Last week I posted an article showing how the bodies immunity systems work. Having read that you will now have a basic understanding of how the defence systems work. In this article I hope to give you some well known hacks which are aimed at boosting our immunity systems.
With the COVID 19 pandemic sweeping around the world we all need all the help we can get. By putting some of these hints and tips into practice we will give our bodies the best chance of fighting the infection should we contract it.
In my previous article I explained that the bodies defence systems are broken down into six different areas. To remind you these are the skin, the respiratory system, the lymphatic system along with lymphocytes the spleen and lastly the gut.
So to make things simple I will cover the hacks relevant to each individual area.
First of all lets concentrate on the gut. As mentioned in the last article this is the bodies defence system which we are most likely to have the largest influence over. Being that 60% of our immune system comes from the gut microbiome then this is the area you should prioritise.
I have covered this in a previous article on fermented foods however I will recap this for you.
Fermentation is a natural process through which micro organisms like yeast and bacteria convert carbs such as starch and sugar into alcohol or acids.
The alcohol or acids act as a natural preservative and give fermented foods a distinct zest and tartness. Fermentation also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria, more commonly known as probiotics.
The key health benefits are as follows
1. Improved Digestive Health. (The probiotics produced during fermentation can help restore the balance of friendly bacteria in your gut and may alleviate digestive problems such as IBS, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis)
2. Boosts Your Immune System. The bacteria that live in your gut have been proven to have a significant impact on your immune system. Therefore a higher balance of good bacteria will reduce the risk of infections and when sick will help you recover quicker.
3. Makes Food Easier to Digest. It is well known that certain foods when consumed unfermented can cause issues within the gut. These include diary foods and legumes such as soy. All beans have a protective coating around them which when digested can cause inflammation and gas within the stomach. The process of fermentation breaks down this barrier allowing full absorption of the beneficial nutrients.
So with the onset of the possibility of us all being stuck in our homes for unknown period of self isolation then there is no better time to devote to making our own fermented foods. Not only will this help relieve some of the boredom, when consumed will support our gut microbiome.
In the previous article on fermented foods I posted the three ones I make with the ingredients and recipes. All of these are simple to do. Two of them are ready in 24 hours to consume and one ready in five days.
The ones I make are Sauerkraut, Natto and Coconut Milk Yoghurt. All of these contain different strains of bacteria so they give the gut the best balance of probiotics to support the feeding of the good bacteria.
Now here is a fact that not many people are aware of and thats the common use of antibiotics.
These days these drugs are dispensed too easily in an attempt to cure numerous infections.
The way antibiotics are designed to work is to kill all the bacteria in the gut including the good bacteria as well as the bad. Now this may well cure the infection you were suffering from. However the flip side to that is your bodies microbiome defence is now compromised until your body can build up the amount of good bacteria again in order to provide support for our immunity. This can sometimes take up to 3 months to restore your full immunity.
So to summarise by taking antibiotics you cure your infection but then make your body susceptible to other infections for the next three months. The best thing to do is stay away from them and let the body heal itself.
Now lets move to the lymphatic system and how to assist that.
The lymph system’s primary role is to transport our immune cells around the body as well as filter away the dead cells. So in effect this is like the bodies drainage system. As we know in our homes when the drains get blocked we start to suffer problems with our toilets and sinks. The same can be said for our bodies. The key is to keep our lymph flow working at its full capacity.
So how do we do this?
To improve the flow and drainage of the hundreds of lymph nodes located throughout our body all we need to do is exercise. Now this may prove difficult when we are isolated in our homes but all we need to do is jump up and down on the spot of 30 seconds whilst shaking our arms around. Take a couple of minutes rest then do it again for another 30 seconds. Repeat this circuit five times.
Why not get the children involved and do this as a family.
If you have a trampoline jumping up and down on this for ten minutes does the same thing and is much more fun.
Another way of improving our lymph flow is by sweating. Now this may prove difficult when in self isolation but the use of a very hot bath will have the same effect as a sauna. Why not add some magnesium salts as well.
The use of foam rollers and deep tissue massage can also help with lymph flow.
The final thing we can do to help our lymph flow and thats to stay hydrated. Aim to drink a couple of litres every day. It works even better if we sip warm water with a squeeze of lemon juice throughout the day.
Now lets take a look at the respiratory system.
As mentioned in the previous article our airways contain a mucous type substance which is designed to trap bacteria before it reaches the lungs.
One way of supporting this is you use herbs and oils to make a concoction which you can vaporise and inhale as well as consume. The most popular herbs and oils which support our immune systems are as follows
Eucalyptus Oil, Cinnamon Bark Oil, Cloves, Rosemary, Oregano Oil, Garlic, Sage and Lavender.
Some quick research on the internet will show you various recipes and concoctions which you can put together and try.
And to bring this article to a close
Vitamin C, Echinacea, Zinc and Colostrum
The following foods are known to also assist in boosting your immune system.
Mushrooms, Bee Products and Bone Broth.
Now bone broth has lots of interesting properties which I will cover in a later article. This is something I make on a weekly basis and then consume in small amounts throughout the week. I mainly do this for the collagen benefits but the broth also has immune boosting benefits too.
Well I hope this has given you a quick insight things we can all do to help fight this pandemic
Be Clean Be Safe.