Tips to boost your immune system
The Nutritional Expert at SHA Wellness Clinic, Lola García, shares some tips to boost our immune system!
Autumn is here and so are the dreaded colds and flu. One common question at this time of the year is how to improve the immune system. The fact of the matter is that we cannot make it work more, but we can get a better balance so that it can function properly without being impaired and we have come up with a few tips to help you with this:
Maintain a healthy weight, because losing or gaining more than what you should can weaken the immune system.
Keep the airways and the large intestine clean and active. This means eating lots of leafy green vegetables, not only lettuce, but also the most common greens in autumn and winter, such as watercress and cabbage leaves, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It is also a good idea to increase the consumption of old-fashioned organic mustard, because it helps open up and activate both the lungs and the large intestine.
The skin is the body’s biggest organ; it has a respiratory and cleansing function. To favour these two processes massage the body on a daily basis with a cotton cloth that has been soaked in hot water and then wrung out properly. Whenever the cloth gets cooler put it back in the hot water. Not only is this an excellent beauty ritual for perfect skin, it stimulates microcirculation and it also helps activate the lymphatic system, especially when the areas of the body where the lymph nodes are on the surface just under the skin are massaged.
Although it is obvious, it is still worthwhile remembering: avoid consuming toxins such as tobacco, alcohol, coffee, soft drinks and don’t abuse prescription drugs. If the objective is to protect ourselves from pathogenic microbes, there is no sense in becoming a rubbish bin and hindering the white blood cells.
However, undoubtedly, one of the best, most effective and fun ways of keeping the immune system free of substances that stop it working properly is physical exercise, especially if it is done outdoors. Try high intensity daily walks that last long enough to break out into a sweat.
Moreover, despite living in developed societies in which there is a wide range of food to choose from, cases of malnutrition are becoming more common, especially in terms of micronutrients: iron, zinc, copper, selenium, folic acid, vitamins E, A, B6, C. If after having a blood test you discover that you are lacking in these, perhaps it is because you don’t have the right type of diet, which does not include enough greens, during the transition period to a more appropriate diet, you can consume edible seaweed. Eating just one toasted leaf of Nori edible seaweed on a daily basis, not only provides you with numerous minerals, it is also delicious. It is a good idea to include it in your diet if you do sport, because when you sweat you lose minerals.
In any case, if you feel as though you are coming down with a cold and you have had the chills; the best is to have a hot bath with sea salt or Epsom salts. After about twenty minutes dry yourself off properly and get ready to enjoy a nice and hot miso soup with lots of vegetables. This is our star dish to help the immune system work properly.
What is more, you can find healthy and delicious recipes here to look after yourself!