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Healthy Blog » Blog Archive » What to do in order to protect you’re immune system
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What to do in order to protect you’re immune system

26 July 2009 One Comment

There is nothing worse than having an important deadline to meet and you wake up with a sore throat and the start of a head cold. Most of us are programmed to “soldier on” and take something to relieve the symptoms and help us get through the working day, when what our body really needed was some rest to help us recover more quickly.  If you just can’t afford to take time off due to illness, adopt some of these recommendations and work at building up your immune system, so it’s ready to fight off “invader’s” that may be around this winter.

Complete a “detox”.  As 70% of our immune system is situated in our gut lining, it makes sence to complete a bowel detox, to help rid your intestinal tract ofcough because of a lack of immunity any parasites or over growths of yeast.  There are many well-structured programs available at health shops & this is an important 1st step to stronger immunity.  Once completed, ensure you take an acidophilus supplement to repopulate your bowel with good bacteria.  A lot of people also take colostrum, said to help strengthen the immune system, while also helping maintain a healthy bowel.  A detox should be completed once a year, ideally in summer or autumn, to help keep your immune system strong.  If you have already been unwell and are still recovering, put a detox off for a month or so, until you are 100% again.  Do consider taking a probiotic now though, to help to stabilise your immune system.

Nutrients to boost immunity.  Zinc is one of the most important nutrients for New Zealanders to take, to help have a strong immune system.  This vital mineral is deficient in our soils, so most New Zealanders have very low body stores.  Zinc is involved with the absorption of other nutrients in the body, so if this mineral is low, then the likelihood of being able to effectively absorb some other nutrients from the food or supplements you are having, is reduced.  A lot of health shops offer a free zinc taste test.  This is an easy way to evaluate your existing zinc levels.  It also enables you to ensure you are taking the correct amount for you, as you are able to “retest” in a months time, to see if your level has changed.  Other important nutrients to help support immunity are Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, Selenium & Beta-carotene.  Of cause an assortment of all nutrients is vital for good health; however these ones are essential for immunity.  Research from Harvard Medical School states, “It is essential that all adults take a multivitamin”.  Seek professional advice so you get just what  you need & don’t self prescribe.

A healthy diet.

Different dietary combinations suit different people.  The important things to keep in mind, with relation to supporting your immune system, is eating a variety of highly coloured fresh fruits & vegetables, lean meat, fatty fish, nuts & seeds & whole grains (preferably organic).  These foods provide your body with an assortment of highly absorbable antioxidants, nutrients & essential fatty acids – all vital for a healthy immune system.

Herbs for a stronger immune system.

There are many herbs available that have been shown to help strengthen the immune system.  Astragalus, Cats Claw & Garlic, as well as the deep immune mushrooms Reishi & Shiitake are all good choices.  These help with debilitated immune function, post infection recovery & repetitive colds & flu’s.  They could be taken individually or in a combination.  A lot of people start these in the autumn, to help prevent winter illness & take these throughout the colder months. Combinations like Astraforte, Myco defence and System Well are the ones we recommend and obtain great results with.


Regular exercise is essential for a healthy immune system, as this helps stimulate our lymphatic system to make its specialised cells called lymphocytes, which help fight infection. Walking is one of the best overall exercises for helping your whole body function at its best, however cardiovascular & resistance exercises are also vital.  Rebounding or bouncing on a trampoline is excellent for the lymphatic system too.  Remember that for each 1-hour of exercise you do, you need to sip on at least 750ml of water.  This is on top of your usual 2-litre minimum.  Do remember though, that if you have a cold or flu, don’t push yourself at the gym until you are fully recovered.  “Sweating it out” is not always a good idea, as your body may already be fighting hard to get you well, that any further “output” causes more of an overload.  If you must exercise while recovering from a cold or the flu, go for a walk and get some fresh air, but wait until you have recovered before considering going back to your full on work outs.

Good Hygiene.

Viruses are passed via the transferring of bodily fluids, so having good personal hygiene is vital to help to prevent the spread of these.  Always wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with infectious people.  Carrying a bottle of “Hand sanitizer” in your bag or vehicle is a good option, if no fresh water and soap are available.  If you work in an office with sick people, the likelihood of you catching what they have is very high, if they are coughing and sneezing without covering their mouth or washing their hands straight afterwards.  Try and encourage them to stay home, or, if possible, confine them to a different room to other staff members.  Get some disinfectant wipes, to wipe all common areas in the office or home, as well as your own work station.

Leanne James

For more information on winter wellness click here.

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One Comment »

  • Lana said:

    What a great and comprehensive article to help us keep healthy during this time.
    Once upon a time our grandmas encouraged us to take cod liver oil and had a set way of dealing with sick peoples and advice to avoid getting sick.I think all that “Home nursing” “invalid diets” etc.etc was all they had and they took responsibility for their own health.
    Leannes article does all that sort of thing in this modern and upto date article .

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