How To Maintain and Strengthen Your Immune System
It’s easy to take our immune systems for granted as for the majority of us, they work perfectly well 95% of the time. However, they’re vital to our wellbeing – how noticeable is it when your immune system takes a knock and as a result you come down with a nasty winter cold accompanied by a persistent, painful cough? All of a sudden, we crave to feel ‘normal’ again. If when this happens you rush to a pharmacy to buy echinacea and Vitamin C tablets, you’re doing it wrong. Yes, those supplements may help in the short run, but we should all be maintaing and strengthening our immune systems every day. Read on to find out how…
Live as healthily as you possibly can
We’ve already covered the basics here with our ‘5 Simple Ways To Be Healthier Today‘ post, but here are a few quick tips! If you smoke, quit. (And if you don’t, high five!) If you’re partial to an alcohol beverage or several, try to keep everything in moderation and drink plenty of water daily (6-8 glasses is advisable). Exercise regularly and ensure that you’re active at least three times a week – even just an hour here and there is enough to make a difference! Maintain a healthy weight, through the last point and eating a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet. Get enough sleep by going to bed every night and waking up every morning at the same time, removing distractions such as electronic tablets and mobile phones from the bedroom and having a ‘bedtime routine’.
In the short term stress can engage and fortify the immune system, but the long term effects aren’t positive or healthy. Strategies such as meditation, relaxation techniques and simply having some important and therapeutic ‘me time’ can reduce the risk of stress causing a negative effect on your immune system and aggravating its hyper-reactivity. Indulge in something that you find relaxing – it may be a warm, soothing bubble bath or a round of golf but whatever it is, try to take some time for yourself and enjoy it. You may also find our post ‘Could Baobab Lower Your Stress Levels?‘ helpful, as it talks through the nutrients and minerals naturally found in our Baobab Superfruit Powder and how they can aid in stressing less.
Get enough zinc
If you’re after a healthier immune system then it’s important that you’re meeting the RI (reference intake) of zinc, which is 8-20mg per day depending on the individual. As well as healing wounds and supporting normal growth, zinc helps to keep the immune system strong and fit to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Great sources that can contribute towards the guideline amount are foods like spinach, seafood, pumpkin seeds, cashews, dark chocolate and lean meat, so ensure that you’re eating a varied diet and try to include those as much as possible. Although we’re certain that a seafood and chocolate smoothie wouldn’t be appetising in the slightest, what we do know to be delicious is our Very Mulberry Smoothie, which brings us to our next point…
Incorporate our Mulberry Superfood Powder into your lifestyle
For the lowdown on the extensive health benefits of mulberries click here, but for now we’ll just focus on how they can benefit your immune system. Containing 30% of the RI of zinc per 100g, we recommend checking out the aforementioned smoothie recipe and upping your zinc levels in a fantastically tasty and fruity way. Mulberry leaves also contain anti-diabetic alkaloids that activate immunity-stimulating white blood cells (macrophages), meaning that your immune system is more alert and ‘ready’ to keep your body safe from germs. We also love our Mulberry & Raspberry Muffins, so why not give those a whirl, too?
Discover the immunity-boosting power of chia seeds
Our 100% natural Chia Superfood Seeds contain a whopping 50% of the RI of zinc so between them and our Mulberry Superfood Powder, you’re unlikely to suffer from zinc deficiency and your cells will be able to function as they should. Not only do they boost immunity but they also contain generous doses of Omega-3, calcium and iron and are extremely versatile – we love to top all of our smoothies with a spoonful or use in cereals, yoghurt and baking.