What would you suggest to a friend if they were a little under the weather and were worried they were going to develop a cold?
Perhaps you’d tell them to drink more water? Or to get some rest?
These are both good suggestions, but it’s often easier said than done.
So how DO we keep those nasty colds and viruses at bay? By working on our immune system all year round.
The 4 Pillars
There are four key areas we need to think about if we want to boost our immune health as naturally as possible.
- Supporting your lymphatic system
- Protecting your sleep like a lioness
- Actively managing your stress
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be looking at each of these in detail in the Healthy Advent Calendar (HAC) 2020. I am a huge believer in the importance of understanding the why, so right now, I’m going to explain WHY they are all so important. By knowing this you’ll be able to notice how the changes you are making is impacting your health and body.
Pillar 1: Food
The first pillar of gorgeous immune health is beautiful nutrition. There are lots of things we can do with food, (like cutting out sugar) that will help your immune system sit in a happier place. This means if a bug comes along that it has to deal with, it can actually deal with it! If your immune system is already challenged because of the way we look after it nutritionally, it won’t be able to deal with those bugs.
Let’s talk about sugar for a minute. Ditching sugar is a super important thing for your body. The way sugar behaves in the body and how it shows up is really quite inflammatory. What that means is that it already gives the immune system quite a hard time, even when there aren’t any pesky lurgies around. So by simply cutting your sugar intake, you are removing that extra challenge for your immune system and parking it in a happier place.
Going lighter on the sugar and balancing any you do eat in the context of a healthy, wholesome diet is a huge step to take to create immune health naturally.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to take on a whole new food plan! Just a few tweaks here and there will have you shifting really quickly and having your immune system going ‘Ahhhh thank you!’.
In the Healthy Advent Calendar (HAC) 2020 we’ll be looking at specific immune-boosting nutrients and vitamins as well as practical ways you can nurture your body.
Pillar 2: Getting Lymph-tastic!
This is probably my favourite pillar because the pieces of work you do to get your lymphatic system happier and supported are super fun to do! In this pillar, the focus is all about supporting your lymphatic system. It’s so important for your immune system, and I want to show you why…
Close your eyes and think about your lymphatic system – you can think of it as the sewage system of your body.
It has little policemen parked along it. They are called lymph nodes.
Your lymph nodes sample the stuff from the sewage that’s going past it (yum!) and checks if there’s a virus or bacteria or something infectious that it needs to take care of.
If it picks up the flu virus it says ‘OK, let me take care of you’.
But if that sewage system is not properly supported, it means that your lymph nodes aren’t going to be able to do this important job as well as it could.
Supporting your lymphatic system is a really important layer of what it takes to get awesome natural immune health.
Pillar 3: Protecting your sleep like a lioness!
I’m a huuuuuuuuuuuge fan of sleep!
‘Go to bed and sleep more’ is great advice but how do you actually do that?! For some people, this is easier said than done.
And it’s not just the amount of sleep that’s important, the quality of sleep is crucial too. To fully restore and physically nurture your body, you need good quality deep sleep.
If you’d like to get my practical tips on how to get good deep sleep, join me in the HAC 2020 where I’ll be sharing these in the run up to Christmas!
Pillar 4: Actively managing your stress
We cannot sanitise ourselves from stress. Whatever we do, whoever we are, we will have stresses in our lives. That’s a fact, and we have to accept there’s nothing we can do to change that. But what we can do is have good stress-busting quick fixes in place that we have learned to do so well, that we do them automatically.
The minute that stress level starts to go up, you need to have active techniques to be able to take care of it before it ramps up and up and then you’ve got to do a whole bunch of work to do to get that to come down again.
Some great techniques to have as your quick-fixes are breathing techniques and laughter therapy. These are great ways to nurture the heal and repair mechanisms in your body and help against stress.
Bonus Pillar: Being part of a community and making a difference
Being part of a community and making a difference is so vital for our health creation.
We all have some basic needs. The need to feel safe, make a difference, share and connect, be heard and seen. Some are necessary for survival, like having enough food and feeling safe. Others, like being part of a community and making a difference to the lives of others, are just as important though, especially to your mental and emotional wellbeing. Investing in these has a massive impact on your health.
When you start layering up all those pillars, and all the practices within them, it has a very deep impact on boosting your immune health naturally.