Goldilocks and the Three Immune Boosters
Recent research yet again demonstrates that staying physically active is one of the most potent (and simple) strategies we can use to strengthen the immune system. It flushes the lymphatic system, increases circulation, and may also reduce upper respiratory infection prevalence.
The key, as Goldilocks taught us, is not too little, not too much. Find your sweet spot, and I don’t mean honey on porridge – although proper oats, raw honey and bee pollen have been shown to have health-giving and immune benefits.
Moderate exercise is beneficial in fighting disease, but over-training can actually make you more vulnerable to getting sick – and certainly if you have an elevated temperature or fever do not exercise. My advice for the next month or so is to take advantage of the opportunity to get out first thing in the morning, combining that boost of natural daylight with a brisk walk, run or cycle outdoors.
Our second immune booster is to reconnect or keep connecting with nature. It might be the perfect time to reconnect with nature and a different way of being. Dr Qing Li’s book How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness is a great read. Why not take up “forest bathing”, or Shrinrin-yoku as the Japanese call nature therapy?
If you can’t get outside easily, why not bring nature inside? NASA research has demonstrated that certain house plants can help purify indoor air, particularly the likes of gerbera, peace lilies & bamboo palm.
Our final immune boosting area is from the world of micronutrients and nutritional supplements. While there is so much we will talk about in the coming weeks, I think we start here with these three:
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin C
Vitamin D3 plays a key role in regulating the balance of the immune system, acting as a source of power for T Cells. People with a Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to suffer from flu and colds.
Of course we get this from natural sunlight, but I also take supplemental form. I really like the Amino Man/Woman Vitamin D as it also has co-factors such as K2 and magnesium. I have also recently become a big fan of the Chaga Mushroom as it has the highest ORAC value of any natural food (antioxidant value) and is a nutritional powerhouse. I supplement this directly as a tincture from Kaapa Health in Finland.
Alongside Vitamin D, a good quality Zinc supplement (such as acetate or picolinate consumed as a lozenge) as well as a Vitamin C supplement of between 500mg and 1000mg.
So there you have it, just the right amount of exercise, daily exposure to light and nature, and three cornerstone supplements I believe are vital in strengthening the immune system in these extraordinary times.