Why Immune Support Matters Now More Than Ever

As we find ourselves in the middle of the current pandemic, there is a lot of focus on waiting for a pharmaceutical solution. But what is lacking in the media messages, is the empowering information needed to make changes that support our health now, providing us with the best chance to withstand an infection if it happens.

I’m talking about our immune health. 

Our immune system is our defence system – a network of organs, tissues and cells that work together in protecting our body from invaders including bacteria and viruses. By supporting our immune system, we can help strengthen our ability to respond to and overcome an infection. 

What does the immune system need?

In order for your immune system to be in tip top shape, it needs a steady supply of nutrients. These nutrients act as the building blocks for your immune defences. Think of it like an army, you need to have soldiers, weapons, tanks and airplanes, but you won’t get far without the recruits, metal, nuts and bolts to put it all together. Without the input, you don’t have output. And if you stop paying your soldiers and maintaining your weapons, they will not be as productive or effective. If you ignore your health and stop providing your body with quality nutrients, it will not run as effectively either.

Let’s talk about specific factors

There are a number of factors that have been found to play a role in immune health. These factors include early life events, genetics, gender, age, alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise, stress (environmental, physical & psychological), exposure to pathogens (presence of infections, past infections), vaccination history and diet(1). But it’s best to focus on what we can control right now.

Here are four broad lifestyle areas that can greatly affect immune health:

  • Food 
  • Exercise
  • Stress
  • Sleep

Perhaps this list seems simple and obvious, but it is often fine tuning the basics that makes a profound difference. By supporting our immune system through quality food, moderate exercise, stress coping mechanisms and restorative sleep, we can give ourselves the best chance to fight off infections if or when they happen. 

Doing all the “right” things does not guarantee that we will never get sick or that a virus won’t affect us. But it does provide our body with a strong defence and the possibility of reduced symptoms or shorter duration of illness if we do experience an infection. There is no downside to providing healthy support to your immune function!

Over the coming weeks I will dive into each of the lifestyle areas, providing actionable steps to support overall immune health. If you aren’t already subscribed to my emails, enter your email below to make sure you’re notified when these articles are published. By signing up you’ll also receive a free ebook “5 Easy Ways to Increase your Energy”, which provides simple tips and actionable steps that you can implement right away.  

1) Calder, Philip C., and Samantha Kew. “The Immune System: a Target for Functional Foods?” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 88, no. S2, 2002, doi:10.1079/bjn2002682.


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