals can lead to cell damage, and a poorly functioning immune system.
Your body contains trillions of cells and inside each one of them are huge numbers of tiny, energy producing power plants called mitochondria. In addition to fueling the body with energy to function, mitochondria have important roles in regulating the body’s immune response. As we age, oxidative stress can increase and mitochondrial function and the body’s immune system can become compromised.
Tips to address oxidative stress
Support your cell health daily - MitoQ is an advanced form of CoQ10 that supports healthy mitochondrial function and reduces oxidative stress, effectively support your immune system. When it comes to immune support, it’s all about stacking the odds in your favor by taking measures that support it to be as strong as possible – and cell health is a key player in the immune health puzzle.
Can self-compassion reduce inflammation?
Sep 13, 2023|