In my last newsletter post I said I was surprised that at this particular moment in time, with the whole corona virus thing going on, there has been very little (maybe none) directives coming from our government health departments about how to boost our immune systems.
Due to a lack of top down information, let me have a shot at sharing my top pick on how to tap into your body’s intelligence and healing abilities.
I know I am talking to an educated audience who already know that doing physical activity is essential for the immune system and in particular the lymphatic system, which cleans our blood and depends on movement of muscles (aka: physical activity) to function optimally.
Now let us move on to my other Top 6 immune system boosters and triggers to optimal health and vitality.
So…isolation creates more disorder…interesting…
We are beings of community. We thrive on connection. We suffer when isolated and loneliness is detrimental to our emotional and therefore physical health.
HUGS on the other hand are very good for us.
Connection with people is very good for us.
In studies of people who live longest on the planet, high social connection and interaction is often sighted as the number 1 factor contributing to their longevity. Our social connection releases hormones like oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, which have effects on the body which are the opposite to those of the stress response.
HUGS are great, but these hormones can also be activated by making eye contact, laughing, sharing a meal together, and patting your dog.
Deeper (and where possible physical) social connection is one of the best boosters for the immune system and for anti-aging.
Do yourself a favour and listen to Dr Zack Bush talk about the benefits of social interaction and the sharing of ‘genetic information (such as RNA)’ between people, to continue upgrading our respective immune systems.
Immune Boosting Idea #2: Get a little sunshine
I know you know this already.
Vitamin D not only impacts your bone development, but also your immune function, mood, blood pressure, brain function and a whole lot more. If you like reading medical research papers go for it here.
We actually don’t need medical research to tell us of the benefits of sunshine on our bodies. We also don’t need a science degree to realise that life on earth does not exist without the sun.
The best form of vitamin D is straight from the sun, but if you are in a climate or environment where you are unable to tap into the free and pure form of Vitamin D, it might be time to supplement. Some studies suggest that deficiencies of Vitamin D is one of the most common in the world.
Boost your immune system with regular sunshine (about 15 mins a day is ideal).
(Or take a supplement if you have low access to sunshine)
Again I am going to assume your pretty clear when it comes to knowing what foods are good for you, and which aren’t.
Obviously the more fresh fruit and vegetables you eat (with the most diverse range of colours) the greater the quantity and quality of multiple vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients you will digest.
The Cleveland Clinic suggests that the best 3 nutrients for boosting the immune system are Vitamin C, B6 and Vitamin E.
For Vitamin C consider: berries, peppers, guavas, thyme, parsley, kale, spinach, broccoli, and your citrus fruits. I also choose to supplement my vitamin C intake during winter or high stress periods in my life.
For Vitamin B6 consider: salmon, tofu (but get the non GMO option), sweet potatoes, organic beef, bananas, potatoes, pistachio’s, and avocado’s. Again, you might decide to supplement.
For Vitamin E consider: sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts, avocado’s, spinach, Swiss chard, butternut squash, beat greens, pine nuts, wheat germ oil, and trout.
Also eat the minimal amount of sugary foods, highly processed foods, and sugary drinks (which is about 90% of all drinks that are not water). Sugar puts extra stress on the cells of the body through inflammation plus generates a whole host of other negative side effects.
Your body becomes more fortified to deal with any external threats, and internal stressors, with the right nutrient density. As Michael Pollan says: “Real Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.”
Immune Boosting Idea #4: Punching out some zzzzzzz’s
Get enough (and most likely more) sleep. The end!
I am a big fan of the incredible intelligence of mother nature and the cycles of the planet – which we as a society have become SO disconnected from.
Have you contemplated the fact that during WINTER there are less daylight hours. Mother nature is saying – get more sleep! Winter is a more ‘harsh’ period of the year, so take the time to rest up. Not only to be able to weather out winter in a healthy way, but to be more energized for Spring time.
Sleep is essential.
Not only the quantity, but the quality.
Set your bedroom up to be 100% about creating the ideal environment for sleep. Bedrooms are not the most appropriate place for entertainment (except under the covers of course). Get rid of the TV’s and technology from your room. Make it dark. Free of noise or distractions. Get any EMF producing technology out of the room and turn your WiFi router off at night.
