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How to Enhance Immune Health

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Ever wonder why some get sick every year, while others have an eternal spring in their step? Why some take weeks to recover from illnesses, while others bounce back in no time at all? The wide variation in when, why and for how long we’re sick, all comes down to one thing; our wonderfully complex immune systems. 

The truth is, all of us are regularly exposed to potential invaders. Whether they develop into something more depends largely on our individual immune function. And there’s plenty that each of us can do to support and enhance the health and wellbeing of our precious immune systems. 

Building and maintaining your first line of defense. 

At the front line of our immune resistance lies four key factors; our nose, eyes, mouth and throat. These areas see regular exposure to the outside world. But luckily, our bodies have been cleverly designed with naturally built-in mechanisms that help protect them against bugs and foreign particles.  

These areas are protected by two vitally important features; the natural fluids that coat them, and the health of the tissues underneath. Simply put, if these areas are dried out by air conditioning, dehydration, poor nutrition, air pollution or even breathing through the mouth – their natural defenses will be down. Here’s how to combat the risk. 

  1. Stay well-hydrated.  Water is your friend, and it pays to drink plenty all day long.  You can enhance water’s natural benefits by brewing it with restorative herbal teas. Chamomile, Ginger and Licorice all have powerful soothing and protective properties, and are perfectly enhanced with a spoonful of mānuka honey. 

  2. Use natural lozenges. These potent tools can help soothe the mouth and throat, preventing dryness and building defenses. 

  3. Keep your hands to yourself. Do your best to keep your hands away from the sensitive eyes, nose and mouth areas, to avoid introducing any foreign particles. 

  4. Remember to blink. When it comes to dry and tired eyes, air-conditioning and screen time overload are two of the biggest culprits. Regular blinking is the body’s way of keeping the eyes naturally cleansed and protected. 

Supporting the body, within and without. 

The immune system doesn’t work in a silo. Like the rest of our bodies, it operates in harmony with almost every facet of our being. That’s why building strong immune defenses requires whole body support. Mental and physical stress, poor diet, bad sleep habits…all these and more can work to decrease immune function, reducing resistance and making us more prone to illness. 

The many pressures, strains and constraints of modern life can be difficult to escape. But there are many ways we can take control, and do what we can to build our resistance and maintain wellbeing. 

  1. Prioritize sleep. Our nocturnal rest is the body’s chance to repair and recover from the inevitable ups and downs of our waking life. 

  2. Focus on nutrition. Aim for a wholefood diet, enhanced with plenty of fresh vegetables, whole fruit, and quality protein such as fish, free range eggs, meat, nuts and seeds. Do what you can to minimize processed, packaged and refined foods. These small choices can have a big effect on healthy gut microbiome, which in turn proves vital for healthy immune function. 

  3. Embrace nature. Whenever and wherever you can, step out into your natural environment and breathe in the wonder of the outdoors. Nature is a great de-stressor. Even a light walk can be enough to stimulate the body’s natural mechanisms, and help balance the immune and nervous systems. 

While everybody is unique, there are common tools and resources we can all harness to enhance and support our immune systems. Weave them into your daily life wherever you can, and see if you experience the benefits of improved health and wellbeing.