5 Ways To Build Immunity For Autumn In The Summer05/05/2021, Chantal Di Donato, Holistic Health Coach
In the past year, nothing has been highlighted more than the importance of our health. As the world literally shut down, and governments, experts and the medical industry rushed out to “save the world”, not many public officials tackled the most important factor in this whole ordeal: our innate immunity.
As warmer weather is at our doors, and viral infections decline due to rising temperatures, summer is a great time to plan ahead for the autumn season. The old saying “prevention is better than the cure” has never felt truer.
Whatever the individual’s starting point is, on their health journey, these 5 tips will help support our immune system in getting ready to face any pathogens during the autumn season. Any infection is as bad as the host’s immunity level; this has been recorded in medical journals, and it has become the epicentre of all medical conversations in the Integrative health space, in the past year.
1. HEAL YOUR GUT
With at least 70% of our immune system behind our gut lining, digestive health is one of the key components of health. We want to make sure to have a healthy and balanced microbiome, with good bacteria being fed by prebiotics (such as fibre), keeping parasites and fungi in check, and making sure things “move” daily, to cleanse our system. For anyone with leaky gut or other digestive disorders, summer is a great time to start working on healing. With warm weather it is easier to do some fasting, juicing, cleansing and overall eat a diet rich in wholesome plant-based meals. Vegetables, fruit and whole grains, pulses and nuts are where our prebiotics come from, and they are like brooms to cleanse our gut. This is also a good time to take a daily probiotic, to help repopulate our gut flora, especially if healing from dysbiosis (which is often time the cause of digestive issues).
2. STAY HYDRATED
This might sound like a cliché but hydration is extremely important for immunity. Taking advantage of the warm weather during summer, we can drink abundant amounts of water (about 2 or 3 litres) to help flush the system from toxins. It is important to drink very good water, void of chlorine and fluoride. Ideally, a reverse osmosis system is one of the best options to guarantee water quality, but there are an array of very good and affordable filters on the market, that can be considered. Carbon filters are also wonderful for water quality on the go. Hydration depends also on minerals, so a healthy diet with good sea salt is key as well.
3. BOOST YOUR VITAMIN D
Whenever there is sunshine, your job is to be outdoors. It is absolutely paramount to recharge the vitamin D batteries during sunny days. By exposing the upper body (arms and torso in particular) our skin absorbs UVB rays and converts them into 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), a substance present in our skin, into pre-vitamin D3. After pre-vitamin D3 is produced, it is converted into vitamin D3 through pathways in the liver and kidneys, which then transform D 3 into usable forms of vitamin D 1,25-dihydroxy, also known as calcitriol. Studies have shown a strong relationship between vitamin D and immunity and people with lower levels of Vitamin D, have been found to be a lot more susceptible to disease than those with adequate amounts. It is equally important, however, to make sure that we remain safe when exposing our skin to sun rays. It is advisable to spend only 20 minutes in the strong sun to activate the strong production of vitamin D per day, and then expose the skin to sunlight before 9 am and after 4 pm when the rays are less intense. Sunscreens sadly block the abortion of UV rays, which blocks the production of vitamin D. It is best to only spend selected time in the sun and then stay in the shade, and only use natural sunscreens if prolonged exposure is unavoidable.
4. USE CLEAN SKINCARE
As a continuation to point 3, we want to make sure that we avoid putting toxic ingredients on our skin, as these harm our immune system in the long term. I mentioned sunscreen, and there are wonderful natural products available as well as being able to make our own at home using zinc oxide, coconut oil and essential oils. Just as with sunscreen, all our skincare should be re-valuated to be non-toxic; it is definitely worth investing in better quality brands, void of artificial and harmful ingredients such as Parabens, Formaldehyde (which the majority of us are actually allergic to and create havoc in our immune system), Phthalates and Alcohol.
5. EAT PLENTY OF FRESH FOOD
I alluded to the importance of wholesome plant-based foods in relation to gut health, but eating a diet rich in micronutrients and bioactive compounds is so much more than about gut health. Plants are truly the gatekeepers of our health and we should prioritise them this summer to build a stronger body, inside and out. Eating wholesome foods will allow for natural weight loss, which in turn promotes immunity, can help resolve other lifestyle-related ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular issues, and truly nourish our cells, getting us ready to fight pathogens.
Although this list is non-exhaustive, it offers some key points in getting started with lifestyle changes that can impact our body and immune system greatly. Our biggest and most precious asset is our health, so we must treat it like the best investment we will ever make because it is.
THE BEST IMMUNE BOOSTING SPAS
If you would like expert help and bespoke programmes dedicated to boosting your immune system, then Healing Holidays would recommend the following Spas:
The Mayr Clinics
The Mayr clinics (VIVAMAYR Altaussee, Lanserhof Tegernsee, Park Igls & OCEANO Health Spa Hotel) offer a fast track to an iron-strong immune system. Based on the belief that a bad diet and poor digestion are the roots of many health problems – insomnia, an impaired immune system, high blood pressure and even heart disease - they offer effective medically supervised programmes with medical diagnostics and a full health assessment that help repair the body and clear your mind through detoxification and de-acidification.
SHA Wellness Clinic
Founded over 10 years ago, SHA Wellness Clinic provides a 360-degree approach to your wellness. It offers a potent combination of natural therapies, first-rate nutrition and the latest advancements in Western medicine. They currently include Immunotherapy and Lymphocyte Profile Analysis with every programme booked, to understand if your immune system needs a boost and if required, you can plug into your own tailored IV drip for a turbo charge to your system, or have some ozone treatments to boost your body’s defence mechanisms.
If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.
|About The Author|
Chantal Di Donato is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Author and founder of Live Lean Health and Eco Dharma Village, a vegan eco-farm in Northern Portugal. She graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and from Aditya Yoga School. Although she no longer teaches Yoga, she has developed her own functional movement classes on the mat, focusing on strength and suppleness to keep the body healthy and strong and promoting longevity. Her journey started 20 years ago after a two-year-long battle with anorexia and 14 years destructive relationship with food, which forced her to then turn her life around due to health issues.