By Kate Barnes
There are two clear strategies I work on to boost immunity.
1. Nurture your good bugs.
When this natural symbiotic relationship is strong and you have a healthy army of bugs, you have a great chance of keeping pathogenic infections at bay and therefore strengthening your immunity, naturally. You’ll know things are going well because digestion will be happy and regular and immunity good.
2. Nourish your cells.
It’s easier than you might think. Let’s assume you’re enjoying some wonderful nourishing foods. The other important question to consider is, “How well are you (and the children) absorbing all those wonderful nutrients those foods are providing you…?”
VERY simply, when these two functions are going well – we are well.
The difficulty is there are many factors in our environment that can work against these two most natural immune building functions. And we may not even realise we have these factors working against us, until we realise we’re not as healthy as we thought we were, or our kids are ALWAYS sick.
27 tips to nurture your good bugs and nourish your cells. A checklist.
Whatever you’re not already doing, choose one or two ideas that make sense for you and begin, and importantly, have fun along the way.
1. Vitamin D. The sunshine and happiness vitamin. And instrumental for a healthy immune system. Enjoy a healthy dose of sunshine whenever you can. Cover up only when you need to. We need the sun.
2. Sleep. Approximately 10 – 14 hours for kids, depending on their age. Seven-nine refreshing hours for adults.
3. Stress Less. Rest your nervous system. Allow for down time (schedule it in), play, have fun, get outdoors, be creative, let the kids get dirty, meditate, rest, do more of what you love and love what you do.
4. Fresh Air and Physical Activity. Keep your body, your systems and your cells moving and communicating.
5. Water. 1 – 2L filtered good quality water a day. Preferably mineralised.
6. Reduce or eliminate sugar, dairy and gluten. Especially dairy for sinus, colds or mucous generating infections. These foods can hamper immunity and feed pathogens. Avoid them when the bugs abound and reduce them as necessary.
7. Reduce processed, packaged foods. These too hamper immunity and disrupt strong digestion.
8. Evaluate simple carbohydrates (including fruit). No more than two pieces of fruit a day.
9. Greens, glorious greens. Lots of them any which way you can. They’re cleansing, full of nutrients, feed the good bugs (act as a prebiotic) and are energising. A simple green smoothie is the best or something more medicinal like this medicinal spring smoothie.
10. Good fats and protein. Help to keep blood sugars stable. Including bone stocks regularly is a perfect food to be adding in these two macro nutrients, coconut oil or milk, organic ghee, eggs, etc.
11. Whole foods. Especially herbs and spices. For example garlic, ginger, lemon, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme, etc. Add your preferred herbs and spices to a cup, add warm water and allow to steep for a few minutes before drinking for a perfect immuni-TEA.
12. Eliminate trans fats. Baked goods, chips, margarines, cooking with vegetable oils.
13. Check toxin exposure or anything hampering optimum health. Personal and home cleaning products, radiation, EMF and chemical exposure, cookware, plastics, heavy metals, microbial infections, etc, can all work at disrupting your immune system and more.
14. Fermented foods. Add them in regularly, e.g. kefir, home made yoghurt or an authentic sugar-free brand, sauerkraut, miso paste, olives, capers, etc. And if you’re buying them, preferably buy unpasteurized.
15. Enjoy a good breakfast and lunch or afternoon tea/dinner and keep your blood sugars stable.
16. Own a pet. Research shows pet owners naturally have a stronger immune system.
17. Laugh often.
18. Detox or cleanse, e.g. do a gentle cleanse, use an infrared sauna, keep your fascia and your lymphatic system moving, remove inflammatory foods and allow your body to rest and digest.
See next page for more…