10 Ways To Naturally Support Your Immunity

10 Ways To Naturally Support Your Immunity

If you’re looking for ways to naturally support your immunity this winter, we’ve got you covered.

There is much talk of Covid and flu vaccines at this time of year. What there is much less talk of, is the fact that we were born with immune systems that fight off infection and if we take care of them, they do a pretty good job.

During the pandemic it was frustrating to see so little emphasis being put on encouraging people to take steps that would naturally support their immunity. Regardless of a vaccine, this was surely a no brainer?

Let’s take a look at vitamin D as just one example…

IMMUNITY AND VITAMIN D

Optimal levels are vital for healthy immune function. Research shows that people with low vitamin D are more susceptible to common infections like colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. One study found that 80% of patients hospitalised with Covid had vitamin D deficiency. 80%! Deficiency is very very common. It’s rare that a week goes by where we don’t see at least one client with blood test results showing low levels. The SACN (the government’s nutrition advisory committee) recommends we all supplement vitamin D from October to March. (If you’re not already supplementing, we recommend BetterYou’s DLux vitamin D sprays).

WHY AREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT IT?

There was very little media coverage encouraging people to supplement vitamin D throughout the pandemic. Practically none at all. As with most natural approaches to supporting health, side effects are extremely rare and the benefits are far reaching. To continue with our vitamin D example, optimal levels are essential for bone, tooth and muscle health. It also plays a key role in regulating inflammation.

At this point you might be wondering why we weren’t encouraged to supplement vitamin D through the pandemic. It’s cheap and it’s widely available. It’s safe – it’s a substance vital to our health that our bodies produce naturally. Supplementation has been around for decades and we have a very good understanding of how it works in the body. It’s effective. We know that low levels suppress the immune system but supplements effectively optimise levels to allow our immune systems to function optimally.

Without going off on a tangent about the power of the pharmaceutical industry and the corruption within our healthcare system, let’s just say there are no big profits to be made from vitamin D. (If you’re interested in hearing more on that subject you can follow our friend and colleague Aseem Malhotra on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram).

YOUR HEALTH IS IN YOUR HANDS

Being truly healthy requires taking responsibility for your health. If you want good immunity, the answer lies in taking care of your immune system. So how can you do that? In addition to optimising your vitamin D status, below are eight proven, natural ways to support your immune system health. Most of them have benefits for your wider health, beyond supporting your immunity, too.

10 WAYS TO NATURALLY SUPPORT YOUR IMMUNITY

    1. Eat a balanced diet with a wide variety of coloured vegetables, high quality proteins, healthy fats and plenty of water. Beyond vitamin D (and vitamin C which we most commonly associate with immunity) there are a number of important nutrients required for optimal immune function.

    2. If you feel your diet might be lacking, consider a high quality multivitamin. We always take a ‘food first’ approach to acquiring nutrients, but sometimes it’s just not possible to get optimal levels of all nutrients from food alone. Nutri Advanced make a range of high quality multis.

    3. Supplement, you guessed it, vitamin D. You can read more on the importance of vitamin D here. Low levels can significantly compromise your body’s ability to defend itself against infection. It’s worth checking your levels regularly and adapting your supplementation accordingly. To correct deficiency take 4000IU daily for 10 weeks (280,000 IU in total). Your doctor might recommend a higher dose such as 50,000 IU once a week or 20,000 IU twice a week for a set period of time. These are high doses designed to correct deficiency. Once your levels are optimal you can work out your maintenance dose. 1000IU per day is suitable for most people but if your levels do start to decline again, you may require a higher maintenance dose.

    4. If you smoke, do your best to quit. Smoking is known to compromise immune function.

    5. Minimise your alcohol intake. Alcohol is also an immune suppressant. The less you drink, the better. If you’re feeling under the weather, avoid alcohol completely and give your body the opportunity to heal.

    6. Carry our regular, moderate exercise. Too little isn’t good but neither is too much. If you can exercise outdoors and get fresh air and daylight at the same time, even better.

    7. Aim for a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night. Studies show that people who don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to become unwell after being exposed to a virus. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule, waking up and going to bed around the same time each day. Our body clock, or circadian rhythm, regulates feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness, so having a consistent sleep schedule maintains a balanced circadian rhythm so that we can enter deeper, more restful sleep. You can use a device such as a WHOOP strap or Oura ring to track your sleep and help keep you in good sleep habits.

