How to easily boost your immune system

Written by Cyndi O'Meara

Cyndi is about educating. Her greatest love is to teach, both in the public arena and within the large corporate food companies, to enable everyone to make better choices so they too can enjoy greater health throughout their lives. Considered one of the world's foremost experts in Nutrition, Cyndi brings over 40 years experience, research and knowledge.

June 26, 2024

How to easily boost your immune system

In today’s world, maintaining a robust immune system is crucial for overall health and well-being. This article outlines ten essential tips that can help enhance your immunity, support mental health, and promote a healthier lifestyle without expensive trips to the chemists. Expect practical advice on sleep, sunlight exposure, nutrition, mental health, decluttering, gardening, supplements, and more.

  1. Prioritize Sleep: Aim to get to bed early and avoid screens, such as phones, tablets, and televisions, at least an hour before sleep. Exposure to blue light from screens can suppress melatonin production, which is a vital hormone for sleep and healing. Creating a bedtime routine that includes activities such as reading a book, meditating, or taking a warm bath can also signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Good quality sleep is essential for a strong immune system, as it allows the body to repair and regenerate cells, fight off infections, and reduce inflammation. Switch off the Netflix and dive into that book you bought ages ago that’s been gathering dust on your bedside table.
  2. Chase the Sunrise: Waking up early and watching the sunrise can help regulate circadian rhythms and boost the production of serotonin, dopamine, and vitamin D, all of which are important for energy and immunity. Exposure to natural light in the morning helps reset your internal clock, which can improve sleep quality and overall mood. Additionally, sunlight exposure in the morning can enhance cognitive function and support mental health. Vitamin D, produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, is essential for immune function and has been linked to a reduced risk of respiratory infections. Which brings us to our next point.
  3. Sunlight Exposure: Ensure your skin gets daily exposure to sunlight without protection for at least 10 minutes. This helps in the natural production of vitamin D, which is crucial for immune function. Vitamin D plays a key role in enhancing the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages, which are white blood cells that are critical to immune defence, and decreasing inflammation. To maximize benefits, try to get sunlight exposure during peak hours, typically between 10 AM and 2 PM, when UVB rays are most effective at producing vitamin D.
  4. Get cooking, good looking: Avoid processed and chemically-laden foods. Instead, focus on preparing meals from fresh, whole ingredients such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This supports a strong immune system by providing the body with nutrients it recognizes and can effectively use. Processed foods are often high in sugars, unhealthy fats, and additives, which can contribute to inflammation and weaken the immune system. On the other hand, whole foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre, which are essential for maintaining a healthy gut microbiome and supporting immune function.
  5. Support Mental Health: Combat negative thoughts by keeping a gratitude journal. Writing down things you’re grateful for can help shift your mindset from fear and negativity to positivity and appreciation. Mental health and immune health are closely linked; chronic stress and anxiety can suppress the immune system, making the body more susceptible to illness. Incorporating mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can also help reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Additionally, staying connected with loved ones, even virtually, can provide emotional support and reduce feelings of isolation.
  6. Declutter Your Home: Remove harmful chemicals and ultra-processed foods from your pantry, bathroom, and laundry. Gradually replace them with natural and chemical-free alternatives to create a healthier living environment. Many household products contain endocrine disruptors and other toxic chemicals that can negatively impact immune function and overall health. Opt for natural cleaning products, organic personal care items, and whole, unprocessed foods to reduce your exposure to harmful substances. Creating a clean and toxin-free home environment can also improve air quality and reduce the risk of allergies and respiratory issues.
  7. Grow Your Own Food: Investing in an edible garden can provide fresh, healthy produce right at your doorstep. Learning to grow your own food not only ensures a steady supply of nutritious food but also promotes self-sufficiency and resilience. Gardening can also be a therapeutic activity that reduces stress and enhances mental well-being. Start with easy-to-grow plants such as tomatoes, herbs, leafy greens, and root vegetables. Composting kitchen scraps can also enrich your garden soil, leading to healthier and more productive plants. Additionally, growing your own food reduces the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides, promoting a more sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle. Even a simple balcony herb garden is a great place to start if you don’t have the space to be planting in the ground. Potatoes are also a really easy vegetable to grow, sometimes even as simply as in a pot. Ask your local nursery for the easiest ways to grow your own foods.
  8. Incorporate Nutrient-Rich Foods: While supplements can be beneficial, focus on a holistic lifestyle that includes high-quality, nutrient-dense foods. Foods rich in vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, and selenium are particularly important for immunity. For example, citrus fruits, berries, and leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamin C, which is essential for the production of white blood cells and the prevention of infections. Zinc, found in oysters, red meat, and seeds, plays a crucial role in immune cell function and wound healing. Incorporating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds into your diet can provide a broad spectrum of essential nutrients that support overall health and immune function.
  9. Use Broths: Bone broths are an excellent addition to a healthy diet, providing essential nutrients and minerals. They can be enhanced with organic ingredients like gelatin, turmeric, and seaweed salt for additional health benefits. Bone broth is rich in collagen, amino acids, and minerals that support gut health, joint function, and immune response. Drinking warm broth can also be soothing and hydrating, especially during the colder months. To make a nourishing bone broth, simmer animal bones with vegetables, herbs, and spices for several hours. You can also add nutrient-dense ingredients like mushrooms, seaweed, and garlic to boost the immune-boosting properties of the broth.
  10. Green machine: Make a green immune booster using herbs from your garden, seaweed salt, pepper, inca inchi oil, seeds, and apple cider vinegar. Green herbs like basil, parsley, mint, and rosemary are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support immune function and detoxification too. Seaweed salt provides iodine, which is essential for thyroid function and metabolism. Inca inchi oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties. Adding a green power, like our Supreme Green Blend, is also a great booster to your diet can enhance the nutritional value of your meals and provide a natural way to support immune health. One of our best sellers, Nature’s Mineral Boost , is also a fantastic way of replenishing those oh-so-important minerals that our body craves and needs to function like a well oiled machine.

By implementing these ten immune-boosting tips, you’ll not only improve your immune system but also enhance your overall physical and mental well-being. Start with one new habit today and gradually incorporate the others to build a healthier lifestyle.

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