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This year, your immune system needs you more than ever

BY: Camila Loew

As the world struggles to recover from the Covid19 pandemic, and we anxiously await the right vaccine, an active thing you can do for yourself is to take steps to boost your immune system.

In order for disease to manifest, there has to be an agent -such as a virus- as well as a host, i.e., an organism that can carry the disease. The host doesn't necessarily get sick; we can act as carriers for an agent without displaying symptoms of the disease (asymptomatic carriers). We get sick when some part of our physiology becomes hospitable or attractive to the agent.

What this means is that by making ourselves as unattractive as possible to the agents of disease -by strengthening our immune system- we lessen the chances of getting sick. Here we offer you several ideas, simple ways to take action and boost your immunity naturally to prevent illness:

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  1. Hydrate sufficiently: water is a simple way to flush out unwanted toxins from the body. In summer, it's easier to regulate our water intake with thirst; in the colder months, we have to sometimes be more mindful to remind ourselves how important it is. Our bodies have lost the natural cue of thirst, even confusing it at times with hunger!
  2. Exercise regularly: exercise not only improves cardiovascular function and helps us maintain a healthy weight, it also boots our immunity by promoting blood circulation, which allows all of our cells to do their job well.
  3. Sleep well: though it may sound like a no-brainer, sleep is often underrated. Nowadays, the research on the importance of a good rest to our overall functioning is resounding. Sleep is when our body does repair and regeneration, fundamental to a strong immune function.
  4. Reduce your stress levels: yes, I know, this one is much easier said than done. Tell me about it. However, just like with sleep, we are learning more and more about how stress can undo in our bodies all the good things we make an effort to do for it. Simple self-care rituals such as deep breathing or a nightly facial self-massage can make a big difference for our overall health. What a good excuse to pamper ourselves more.
  5. Eat healthy: Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables to make sure all of our antioxidant bases our covered. Eat foods containing probiotics (fermented foods), some of the most immune-boosting foods around. If you are not used to the flavour, keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way: these foods are highly nutrient dense. Eating for immunity also means cutting down on foods that can harm your immune system, such as sugars and processed foods.
  6. Take natural immune-boosting supplements: along with the commonly well-known vitamins C and D and the mineral zinc, mushrooms, taken in supplement form, are an amazing source of immune-boosting properties. Cordyceps and Turkey tail are two of the most immune-enhancing and antibacterial mushrooms to consider for support in the post-Covid19 era.
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