As we head into cold and flu season, and with the coronavirus still very much around us, it’s certainly the right time to give our immune systems a boost. But rather than just focusing on one aspect, such as taking your vitamins, for instance, I really believe in a holistic approach to wellness, and arming yourself with everything you can to boost your immune system. This requires a positive mindset and a few key lifestyle changes such as:
- Getting enough good-quality sleep
- Ensuring you move daily with regular exercise
- Eating a wholesome healthy diet
- Making sure you take in all the necessary vitamins and minerals your body needs
- De-stressing where possible
- Prioritising good digestion and gut health (80% of our immunity lies in our gut)
My top tips to stay healthy
Supplement your diet
I’ve always believed in supplementing and have taken vitamins throughout my life, including when I was pregnant. All my supplements are natural, so they contain nothing harmful or addictive. Because I am vegetarian, I take a few extra steps to ensure I’m getting all the vitamins and minerals my body needs.
In the morning:
I take a range of supplements daily to boost my immunity, especially as the seasons change. However, I don’t take these every day, only in high risk periods or when I feel that my immune system has taken a knock.
Some of the regulars I take include:
- Biogen vitamin C
- Biogen Ovega-3 (This is a plant-based omega derived from Ahiflower oil)
- Viralguard and/or Viralmed
To further support my immune system, I take these regularly:
A good vitamin B complex, with vitamins 3, 6 and 9 to reduce stress. Stress is inevitable, but it can also weaken your immune system substantially, so I make sure I get my vitamin Bs. I don’t eat red meat, so I need to get it from somewhere!
To help with detoxing and keep my body alkaline, I take 7 drops of fulvic acid daily, plus 20 drops of olive leaf extract in the morning, which is also great for detoxifying.
Never heard of fulvic acid? It’s one of the most powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers you can take. Add to your drinking water, smoothies, juices or herbal teas for optimal health and wellness.
Fulvic acid boosts not only your immunity, but also:
- Improves energy Levels
- Boosts circulation
- Enhances your memory and brain function
- Increases your endurance
- Produces enzymes
- Acts as a catalyst for enzyme reactions
I never skip taking 20ml of apple cider vinegar, with a bit of water to dilute it. I’ve taken it for five years and somehow still can’t get used to the potent taste, but I find it really helps to settle my stomach after eating a big dinner and also helps to keep my system strong and healthy. Every time I run out of it, within a few days I find myself experiencing flu-like symptoms, so it’s really amazing.
I also take my Rawbiotics which are the essential probiotics we need in a liquid form as well as my Super Scoop – because it’s packed with over 50 organic, plant-based ingredients that would be impossible to eat all in one day! All these ingredients together give you all the essential antioxidants necessary to build a strong immune system.
Super Scoop ingredients include:
- Barley grass
- Apple pectin
Right before bed, I take more vitamin C and magnesium (because it’s absorbed best at night while you’re sleeping) plus a calcium supplement.
If I’m feeling stressed and my mind is racing at night, I take 2 capsules of Biogen Sure Sleep an hour before I plan to sleep. It really does help to settle and clear my mind after a busy workday.
This for me, is gold. If I don’t sleep well for a night or two, I start to experience flu-like symptoms. However, I know this is a sign of simply needing more rest, rather than actually "coming down" with something.
However, according to a recent study, a lack of sleep can weaken your immune system. Researchers found that those who don’t sleep well enough for long enough are more likely to get sick after being exposed to the common cold virus and are also less likely to recover quickly.
This is because during sleep, your immune system releases certain proteins that help to combat infection,inflammation and stress. Sleep deprivation decreases the production of these protective proteins as well as infection-fighting antibodies. Long-term sleep-deprivation also increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
The optimal amount of sleep is 7-8 hours a night, however teenagers and school-aged children may need more.
Enjoy regular exercise
There’s no doubt that regular exercise is key to a healthy body and mind. Our bodies are designed to move! Exercise helps to manage one of the most detrimental factors to your immune system: stress. This is because it helps to reduce the stress hormones, adrenalin and cortisol, and, in turn, supports your adrenal glands.
If I don’t exercise, I tend to feel more anxious which increases my stress levels and reduces the quality of my sleep, both of which, weaken the immune system.
If you’re looking for a quick, fun and effective way to exercise, that’ll help you get fitter and stronger, but also boost your immune system and aid in detoxification – rebounding is it!
Eat well and focus on your digestion
Eating healthily goes together with good digestion because all the nutrients from the foods you eat, need to be absorbed and utilised properly in your body.
Although I supplement with plenty vitamins, I also know that nothing can beat a healthy diet – where your body gets most of what it needs from food.
To get in more antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, try to eat more salads, fruits and soups (when it gets colder). You could also try a daily veggie juice.
Watch this short video to see how I make my daily veggie juice:
My juice contains a combination of over 15 fruits and veggies. This is great because I have all my nutrients in one glass before starting my day! To maintain a healthy digestive system, I also drink lots of water, take my Super Scoop and load up on fibre.
Another way to help your immune system stay strong is to support your liver. My Elimin8 Programme is one of the best ways to boost your immune system and give your digestive system what it needs to eliminate toxins. If you haven’t heard about the programme – it’s a simple 10-day liver cleanse which gives your system a much-needed break from inflammatory foods that can cause havoc with your gut and immune system. Some of the culprits include wheat, caffeine, sugar and processed foods, high in trans fats.
My Elimin8 winter special includes my Elimin8 Programme (packed with healthy recipes), plus everything you need to stay healthy and support your body’s natural detoxing processes.
- Bentonite clay
- Psyllium husk
- Vegetable stock,
- Xylitol syrup and sachets
- Body brush
- Organic cold pressed virgin coconut oil
- Himalayan rock salt
- Tongue scraper
- Epsom salts
- Baking soda
- 1 Green Vibrance sachet
Find healthy alternatives to your fave treats
And, when it comes to sweet treats, try to avoid processed, convenience foods like sweets and chocolates and make your own healthier versions, that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth just the same, I promise! Because the truth is, sugar is a big no-no when it comes to compromising your immune system.
If you’re looking for a rich decadent treat that's worth every second in the kitchen, try my superfoods double chocolate cupcakes.