It’s almost middle of winter, so you’re (probably) sick and tired - literally, physically, mentally. Rather than suffer through, in the name of proactivity I’m happy to bring you my top tips to boost your immune system, helping you cruise - rather than crash - through the cooler months.
- Take a 90 minute nap on the weekends. Considering the times you have insufficient sleep, allocating a little extra space for sleep now that you don’t want to be spritzing in summer sunshine is perfectly reasonable. A 90 minute nap allows you to move through a full sleep cycle - in which case you experience some slow wave sleep. As pinpointed in Clinical and Experimental Immunology, sleep promotes production of natural immune agents cytokines and leukocytes (white blood cells), which protects against bacteria, viruses and parasites. Your 90 nap should be no later than 6pm, in a dark room and definitely timed - any longer and you may fall fully into a deeper sleep and be unable to sleep that evening!
- Diffuse some rosemary oil. Again, not your first go to, but definitely worthwhile to consider. Research published in Alternative Therapies Health Medicine highlights rosemary oil as beneficial to anti-bacterial activity, fungus and drug resistant infections - e.g. illnesses like sore throats, skin rashes, UTIs and tinea. Rosemary has also been found to improve cancer - an academic study in peer reviewed journal Nutrients reviewing anti-cancer effects highlighted no less than 11 other research papers which found rosemary beneficial to colon cancer; and another 8 clinical trials to find it helpful for pancreatic and breast cancer. Although you may not be suffering cancer, this emphasises the power of rosemary oil to strengthen the immune system and fight off disease.
- Supplement right. Combine Vitamin C (the one I recommend is Medlab Manuka-C - it has a unique blend of ingredients to maximise absorption into your system, rather than pee excess out, as when it comes to vitamin C, more doesn’t always mean better!) and an immune strengthening supplement like Medlab Immune-5. I recommend this as it uses evidence based immunomodulatory (aka immune regulating) probiotics and pre-biotics, which in turn activate natural defence mechanisms against invading bugs. Remember - if you can’t absorb vitamin C, it can’t help you properly. So that’s why it’s important to have both. Manuka-C and Immune-5 are available at Priceline, TerryWhite and other leading health food stores and pharmacies.
- Get on the ‘shrooms. No…. Not those kind of mushrooms. Fungi is potent against viruses, bacteria, inflammation and even cancer - as pinpointed in academic journal Integrative Medicine. With the compound beta glucans, mushrooms stimulate white blood cell production which it vital to protect you against basically every single disease - so whether you’re sniffling, aching or your head is pounding, mushrooms are the way to go. Turkey tail and shiitake are my top two picks. Turkey tail is great in a tea, whereas shiitake is a delicious as a steak (sprinkle with rosemary leaves while you’re at it!)
Written by Olivia Arezzolo