A Naturopath’s top 6 tips for immunity (with the bonus of a beauty boost)
In the current environment, boosting our immunity and keeping strong and healthy has never been more important! While there is no magic pill we can take for steel immunity, there are some key naturopathic tips that I recommend to help boost your immunity naturally. The “beauty” of these tips is that they all have the bonus of simultaneously boosting skin health and vitality!
Boost your intake of natural Vitamin C
Ensuring that you are eating an abundance of Vitamin C-rich foods will encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect your body against infection.
The body does not store Vitamin C, so you want to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin C from your daily diet. Eating foods rich in this immune system bolstering nutrient is superior to taking synthetic Vitamin C in the form of pills and tablets. This is because the body absorbs Vitamin C found in foods more effectively.
Foods also have an amplified nutrient profile (more than their sum of parts) compared to taking a processed pill. Aim for 3 serves of Vitamin C-rich foods daily, such as guava, berries, papaya, capsicum, kiwi fruit, spinach, broccoli and citrus fruits.
For an extra boost, incorporating a natural Vitamin C-rich superfood powder daily is a fantastic way to receive a concentrated source of Vitamin C in a natural 'supplement' form. The beauty benefit of incorporating Vitamin C into your diet is a boost in natural collagen production, along with an improvement in acne and scarring.
Get 4 x RDI Vitamin C in one teaspoon:
This is where our Native Plant-Based Collagen shines through! Just a single teaspoon proves four times the recommended dose of Vitamin C. It is easy to incorporate this powder in smoothies, water or a glass of juice.
Beauty Immunity Smoothie Recipe
The below smoothie packs a punch of Vitamin C and is super easy to blend up each morning:
1 teaspoon of Native Plant-Based Collagen
1 tablespoon of Inner Essentials – Skin + Gut Renew Powder
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 cup of baby spinach
½ kiwi fruit
1 cup of coconut water or coconut milk
1.5 cm of ginger or turmeric root, grated
A drop of colloidal silver (optional)
Don’t forget your gut
Gut health and immunity are intricately linked with over 80% of our immune system being found in our gut. My approach to gut health is all about encouraging the growth of healthy gut flora and weeding out the bad guys.
One of my favourite nutrients for restoring the gut lining and improving gut balance is glutamine. Slippery elm is also a mucilage reach botanical that assists in reducing gut inflammation and restoring gut health. You will find both of these nutrients along with calendula, chamomile and digestive enzymes in Edible Beauty’s Inner Essentials – Skin+Gut Renew Powder. Taking 2-3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and aiming for 30 grams of fibre by incorporating whole grains, nuts/seeds and vegetables whilst supplementing with a gut health powder is a great way to build your immunity via your gut.
The wonderful benefit of a healthy gut is that you are effectively weeding out excess toxins and hormones and improving the absorption of beauty-boosting vitamins for healthy and luminous skin!
Tea is a wonderful way to improve hydration whilst also upping your vitamin and mineral intake. My favourite teas for immune-boosting include Tulsi, Thyme (wonderful for sore throats) along with hibiscus which is abundant in Vitamin C. The classic hot lemon with manuka honey or coconut nectar (as a vegan alternative) is also soothing.
I love using our Native Collagen powder in a latte style by adding warm almond or oat milk to create a warming drink (add a touch of black pepper for some bite!).
One of my favourite herbs for boosting immunity is Andrographis. This herb has been given the status of a “herbal antibiotic” and traditionally was used as an alternative to antibiotics. It can be taken in capsule or tablet form – it is very bitter, and is known as the “King of Bitters”, so be prepared for a bitter hit if you are taking this in liquid or tea form.
Garlic is a very traditional antimicrobial food/herb and whilst it can ward off friends along with bacteria and germs, it is a highly at fighting germs due to the presence of allicin which provides it with its immune-boosting benefits. You need to crush or slice garlic to receive these benefits so you may want to create a garlic oil dressing that you add to your daily greens. Alternatively chopping the cloves finely and gulping 1-2 down daily can also be a “heroic” way to get your daily immune-boosting action.
The humble ginger root is antimicrobial and helps to eliminate congestion. It is also a powerful anti-inflammatory so will not only help with keeping puffiness at bay, but it also contains silicon which helps to promote healthy skin. Ginger, cinnamon and orange juice are wonderful additions to any, boosting the body’s natural defences and keeping immunity in check.
Sleep more, stress less
Sleep deprivation can affect the production of infection-fighting antibodies and cells. The hormone cortisol can impact the body’s production of antigens which are fighting off disease. Take the time to do breathing exercises (my favourite is Pranayama) or deep belly breathing daily to help ensure you are keeping stress levels down naturally. Ensuring you are getting quality sleep of at least 8 hours is key. Similarly taking measures to reduce stress will keep your immune system in check. Mindfulness, yoga, walking, and any form of exercise you enjoy are also gold for this! When it comes to sleep, it truly does have beauty benefits. Improved sleep means your skin can effectively repair DNA, improve would healing and keep on track with healthy collagen production!
Powerful essential oils
Tea tree, oregano, eucalyptus and lavender oils all have antimicrobial and antibacterial properties which can fight and kill harmful bacteria. Add them to your oil diffuser, pop them in your homemade cleaning products and use diluted versions of them on your skin (on the soles of your feet works great). Using oregano oil internally (with caution) is also a highly effective way at beating a cold/flu before it takes hold.
Ensuring that you are regularly washing your hands or using a hand sanitiser (when water is not available) is paramount to keeping germs at bay. Regularly wiping down desks, benches and surroundings is also critical. Edible Beauty’s Natural Hand Sanitiser with colloidal silver contains a blend of essential oils, alcohol and colloidal silver for effective germ-fighting action.