7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
As summer passes us by and winter starts coming into action, it’s time to start preparing for the cold and flu season. Although the peak of the cold and flu season may still be a while away, you can never be too early to start preparing to protect yourself from the nasty bugs.
After all, when it comes these life-disrupting germs, prevention is the best cure, and since a properly-functioning immune system is so vital, here are 7 ways to help boost your immune system.
1. Take a chill pill
Stress, it sucks, and even though the Goldilocks Principle usually applies (too much or too little can hurt), stress can increase your susceptibility to contracting the cold and flu.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine,  examined the relationship between stress and the frequency of the common cold, found that psychological stress was associated with an increased risk or URTI and the common cold. In other words, the more stressed you feel, the higher the chance you have of getting sick.
With all of that, regularly practicing stress management is more important than ever. Setting boundaries, practicing mindfulness, meditation, taking walks, deep breathing, and exercise can help keep your stress levels in a healthy range.
Psychological stress is all about how we perceive and interpret information and events. So while you may not be able to control the world around you, you can control your response and attitude.
2. Get your beauty sleep
Want to get sick this season? Yes? Don’t get enough sleep. Sleep quality is said to be an important predictor of immunity. Having repeated sleepless or restless nights will make you considerably more vulnerable to catching a cold or illness.
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine  examined the relationship between sleep duration and the incidence of contracting a cold and found that those who slept 7 hours or less were 3 times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept 8 hours or more. They also found that those who had a poorer quality of sleep were 5.5 times more likely to develop a cold than those with 98% or better sleep efficiency. Sleep efficiency is the percentage of time you actually sleep between lying down and getting up the next morning.
Simply said, inadequate sleep is a near-certain way to suppress your immune system and increase your chance of getting sick.
If you are serious about keeping up your health and want to help boost your immune system check out these 5 ingredients that can help you get a better nights sleep
3. Get your gut in order
Your digestive tract is said to be home to over 70% or your immunity. So, it makes sense that taking steps to get your digestive health in order is critical to boost your immune system and stay healthy.
Taking probiotics and prebiotics are certainly helpful in maintaining healthy antimicrobial activity and reinforcing your gut barrier function.
A detox can also be helpful in maintaining good gut health. Getting rid of the bad bacteria can be as important as keeping the good bacteria in. For that we recommend something like Koru Nutrition’s NZEO-1, to help cleanse your body and modulate your immune system.
4. Exercise... but not too much
It’s no secret that being sedentary makes you far more susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections (URTI), such as the cold and the flu. But did you know that heavy exercise can also impair the body’s natural defense network making avid exercisers and hard-training athletes more likely to catch a cold? 
It’s true. Heavy exertion increases the risk of URTI because of negative changes in immune function and elevation of the stress hormone.
There is, however, huge evidence that moderate exercise may decrease your chance of URTI. This way, you can boost your immune system without a negative impact on your stress hormones.
So remember, take it easy.
5. Load up on nutrients
Here’s a handful of nutrients that are critical to fueling a robust, competent immune system. You don’t need to have all of these nutrients every day! But it’s a good idea to involve these in your diet, whether it be through food or other external sources.
- Vitamin A helps boost the immune system by improving gut barrier function, reinforcing mucus secretion, enhancing natural killer cell activity, and reducing susceptibility to infection. You can find vitamin A in most vegetables, especially dark green leafy veggies as well as carrots, bell peppers, and broccoli.
- Vitamin C is probably the most commonly known nutrient for boosting the immune system. There’s no question it’s a key player in proper immunity function. Some great sources are citrus fruits such as oranges, limes or kiwi fruit. You can also get it in other forms with capsules like Vitamin C2 Fx.
- Vitamin D influences both the innate and adaptive immune responses, and research shows that taking vitamin D during the winter months can help to protect against the cold and flu . The best source of this is the sun! But be careful not to get burnt! Foods like salmon, sardines, tuna, and eggs are also good dietary sources of vitamin D.
- Zinc is arguably one of the most powerful nutrients to boost the immune system. Studies  show that supplementation with zinc can significantly reduce the number of colds a person experiences annually. Great sources of zinc are red meats, seeds, beans and nuts.
6. Get rid of the junk food
After all of that, it would be dumb not to mention your diet. Kind of like chronic stress, bad dietary behaviours, which can also contribute to your poor gut health, contribute to persistent, unhealthy levels of inflammation and can disrupt the body’s natural immune response to resolve inflammation.
Without getting too deep into it, I’d suggest limiting your consumption of the following foods.
- Refined carbohydrates and sugars
- Refined, bleached and deodorized vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, sunflower, vegetable oils)
- Highly processed foods such as chips, snacks, lollies, chocolate.
Obviously it’s not always possible to remove these from your diet as a whole, but where possible, you should look to limit your intake of these foods to help look after not only your immune system but your body as a whole.
7. Keep your hands clean!
I left this one till last because hopefully, it goes without saying. Wash. Your. Hands! You know the drill; you come into contact with someone or something someone has touched, sneezed on, coughed on, and the next thing you know your sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching… ugh!
You can do your best to keep your hands clean, like washing them regularly or applying hand sanitizer. But most importantly, try not to touch your face! The urge is real. We know. But trust me, when you think about everything you touch, handrails, pets, food, door handles, other people, you realize that your hands are filthy!
Learning to stop touching your face can be the best way to stop the germs going from your hands and into your system!
An extra step
Taking into account everything we’ve discussed today, what do you think you’ll do? You need to exercise, relax, sleep, maintain a healthy diet full of nutrients, keep your gut health intact and stay clean all at the same time! It can seem quite daunting but luckily we think we have something for you!
The team at Koru Nutrition knows how frustrating getting a cold or the flu in the winter can be! That’s why they’ve been hard at work creating an Immunity Bundle!
The pack contains Vitamin C2 Fx, Sleep Fx, NZEO-1, Hand Sanitiser, Pure NZ Manuka Honey Snaps, and a 30 recipe guide. Just some of the essentials that you need to help get you through the winter healthy!
IMMUNITY BUNDLE OFFER
Save a huge 33% off
Currently customers can get 33% of the immunity bundle.
Each pack contains:
- Double Action Vitamin C2 Fx
- Support Healthy Sleep with Sleep Fx
- Natural Detox Drink NZEO-1
- FREE Spray Sanitizer
- FREE Immunity Boosting Recipe Guide
- FREE MHI 10+ NZ Manuka Honey Snaps
- FREE NZ Wide Tracked Shipping