10 Simple Rules for a Healthy Immune System
Ninety percent of all thyroid disease is caused by autoimmune disease or in simpler terms, an out of control immune system. To calm it down and avoid it attacking our thyroid there are many simple steps you can take daily. Here are 10 of them.
1. Good Quality Sleep
Sleep deprivation raises the risk of colds and flu. Studies have proven that less than seven hours a night leads to a risk factor of three times more likely to develop a cold than people who sleep more than 8 hours a night.
2. Regular Exercise
Studies have proven that regular moderate-intensity exercise decreases the incidence of colds and flu. A walk on the beach or in nature is nurturing not just to the soul but to the immune system as well.
3. Healthy whole foods diet.
Malnutrition impairs immune function. Top foods for the immune system include fermented foods, coconuts and coconut oil, organic vegetables, berries, mushrooms, chlorella, propolis, garlic, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and green tea. Vitamin C is the top immune booster, so if you are not getting enough, supplement this one. You cannot overdose on it as it is water soluble, so any extra will pee out.
4. Remove Stress
Meditate regularly, laugh liberally – lots of funny movies or silly kid’s games can really lighten the heart. Download the app “Yoga Nidra” for quick 10, 20 or 30-minute guided meditations on your smartphone, ready to go whenever you need downtime.
5. Happy Social Life
Social butterflies have proven in studies that they are less likely to become sick than lone wolves. Just take it easy on the alcohol and rich foods whilst you’re out spreading your happy social wings!
6. Get jiggy with it…
A 2004 study proved that sex once or twice a week increased IgA antibodies by 30% compared to those who had sex infrequently. Get busy!
7. Friendly Bacteria
Your immune system lives in your gut, so a healthy environment is vital. There are two ways to go here, Prebiotic and Probiotics. Prebiotics are the food for Probiotics and a study has shown that it is more effective eating plenty of prebiotic foods than to take a Probiotic tablet daily. If however your immune system is already severely compromised you are going to need both forms.
8. Vitamin D
This vitamin is actually a hormone and plays a role in balanced immune function. Deficiency is common in asthma, cancer, multiple sclerosis and respiratory infections. To get it from the sun, you must let the midday sun onto the trunk of your body for 20 minutes; do not wipe off the sweat. Let it dry naturally, then put your clothes back on. Unfortunately, this can become problematic depending on where you live and the risk of skin cancer, so caution is advised and sometimes supplementation is required.
There are two kinds when it comes to the immune system. Immune-modulating and Immune Enhancing. It is really important to understand that if you have an autoimmune disease that you do not use immune enhancing herbs as your system is already too stimulated (attacking itself). Immune-modulating is what you are looking for in this case, which can also be known as adaptogens, meaning they balance no matter which way it swings. Your naturopath or herbalist can advise you here of the right herbs for you.
Wash your hands regularly (not with those alcohol gels), particularly after using the bathroom, handling money or just being at the show. The same goes for washing your body and hair regularly. Hygiene also applies to your environment, such as your bed sheets and bathroom. Clean them all regularly to avoid bacteria building up. Mould is of particular concern in the bathroom and the bedroom.