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How To Naturally Improve Your Immune System

  • 4 min read

Here at Naturisimo, your health and wellbeing is one of our biggest passions. So in a year when we have all been extra conscious of our health, we’re more driven than ever to provide you with the best support and most effective products for keeping you and your family well.

We’re therefore delighted to have recently partnered with registered nutritionist Kelly Mulhall to bring you some expert advice on diet, sleep and boosting your immune system. Kelly focuses on physical and mental wellbeing, achieved through diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercise.

Having personally struggled for years with IBS and hormonal imbalance, Kelly sought help from a nutritionist and after implementing healthier eating habits, she saw such a drastic improvement in her symptoms that she decided to change careers and train to become a nutritionist herself. She now focuses on harnessing the healing powers of food to help other people in similar situations.

Here, Kelly shares some of her wisdom, as well as her top picks for a healthier, happier you.

The importance of sleep and the impact on your immune system

“You may not realise it but sleep and immunity go hand in hand. Trouble sleeping is often caused by stress, anxiety and worries. When the body is under mental or physical stress it releases cortisol and adrenaline and these stress hormones reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. If you are getting more than 1-2 coughs and colds per year, it would indicate that you need to give your immune system that little bit of extra support and learn to manage your stress levels.”

How to build a strong immune system

“Having a body detox and body cleanse is a great way to give your immune system a boost. The easiest way to do this is by removing inflammatory items such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar and processed foods and replacing them with as many colours of fruits and vegetables as possible.”

“You will be providing your immune system with all the essential nutrients to keep it strong and fend off bacteria, viruses and infections. You want to aim for 2-3 fruits and 7-8 vegetables per day, with at least 20-30 different varieties per week. The more variety means the more diverse bacteria for your gut flora and higher levels of protective phytochemicals. And since 70% of your immune system is in the gut, it’s important that the gut is functioning properly, so if you’re suffering with IBS, you need to get that under control!”

“IBS is one of the biggest problems I deal with in my clinical practice and it’s the most important gateway to a healthy immune system. It’s also directly correlated with hormonal imbalance, as the body isn’t able to detoxify hormones and wastes properly. This can cause a lot of problems with hormonal acne, in particular breakouts along the jawline and cheeks.”

“Getting the gut functioning properly is the first line of action, but using a clarifying cleanser such as this 100% Pure Natural Tea Tree & Willow one will help keep on top of the breakouts whilst you heal the gut. Drinking 2 litres of water a day is imperative to stay hydrated and help the body flush out toxins and wastes. Herbal, non caffeinated tea counts towards this target and Pukka Tea is my all time favourite organic tea brand as they have such a wide selection.”

“Low levels of Vitamin D have been detected in people with weak immune systems. The best food sources come from mushrooms, oily fish and eggs but it’s also important to get a top up in the winter months when we aren’t getting enough vitamin D from the sun. I really like Viridian’s Liquid Vitamin D3for this purpose.”

“The immune system also heavily relies on zinc which can be found in chickpeas, lentils, nuts and seeds. The highest zinc sources come from shellfish, in particular, oysters but it’s always worth getting a top up from a high potency multivitamin full of natural ingredients such as Terranova’s Living Multinutrient.

“Some of the best superfoods to eat to boost the immune system are onions and garlic. Raw is even better if you can stomach it, but your friends may not be too keen if you’re munching raw garlic everyday! Having a smoothie is a great way to pack loads of fruits and vegetables in to reach your daily target and I always add in WelleCo’s Super Elixir Greens Mix so that I get high doses of all the best superfoods such as spirulina, wheat and barley grass as well as some of the best medicinal mushrooms, shiitake and maitake.”

How can good habits and rituals improve your sleep and immune system?

“Practicing good sleep hygiene is the most important way to overcome poor sleep. And because sleep is the time when our immune system kicks into action you need to make sure you are getting a solid 7-8 hours a night. If you follow my top daily routines for good sleep, I guarantee you will be sleeping like a baby in no time!”

Top tips:

  1. “Remove all blue light from screens 1 hour before bed. Blue light blocks melatonin release from the pineal gland which is the hormone which helps you sleep.”
  1. “If you have time, indulge in a relaxing bubble bath, listen to some music and just float your stress away (I love Neal’s Yard Remedies Aromatic Bath Bubbles for this!)”
  1. “Spend 2-3 minutes deep breathing when you get into bed. Follow a pattern of breathing in for 4, holding for 4 and exhaling for 4. This will instantly put the nervous system in the rest and digest state, slow the heart rate and reduce your stress levels.”
  1. “Prepare the bedroom for sleep. Dim the lights 30 minutes before you go to sleep. I then either light a candle or use some Neom De-Stress Essential Oil in my diffuser to create a calming space.”

“So there you have it! My top tips of how to sleep better which will improve your immune system.”

Kelly Mulhall
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Dip CNM, mBANT, mANP, mCNHC
https://www.thenaturalbalance.net/

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