In my work as a chiropractor, I come into very close contact with really sick people on a daily basis, especially in cold and flu session. So you’d expect, give that proximity to germs, I’d be sick all the time. Thankfully though, I’m not. Why? I know all too well that immune system health is very closely linked to gastrointestinal tract health and that taking care of my gut means leaves me with a super strong immune system.
My 10 best tips for supercharging your immune system:
- Eat seasonal, fresh fruit and vegetables at every meal. The World Health Organisation recommends five cups of veggies and two pieces of fruit every day for optimal health.
- Drink at least 250ml of nourishing bone broth each day. It contains glutamine, which heals the stomach, amongst a myriad of other amazing benefits.
- Drink 30ml of filtered water per kilogram of your body weight every day too. Raise that to 43ml per kilogram if you’re sick, injured, stressed or sweat a lot. Keeping properly hydrated helps assist your body to perform its basic daily functions, which includes protecting itself from germs and illness.
- Take a good whole food supplement if you are busy, stressed or if your diet lacks enough fresh fruit or vegetables. I love Juice Plus.
- Take immune-boosting herbs or supplements if you feel run down. These include vitamin C, zinc, olive leaf extract, iodine and echinacea. My go-to immune boosters for winter or times of stress are Bioceuticals Armaforce and Bioceuticals Ultra Potent-C Chewables.
- Sleep, sleep, sleep! If your body is not getting enough quality sleep then not only will you not heal but you will find managing your weight much harder as well.
- Wash your hands with just water. Yes, I said water – along with soap if it’s available. Ditch the hand sanitisers that are not only full of chemicals that are bad for your body (and immune system), but are one of the major causes of these superbugs that are emerging and becoming resistant to antibiotics.
- Take a good probiotic supplement to help your gut. Avoid low-strain supermarket varieties like Yakult and Inner Health Plus. Probiotics are best provided by a primary health practitioner such as doctor or naturopath. If you do end up needing a dose of antibiotics, then it’s essential you replace all the good bacteria that are wiped out with a good probiotic.
- Practice some type of stress relieving activity regularly, such as yoga or meditation.
- Give sugar and caffeine a miss, especially if you are sick or feeling run down. These stimulants are often a go-to for many people when they’re tired or sick, but be aware they massively decrease immune function. The short energy boost will mean you will take longer to get better in the long run. (The same goes for cold and flu tablets!) Just stick to honey, lemon and ginger tea instead.