A healthy immune system is our body’s defense against colds, flu and other infections that may stop us from enjoying life. Keeping healthy is one way we can make sure our immune system is working properly. Making sure our defenses are strong to resist viruses and the usual seasonal flu, coughs and colds.
Our skin is an important part of our immune system, creating a barrier between viruses and bacteria outside and our organs and tissues inside. The moist membranes in our mouth and nose are also important barriers to our immune system. The rest of our immune system includes immune cells and organs, including our lymph glands, tonsils, adenoids, bone marrow and digestive system.
What we eat and drink, and our gut health and stress levels can all affect our immune health. Working from home, at easy reach of the kitchen, or having more stress, it’s likely that you need a little bit of tender loving care to boost your immune system naturally.
Food to boost your immune system
Make sure you’re still eating plenty of fruit and vegetables. If you can’t get hold of a regular supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, stock up on frozen. They’re nutritionally just as good as fresh. Choosing different coloured fruit and vegetables will give you a range of plant nutrients to boost your well-being.
Snack on fresh fruit, nuts or seeds, and keep away from high-sugar, high-fat snacks like biscuits and potato chips. Processed snacks may increase inflammation in your body, putting stress on your immune system. Fruit, nuts and seeds are filling snacks (high in protein and fibre) full of important vitamins and minerals.
Choose foods from a wide range of groups: dairy or non-dairy alternatives, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetables. Make sure your body has all it needs to keep healthy and support your immune system.
Have a Manuka Honey-boost
Manuka Honey has super-food properties, making it one of the ultimate wellness boosters.
New Zealand Manuka honey contains a unique compound, Methylglyoxal (MG or MGO). Choosing Manuka Honey products with MG250+ (or UMF10+) means you’re getting a great hit of honey. The higher the MG/UMF rating, the more super-food compounds in the Manuka Honey.
Take care of your tummy
Gut health is thought to be a major influence on our immune system. Manuka Honey contains oligosaccharides, which are natural prebiotics. Manuka Honey power pack Explore our Manuka Honey power pack. Packed with: ● 1x 10+ UMF Manuka Honey (250g) ● 1x Organic Antiviral Oral Drops (30ml) ● UMF 16+ Manuka Honey Lozenges (8 pack) ● 1x Propolis & Manuka Honey Throat Spray (20ml)
Protecting our skin's immunity barrier
Keeping our skin clean is one thing we’re all encouraged to do. Especially when trying to reduce the spread of germs. The more we wash our hands, the drier they become. This puts the important barrier of our skin at risk of becoming rough and damaged. Making the physical barrier weak.
Using protective hand creams and lotions after we wash our hands is how we can keep our skin's immune barrier healthy.
Having plenty of fluid to drink keeps us hydrated, allowing our skin, nose and mouth to perform their immune function to the best of their ability.
Try to have 8-10 glasses of water a day. You can include tea, herbal tea, coffee, milk or non-dairy milk in your daily fluid goals.
Manage your stress to support your immune health
Trying to manage the stress we experience is another thing we can do to help support our immune health. ● Try using a meditation app, like Headspace https://www.headspace.com/ ● A walk outside tops up vitamin D levels (important for your immune system) from the sunshine and helps us relax. If you can’t get outside, sit by an open window ● Keep connected with people online if you can’t connect in person.
References: Alvarez-Suarez, J., Gasparrini, M., Forbes-Hernández, T., Mazzoni, L., & Giampieri, F. (2014). The composition and biological activity of honey: a focus on Manuka honey. Foods, 3(3), 420-432.
Childs, C. E., Calder, P. C., & Miles, E. A. (2019). Diet and Immune Function. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1933 D& Acquisto, F. (2017). Affective immunology: where emotions and the immune response converge. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 19(1), 9.
Fung, T. C. et al (2017). Interactions between the microbiota, immune and nervous systems in health and disease. Nature neuroscience, 20(2), 145.
Mavric, E., Wittmann, S., Barth, G., & Henle, T. (2008). Identification and quantification of methylglyoxal as the dominant antibacterial constituent of Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) honeys from New Zealand. Molecular nutrition & food research, 52(4), 483-489.
Oduwole O et al 2018. Honey for acute cough in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4
Bogdanov S. et al. 2008. Honey for nutrition and health: a review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 27. 677-89.
Social media posts A healthy immune system is our body’s defence against colds, flus and other infections that may stop us enjoying life. Keeping healthy is one way we can make sure our immune system is working properly. Making sure our defenses are strong to resist viruses, like COVID-19, and the usual seasonal flu, coughs and colds.