How to boost your immune system naturally
by Natalie Le Bouedec DipNT, mBANT, mCNM
Now more than ever it is important to have a strong immune system, as it is our
body’s first line of defence against disease. A strong immune system is one of the
best ways to reduce the risk of catching diseases and is crucial in fighting these
quickly and effectively. The good news is that you can help strengthen your immune
system naturally and here are some top tips to help:
1.Get enough sleep
Research suggests that getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night is a great way to
naturally boost your immune system. When you sleep your immune system
produces proteins called cytokines, which help target infection and inflammation.
Getting a lack of sleep can seriously harm the immune system and leave you more
exposed to common colds and flu. In order to get a good nights sleep, research
suggests reducing screen time at least an hour before you get ready for bed.
Aromatherapy candles and sprays with essential oils, such as lavender, can also aid
relaxation and help you reach a deeper state of slumber and nutrients such as
Magnesium and Zinc.
2. Eat well to live well.
You are what you eat, literally! What you put into your body has a direct impact on
gut health and regulation of the immune system. Therefore, good nutrition is
important to a better functioning immune system. Eating at least 5 portions of fruit
and vegetables a day can help keep illness at bay and an antioxidant rich diet can
majorly boost the body’s immunity. If you want to help strengthen your body from the
inside out, make sure you pack in those antioxidant rich foods such as: berries, citrus
fruits, kale, carrots, and spinach. Plus fresh garlic has also been known to have anti-
viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Even partaking in just 20 minutes of exercise 3 times a week can significantly
improve the body’s ability to fight off infections by enhancing the function of your
white blood cells. The endorphins that are released in your brain during exercise are
key agents to fight against stress and to help you sleep better. This simultaneously
makes you feel good in the moment, and boosts your immune system for the future.
Make sure however you are not exercising to close to bed as this may affect sleep
and some of the exercise you do is lower impact such as walking or yoga.
Even though life can seem particularly uncertain and stressful at the moment, it is
even more important to take a minute to just breathe and try and relax. There is
extensive research suggesting that stress hormones, such as cortisol and
adrenaline, can be damaging to the immune system if they build up over time.
Taking time out of your day to meditate, or slowing down with some yoga, can help
you manage stress levels and have benefits to your health.
Probiotics are live microorganisms which naturally balance the bacteria in your gut,
therefore increasing your overall immunity and reducing the risk of disease. They
help the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut to outweigh the ‘bad’ bacteria and this greatly
increases the functionality of your digestive system, whilst also regulating your
immune system. 70% of our immune system lives in our stomach, so keeping your
gut balanced is an essential and easy way to maintain a strong immune system.
6.Last, but certainly not least, is vitamin intake
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and is fundamental in supporting many parts of
your immune defence system. Primarily, vitamin C encourages the production of
white blood cells, the body’s first defence mechanism against infection. It then helps
these white blood cells function more efficiently by boosting your blood antioxidant
levels, this protects the immune system by guarding cells from harmful molecules.
Vitamin C is not only crucial for the body’s internal immunity regulation, but also for
its external regulation as it plays an active role in the skin’s defence system and can
build up the skin’s barriers against infection.
Unfortunately our bodies do not naturally produce vitamin C so it must be sourced
externally. Whilst it is beneficial to eat citrus fruits and obtain vitamin C from food
sources, people often fall short of the recommended daily intake from food alone.
Zinc is another vitamin which is not produced by the body itself, but plays a vital role
in maintaining our immune system’s effectiveness. Zinc is a key factor in regulating
the strength of our skin cells and protecting the body against immunity depleting
Natalie Le Bouedec is a Registered Nutritional Therapist who founded the company
Complete Me Life. Whilst seeing clients in her clinic she grew tired of searching for
the perfect mix of individual vitamins and supplements to recommend. She
developed Complete Me blends to target the 6 main ailments she was approached
about using focused, high-quality ingredients, made in the UK to provide the
solutions in just one – two capsule take per day. More information is available
at www.completemelife.com or at email@example.com.