So here are my top tips for ways to help keep your immune system in the best possible condition: 1. You are what you THINK. What you think and feel (emotionally) has an effect on your body, when you are quite stressed, fearful and generally feeling down, your body reacts by activating the "fight or flight" response, this means it will prepare your body to fight or run and in order for you to survive. It is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.
The body's sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous systems stimulate the adrenal glands triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate after the threat is gone, it takes between 20 to 60 minutes for the body to return to its pre-arousal levels.
You can probably think of a time when you experienced the fight-or-flight response. In the face of something frightening, your heartbeat quickened, you begin breathing faster, and your entire body becomes tense and ready to take action. The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress the effectiveness of the immune system (e.g. lowers the number of lymphocytes). The body sends more blood flow to your limbs as it thinks you need to run or fight and it temporarily reduces the immune system. So my recommendation is to try and reduce the stress factors, reduce watching the news, look at stress management processes- CBT, Meditation, Mindfulness, try and make time for yourself- whether it's a relaxing bubble bath, book yourself a massage or facial, go for a walk in nature, read a book, watch a nice movie! The more you can reduce the Cortisol in the body the better!
2. Increase your antioxidants A diet high in antioxidants may reduce the risk of many diseases. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals from the body cells and prevent or reduce the damage caused by oxidation. They help to reduce inflammation in the body and support the immune system. Lucky for chocolate lovers, dark chocolate is nutritious. It has more cocoa than regular chocolate, as well as more minerals and antioxidants- at Purple Valentine, we stock Esthechoc which is rich antioxidant chocolate, one square of Esthechoc is recommended for the best results. Increase foods in your diet which are rich in antioxidants like spinach, beetroot, beans, strawberries, blueberries, red cabbage, Goji berries, artichokes, pecans and kale.
If you find it difficult incorporating antioxidants into your diet another really great way to get essential nutrients into the body is drinking Skinade.
Skinade is a drink that works from the inside out. Its six active ingredients work
to promote optimal skin function. As a liquid supplement, its innovative formulation is highly bio-available, meaning that the body can absorb and make use of a higher proportion of the active nutrients. Skinade active ingredients are 100% in solution allowing for an absorption rate of 95%. It contains Vitamin C, vitamin B complex, Omegas 3 & 6, L-lysine which is an amino acid. Skinade is also available to purchase in the clinic.