With an increasing amount of talk in the media about the global risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and as we start to head into the colder periods of the year, it is a good time to consider what you are doing to look after your immune system. Your immune system is responsible for defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. The stronger your immune system, the greater the ability for your body to ward off nasty bugs.

 

To give your immune system the upper hand, here are some healthy living strategies that you may like to consider.

1. You Are What You Eat – The foods you consume play a large role in the strengthening of your immune system.  Eating the rainbow in terms of colourful fresh fruit and vegetables, whilst a great everyday habit, can help play a vital role in staying well.  Consider some of the following antioxidant packed foods in your weekly diet; blueberries, dark chocolate, turmeric, sunflower seeds.  Other great options for a wide range of goodness include; broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, almonds, oranges, kiwifruit and red capsicums.

2. A Little Bit of Sunshine – a lack of Vitamin D can play a role in the healthy operation of your body. Whilst we all need to manage our time in the sunshine in moderation and protect our skin from excess sun damage, Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in our busy lives. Whilst your body produces Vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight, it can also process Vitamin D through certain supplements. Herbs of Gold Vitamin D 1000 contains a vegan-friendly vitamin D derived from lichen.

3. Manage the Stress – whilst it is difficult to define the exact impact that stress has on your body, constant stress can definitively put a strain on your immune system. Making self-care a priority in your lifestyle is important to ensure you don’t get too “run down”. Consider adding an activity that you enjoy into your lifestyle to reduce stress – such as yoga or meditation.  A great product to consider for those looking for a herbal extract to help manage stress is iThrive Chill Out.  Chill Out is a comprehensive sleep, calming and relaxing formula combining premium herbal extracts.

4. Consider Probiotics – Probiotics are a type of “good bacteria” found in some foods and supplements – also known as ‘microbiome’ or ‘live microorganisms’. Probiotics help to restore and replenish the good, natural bacteria in the digestive system. They can also reduce the growth of harmful organisms and assist the digestive system in breaking down fibres, enzymes and proteins. WholeLife Pharmacy and Healthfood offer a broad range of probiotics.  One of our favourites is Herbs Of Gold Probiotic 55 Billion 60 Capsules. It contains 11 room-stable probiotic strains that may help to maintain a healthy composition of the intestinal flora.

5. Preventative Elderberry – Elderberry is one of the most commonly used medicinal plants in the world and is most often taken as a supplement to treat cold and flu symptoms. There are many reported benefits of elderberries deriving from the naturally high content of vitamin C, dietary fibre and antioxidants. When taken preventively, Sambucus Elderberry Gummies can help equip your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to be prepared in the event that you catch something. These nutrients help lower cholesterol, treat inflammation in the mouth and gums, and help reduce prevalence of seasonal allergy symptoms.

6. Annual Flu Shots – each year, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee (AIVC) determine the annual influenza vaccine composition for the southern hemisphere flu season. Different strains of the flu virus are present in different parts of the world, so the vaccine is formulated specifically for the Australian conditions.  WholeLife offer Flu Vaccines from April each year – to make a booking just contact your local WholeLife Pharmacist.

7. Keep Your Hands Sanitised – one of the everyday things you can add to your routine is to regularly use a hand sanitiser.  Keeping clean hands can significantly reduce your chance of illness. One of our favourite hand sanitisers in store is Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Organic Hand Sanitizer – a simple formula of organic ethyl alcohol, water, organic lavender oil, and organic glycerine. No nasty chemicals and perfect for using on the go, on your little ones’ sticky hands and faces, even as an air freshener or deodorant.

8. Love your Liver – A healthy liver helps filter your body and flush out toxins.  A natural way to cleanse your liver is to drink water with a squeeze of lemon. Consider reducing alcohol consumption and smoking to help reduce the pressure on your liver. A great product to support your liver is Cabot LivaTone Plus – this comprehensive and unique formulation is designed to support and strengthen detoxification pathways. It could assist the liver in repairing and regenerating itself. LivaTone Plus supports optimal digestive and gallbladder function.  

9. Add Some Green Tea – Green Tea is a great natural option that is loaded with antioxidants called Polyphenols. Polyphenols are efficient infection fighters. They protect the body against potential viruses, infections and sickness. Planet Organic Green Tea is a mild unfermented certified organic tea. It produces a yellowish infusion with a fresh, mild flavour and can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

10. Regularly Keep Active – maintaining a healthy regular exercise regime can help improve health and bolster immunity. So, whilst regular exercise is thought to enhance immune function by stimulating a recirculation of cells and decreasing the risk of infection, prolonged high-intensity activity can have a negative impact – so maintaining a regular regime is considered both important and healthy. 

11. Manage Your Sleep – Sleep is a vital, often neglected, component of every person’s overall health and well-being. Sleep allows the body to repair and prepare you to take on your day. Whilst more sleep won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, a lack of sleep could adversely affect your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to illness. Our WholeLife Pharmacy and Healthfoods teams have many options available for you to consider when it comes to helping you with sleep related challenges. To aid in relaxation, you may like to consider diffusing an essential oil such as Gumleaf Essentials Lavender that can help with meditation, stress relief and sleeplessness.

12. Add Some H2O – Importantly, water makes up the majority of our body weight and has many important roles including flushing out waste from our bodies, regulating body temperature and helping our brains to function. Water also aids in the absorption of important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from your food, which increases your chances of staying healthy. Remember 8 glasses a day is recommended at a minimum!