7 Ways to Support and Protect your Immune System

In our clinic one thing we’ve come to learn from the information coming from COVID-19 is anyone with compromised immunity is faced with a higher risk as the spread continues.

Protecting my immune system is something I take seriously and over the last couple of weeks I’ve had lots of requests from patients and friends for strategies and recommendations. This will be ever more important in the coming weeks as the weather becomes cooler and we are faced with increasing amounts of uncertainty in our every day lives.

These are the top 10 recommendations I encourage everyone to consider.

1. Sleep – It’s absolutely critical we maintain our regular sleep patterns and perhaps look at maximising the amount we are getting. This is when our bodies heal and recover. Look to get a minimum of 8hrs and more if its manageable. Instead of trying to gain by sleeping in look to go to bed earlier. I set my alarm at 9pm to make sure I’m on track for sleep by 9:30pm. I stop using my phone 30min before bed and over the last year have started using an app called ‘Calm’. A little pricey but its been the one thing that I’ve found rests my mind as it travels at 100miles an hour.

2. Probiotics – Take probiotics daily, eat pre-biotic foods, and eat fermented foods. Over 80% of your immune cells live in your gut tissue!! So, take care of your gut health by taking a daily probiotic and consuming foods with pre-biotics like veggies, fruits, onions, garlic; probiotics like Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and coconut kefir. I use Bioceuticals Ultrabiotic 60 or Probiotic Foods – Everyone Blend 200. If you wish to purchase the bioceuticals brand this is something we can help facilitate otherwise you can source the Probiotics food brand at ‘Funkey Monkey’ in Inverell.

3. Sugar – Avoid large doses. Sugar is scientifically shown to suppress immune function immediately. On a cellular level sugar and vitamin C share the same ‘gateway’. However, cells will absorb sugar first and effectively inhibit the absorption of Vitamin C. 

4.  Stress – Minimize stress by turning OFF THE NEWS. While this is a continually evolving situation and there is a responsibility to remain informed, I’ve found checking the updates once in the morning and once at night a great way to stay informed without being overwhelmed. Social media is a fantastic tool to easily touch base with family, friends and colleagues however be mindful to protect yourself from being completely inundated with the media and information.  

5. Exercise – Routine exercise has been shown to improve EVERYTHING in your life, including a healthy immune system. Do not hibernate during this period. Be intentional to keep active without over exerting yourself.

6. In addition to probiotics, I have added daily Vitamin C, Magnesium and Zinc. 

7. Look at your health as a battery. Everything we eat, how we move and what we think has a profound effect on your overall health. Take inventory of these life domains and ask yourself the question – Is this adding to my health or is it taking away?