Ways to boost our immune system this winter

As we enter this winter in 2020, its more important than ever for people to take individual responsibility for their health. Its well known that what we put in our body will affect our health no matter how hard we try and shield from a virus. If the body is weak, so is the immune system and we decide what we put in our bodies. So its more important than ever to take responsibility for our health and kick our bad habits once and for all.

So here are some of my personal tips I learnt after beating mild Pneumonia in 2016.

Manuka Honey. I've used Manuka for over 4 years now and whilst it has a proven track record for helping heal burns and scolds its less official in terms of helping our immune system. However I've always used it for colds and coughs and found a teaspoon a day while I'm poorly has always helped me to recover faster than when I didn't use it. Now Manuka is more expensive that your normal honey because its actually only produced by a native bee species to New Zealand. These special little bees now how to make this healing elixir because these bees make their honey including one particular flower species over in NZ. It comes in different grades but you can buy it in ALDI and LIDL for approx £5 a jar.

Gut Health. Our lovely gut flora really help to keep our immune system in check and according to the below medical paper, it explains the correlation between gut microbial communities and how they have a profound affect on their host immune system. Even a change in single bacteria species within the gut can have a drastic impact on host immunity and pathology. Building a healthy microbiome can take up to 6 months if the correct health habits are adopted across diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. The worst foods for digestion are fried foods, citrus and artificial sugar. The Gut flora aid our nutrition and are a complex ecological system formed in the digestive tract but they are sensitive to what we eat. Your Gur flora needs a wide range of plant based foods, fibre from fruit, veg, pulses, nuts and wholegrains, probiotic foods such as live yoghurt and extra virgin olive oil.

You can check out this medical paper here Gut Microbes 2012. doi: 10,4161/gmic.19320

Have you taken your vitamins? Supplements are readily available this days but if you want an immunity boost in particular. Vit C is the biggest immunity booster of all, followed by Vit B6 which is vital for supporting biochemical reactions in the immune system and Vit E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Cod liver oil, and Vit D3 and Echinacea are also other supplements you can use but be aware you can't use Echinacea whilst pregnant.

Hydration. 2 litres per day recommended. But water doesn't have to be boring. You can add slices of lemon, , blueberries, grapefruit and orange to boost immunity and flavour!

Minimize stress. Your body can naturally heal itself but if your Ego's fight or flight system is triggered it hinders you bodies ability to relax and apply it own healing mode. Fight or flight mode is triggered when we think we're in danger and it is a safety mechanism that our brain applied in order to help us survive. The problems is the cortisol it produces stresses our organs out over time as we're only built to sustain the effects of fight or flight for approx 3 hours. Because that was deemed enough time to out run a predator. Therefore its really important to help yourself to switch off. You can do this with meditation, however it can be tricky getting a triggered Ego to switch off as it makes it hyper alert. Therefore I recommend playing solfeggio scale meditation music in your sleep that start at 432 Hz as this frequency automatically triggered your brain to switch on its healing cycle and is in tune with the human bodies natural vibration. I also recommend listening to Delta waves. Delta waves help the brain fall into REM sleep and you can also find these binaural beat meditations on You tube. REM is the deep sleep you body needs to recover physically

and emotionally. You need 2.5 hours of REM sleep per night in order to be healthy and rested properly.

Now I am first and foremost an advocate of natural remedies but there is one medicine I have always found really useful. I used to travel to Hong Kong between two and three times a year for five years in a corporate job. I loved it out there but I was always prone to catching the colds and flu other there because I wasn't used to the eastern strains of this bacteria, being based in the west. Because I couldn't afford time off in my busy lifestyle I started using a little miracle in a bottle called, Vicks First defence. Now its not pleasant to administer but it absolutely works if you catch your symptoms early enough. Basically you squirt this bottle up both nostrils the minute you feel snotty or have a scratch in your throat and it works on the premise that it kills colds and virus's at the back of the throat as this is where they tend to start and breed from. You can use it up to four times a day but when I've used it I know its worked after 2 days because I can feel all my cold symptoms fading away again. Its £7 in Morrisons now, if you don't have a bottle in your cupboard this winter I highly recommend having a bottle for yourself so the minute you notice a symptom you can use it to stop anything nasty developing and stay as healthy as possible.

Good luck lovely people.

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