Aim for about 7.5 to 9 hrs of QUALITY sleep (deep and undistracted).
Immune Boosting Idea #5: Turn down the stress dial (a lot)
I believe and personally find ‘stress’ to have the highest impact on the quality of my immune response.
When I am too stressed, or fearful, I am more likely to have a cold, aches and pains, feelings of fatigue and basically feel the least vital. For me it is actually the number 1 thing I work on to optimize my health.
Fear = stress = compromised immune system.
That is why the unethical, unintelligent and nonsensical (aka: stupid) handling of this whole corona virus thing by government agencies, officials and the media has been appalling. The lack of quality leadership instilling confidence, clarity and hope, has been atrocious and I believe a contributing factor in more people getting sick than needed to.
Triggering the stress response deregulates the immune system. This is not anecdotal, but supported by numerous studies.
To boost the immune system we need to reduce any long-term stress, and replace that survival emotional state, with more elevated emotional states. So here is a practical list of things to reduce our stress:
- Don’t watch or listen the ‘news’.
- Spend more time hanging with your loved ones.
- Play with pets.
- Walk in nature.
- Talk to a therapist, counselor or coach if you are struggling.
- Schedule fun and relaxing stuff into your week.
- Turn lunch into a picnic on the back lawn.
- Practice meditation.
- Watch inspiring and uplifting movies.
- Dance to your favourite tunes.
- Get active.
- Have conversations with inspiring friends.
And feel free to add to the list. I also believe we need to actively SCHEDULE fun and joyful activities into our weekly timetable, otherwise these things are less likely to happen, and we will work our way to the grave way too soon.
Immune Boosting Idea #6: Breathe
Extra oxygen = extra energy creation in the cells = more energy to sustain and maintain life.
A smallish rant and current pet peeve to follow (in italics):
One of my pet peeves at the moment is this mask wearing thing (which is the norm in Bali at the moment). I did a course in the army many moons ago which was a Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence Instructors course. One thing I clearly remember is being inside a gas chamber where they released a non-lethal gas called CS Gas, and we had to put our purpose built gas masks on. And if their was not a airtight seal between my skin and the gas mask, you would experience the effects of the gas. NOT FUN!
My point is this. Wearing a cloth mask over the face in order to stop a virus (which is WAY smaller than the weave of the fabric) is like trying to keep out mosquitoes with a barbed wire fence. Their effectiveness is very very low.
However the downside of wearing a mask is they reduce the intake of oxygen (more shallow breathing due to breathing through the resistance of the mask) and an increase in the circulation of carbon dioxide (due to the carbon dioxide not being expelled into the air, but recycled in the mask). Thus reducing the immune function.
Okay, back off the soapbox and back to serving you.
Effective, deep breathing, not only increases the quantity of oxygen available for our bloodstream, leading to greater energy (ATP) conversion in the mitochondria of the cells, but it can positively influence our immune system.
One breathing technique called ‘box’ breathing is: breathing in to a count of 5, holding the breath for a count of 5, exhaling to the count of 5, and holding the breath for a count of 5 (and then continuing to that pattern).
Alternatively you could breathe in for 8, hold for 4, and breathe out to 8 (or 6,3,6).
Any of these are effective. Just breathe deeply and often.
The picture below represents an ideal way to boost the immune system. Nature. Sunshine. Breathing deeply. BINGO!!
My final words
I will keep it short.
At this point in time, turn up the dial on your self care.
Take extra special care of your health. Let it be a priority. Even if that means winding back on work a bit.
Love you heaps. Sending you a big HUG.
Have a great day.
PS: If you need a hand, don’t hesitate to get in touch or join me for the Free Life Audit program to have a Mid-2020 Reset, starting 7 July 2020.
Want help with getting clear about you path, priorities and a sustainable plan? Then get in contact. Just reply to this email or head to my website or connect with me on Facebook. Also check out Process Your Limiting Beliefs (online) workshop if you want help with overcoming obstacles and getting clear of the stories and beliefs that are holding you back (and then processing them).