TIPS FOR STRESS AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Before I start, just a disclaimer:

I am not your doctor or healthcare practitioner. This information is for education purposes and is not a prescription of what to do or take.


1. STRESS MANAGEMENT:

I could talk about stress management till my mouth falls off and, if you've been following me for a while, you may be bored of this, but here goes:


  • Deep belly breaths. When you do this, let you stomach expand and not your chest. Breath in for 4 counts, hold for 6 counts and breath out for 8 counts. In light of the pandemic, this should be done in the morning, before bed and any time you feel stressed and panicked. A minimum of 12 cycles (1 cycle = inhale, hold and exhale).

  • Meditation has always been a trusted stress reducing technique. This is my favourite meditation from YouTube and I am also a fan of the SimpleHabit app. But use your favourite meditation tool!

  • Good quality sleep is a huge factor in your stress and management thereof. Make sure you get into bed at a decent hour, stay away from screens 45-60mins before bed, have nightshift mode activated on our screens, have a hot shower before bed, do your deep belly breaths. Valerian root or L-theanine have helped me a lot when I've had trouble falling asleep.

  • Steer clear of news/articles/links from social media and only trust reputable sources - eg, I am a naturopath and can help with your immune system. I won't put out information that is out of my scope so don't listen to Judy from next-door sharing a link she read about on Facebook... I primarily use these websites - WHO.int; WHO twitter feed; CDC.gov; NICD.ac.za.

  • I would also encourage you to limit the time you spend reading about or listening to information about COVID19. Don't do it first thing in the morning or just before bed. Keep yourself informed but remember that your mental health is more important than getting updated every second. Be responsible.


2. IMMUNE SYSTEM:

Stress management is an important part (if not the most important) of keeping your immune system healthy.


  • Probiotics and gut health are top notch. Probiotic supplements are great as well as eating a variety of fermented foods - don't stick to just one - in keeping your gut happy and healthy. Cabbage has a high amount of glutamine (which helps fuel the gut and acts to repair any damaged lining) so keep adding cooked or raw cabbage to your daily diet.

  • Cooking with turmeric and garlic are great ways to boost the nutritional and immune-aiding content of your food.

  • Make sure your daily nutrient intake is high. Get those veggies in! Make sure you eat a variety of colours Eat some delicious bone broth, I wrote this blog a while ago about why we should eat better when we're stressed. I think it's quite relevant now

  • Vitamin C is a wonderful antioxidant and immune-modulating vitamin

  • Taking garlic "pills" is also wonderful for the immune system. Take a clove of garlic, peel it, pop in your mouth, bite down and swallow it by drinking a glass of water. Its not the most pleasant but it's great for you.

  • Zinc is also really great for immunity and for lining any mucosal membranes (nose, mouth etc). If you can take zinc lozenges, that's optimal but if not, I like to take zinc picolinate.

  • Echinacea is also a good and safe herb to use for immunity and for infections.And it's great for helping prevent colds and flus (what with winter on the way). NB if you suffer from any autoimmune disease, or chronic systemic diseases, consult your doctor before taking echinacea.

  • Remove toxic people and social media accounts from your life. Remember: less toxic people and posts, and more Toxic by Britney Spears


It's not about doing EVERYTHING, it's about doing whatever we can. I can only ask of you all to do your best. Definitely try to do a mix of tips from each section because supplementation is nothing without internal stress management.



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