    8. Do what you can to manage stress. This is easier said than done, but try to find some healthy strategies that work well for you and your lifestyle, whether that be exercise, meditation, a particular hobby, or talking to a trusted friend. Another tip is to practice regular, conscious breathing throughout the day and when feelings of stress arise. It doesn’t have to be long, even a few breaths can help. There are lots of apps and YouTube videos that can guide you.

    9. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight can increase vulnerability to infectious diseases. This is understood to be due to chronic low-grade inflammation, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperleptinemia, which lead to weakening of both the innate and adaptive immune responses. If you need help with overcoming your weight challenges, reaching your goal weight and maintaining it long term, we can help. Contact us to find out more.

    10. Wash your hands throughout the day. This is one tip you probably did hear about through the pandemic! Wash them when coming in from outdoors, before and after preparing and eating food, after using the toilet and after coughing or blowing your nose. Antibacterial hand washes and hand sanitisers are unnecessary for most people. Faith in Nature make cost effective natural hand washes and soaps.

 
Never forget that your body is an incredible thing and if you take good care of it, it will take good care of you.
 



AILSA HICHENS

 

Ailsa is one of our most experienced practitioners. She specialises in helping clients to lose weight, develop a healthy relationship with food and finally feel comfortable in their skin. Ailsa’s mission is for everyone she works with to enjoy the journey and that working with a nutritionist should not be a punishment, but your access to a new possibility.

 

Ailsa is not only an experienced weight loss nutritionist, she is also a skilled coach. She helps our clients overcome emotional eating, destructive habits and self-sabotaging behaviours that have prevented successful weight loss in the past. Ailsa has spent years in clinic working with clients who have experienced yo-yo dieting and have discovered that long term weight loss is not just about eating less until you can stand it no longer.

 

Working with Ailsa you will be comprehensively supported, not only in improving your nutrition and lifestyle, but also your eating habits and your relationship with food. When you work on all these elements together, the results can be truly astonishing.

 

To enquire about working with Ailsa, please contact us.

Test Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of the business. Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning. A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

NIKKI ANDRIANI

 

Nikki is our Practice Manager, managing our team of practitioners and heading up the day-to-day running of th clinic.

 

Nikki is involved in the strategic development of our practice, coming from a strong business background in town planning.

 

A Florida girl, Nikki relocated to the UK in 2014 with her husband and two children.

STÉPHANIE ACHAR

Stéphanie is a skilled nutritional therapist and functional medicine practitioner with additional training in eating disorders, disordered eating and obesity. She believes that working towards both physiological and mental health is key in achieving optimum wellbeing.

 

Stéphanie’s personal experience of emotional eating and the ongoing struggle to find the right support led her to combine the science of nutrition with behavioural coaching to motivate and empower her clients. She specialises in helping people who struggle with their weight and their relationship with food. She helps them develop a healthier and more peaceful relationship with food and their bodies.

 

To enquire about working with Stéphanie, please contact us.

INNA WEARN

Inna is passionate about supporting women on their journey to improved health and wellbeing. She believes that the solution to effective weight loss does not lie in ever more restrictive diets, but a more sophisticated approach that optimises health and vitality, as well as promoting effective weight loss.

 

Working with Inna you will benefit from her in-depth knowledge of female health and hormones. She will support you in developing a healthy diet, lifestyle and mindset that ensures you reach your ideal weight and maintain it in the years to come.

 

Inna is passionate about food with a wide repertoire of delicious healthy recipes and meal ideas to ensure your weight loss journey is as enjoyable as possible!

 

To enquire about working with Inna, please contact us.

ANIA MASON

 

Ania is a firm believer that improving your health and losing weight should be a positive, empowering journey, not one centred around deprivation.

 

After being diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions in her twenties, Ania spent several years educating herself on the power of food and nutrition. She put it all into practise and changed her diet and lifestyle, reversing her endometriosis and thyroid disease. After experiencing such a significant improvement in her health, Ania had a big desire to help others. She embarked on a four year journey to study nutrition, graduating from the Institute for Optimum Nutrition with distinction.

 

Ania specialises in autoimmunity and works with clients who have underlying health issues preventing successful weight loss. Her expertise enables her to successfully support our clients with conditions such as hypothyroidsm (underactive thyroid), PCOS and diabetes. 

 

To enquire about working with Ania, please contact us.