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Looking for expert recommendations to support your immune health? Our Naturopaths  Liz and Rebecca talk about what they’re doing to support themselves during this time.

When it comes to all areas of health – including your immune wellbeing, being proactive and taking a preventative approach is essential. With a growing range of immune products, sometimes it can be difficult to know what’s best for you and your family. So, we’ve made it simple in this guide by sharing what we’re doing and the products we’re taking every day to keep our immune system fighting fit.

There are so many things we can do to ensure our immune systems are firing on all cylinders, and it’s great for our peace of mind knowing that we’re doing all we can to cover the fundamentals. Having peace of mind also has flow on benefits for immune health too.

6 holistic ways we’re taking care of our immune health

1. Being active outside

Studies show that exercise directly affects immune function. Regular moderate-intensity exercise is beneficial for our immune health – supporting the function of our immune cells and strengthening our overall immune system. Finding types of exercise that you enjoy and are motivated to do, makes the task of exercising easier, especially if you’re not naturally enthused about ‘working out’.

Sunshine for  vitamin D - our immune system relies on having sufficient levels of Vitamin D for a robust and balanced immune response. The weather has been pretty amazing this year which has provided us with a long hot summer and plenty of opportunities for time outside.

For us, our favourite ways to do this at the moment are bike rides for Liz and mindful nature walks for Rebecca.

Liz: Bike rides are ticking all my boxes for exercise. I get to be a tourist in my city, finding places I’ve never seen before, I feel the warm sun on my skin and welcome vitamin D, I get social time with friends who come with me, and I move my body, feel my heart pump and enjoy the endorphins after.

Rebecca: Walking in nature has been wonderful for me lately, my motivation to exercise is lower than usual so walking is nice and easy to commit to, for 30 mins each day. Being outdoors and using my senses to tune into the beautiful sights and sounds of nature is great mindful stress management, which also benefits immune health.

2. Vitamin D for fast recovery from ills and chills 

Me Today Vitamin D3 1000 High Dose

Rebecca: Me Today Vitamin D3 1000 High Dose

This high-dose Vitamin D3 (1,000 IU) is in a form the body can recognise and absorb easily. I’m quite proactive about covering up in the sun, so I need to be extra conscious of my vitamin D intake - this super small vegecap is so easy to swallow and I feel good knowing that I’m looking after my Vitamin D levels. Our bodies can store Vitamin D in our fat cells, so it won’t matter too much if you miss a day here and there either, take 1 per day with food.  Are you getting enough of the sunshine vitamin? Let’s explore more about Vitamin D.

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3. Good sleep for good immune health

Sleep plays a vital role in the way our immune system works. But having a good night’s sleep is easier said than done for some people who struggle to sleep.

If you’re finding it more difficult to get to sleep lately, an eye mask is an excellent way to improve sleep length and sleep quality. Eye masks help provide a dark environment, supporting the hormone production needed for a good long sleep.

Reducing screen time before bed (1-2 hours) will help your brain by reducing the amount of blue light (which should be high through the day and low at night) and get into some relaxing evening routines to ease you into bed feeling rested and ready to sleep. Setting aside some quiet time before bed helps signal to our body that it’s wind down time, so it’s easier to drift off.

For more tips on getting a good night’s sleep,  check out your guide to a healthy, deep sleep

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4. Plant foods for a primed immune response

Our focus right now is on boosting nutrition to reduce the chance of nutrient deficiency, for strong immune function. When it comes to research on supporting an efficient immune system, micronutrients are where it’s at, so we’re both eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit and paying particular attention to key nutrients that play a vital role in our immune wellbeing – especially  zinc and vitamin D. Food is the best way to get a wide variety of beneficial phytonutrients, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, and omegas, and a diet that is rich in fresh colourful plants, protein, good fats, and water has been proven to help us live our best life.

Fruit and veggies in particular are also full of prebiotic fiber, which feeds the friendly  probiotics in our gut - an integral part of our immune system. Research shows that diversity in our microbiome is a key factor in a healthy recovery from immune challenges.

Looking for meal time inspiration? Try our nutritionist-approved recipes. 

Explore immune-loving recipes →

Lifestream Probiotics 14 Strains

Rebecca: Lifestream Probiotics 14 Strains

This is everything I look for in a probiotic, quality, broad spectrum (with 14 strains) and microencapsulated to protect from stomach acid. I recommend this probiotic so often that I have it bookmarked - I take it every day, so do my friends, family, colleagues and everyone else I’ve raved about it to. My gut health has never been better, and the renewable sugar cane bottle that's also recyclable is awesome too. Take 1-2 capsules per day.

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Vital Greens Powder

Liz: Vital Greens Powder

This has got to be one of my favourite ways to top up my nutrient intake and get additional greens. With 78 ingredients, this tasty green drink provides  vitaminsminerals, enzymes, probiotics, fibre, protein, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and more! It’s the first thing I consume each morning, and it feels like such a great way to start the day. I love that the packaging is made from rPET meaning less virgin plastic has been created in the making of this product.

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5. Making essential minerals an essential

Our body uses  zinc to strengthen our immune response by supporting the way cells signal that there is an immune threat. We need to have sufficient amounts of zinc in our body for our immune cells to function properly, including our neutrophils, natural killer cells, and T-cells, which handle the job of defending against foreign invaders. Zinc offers antioxidant support by protecting immune cells from oxidative stress, helping them to function.

Interestingly, people who follow a plant-based diet tend to need more zinc, because animal derived foods yield higher levels in a more absorbable form. So, if you follow a  vegan or vegetarian diet, it’s recommended to keep your zinc intake in mind.

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Biotrace Elemental Zinc

Rebecca: Biotrace Elemental Zinc

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that’s commonly deficient in NZ soils, taking a supplement supports my immune cells to be primed and ready for action. Being in liquid form makes it easy to take and easily absorbed by the body. Zinc is best taken with food, so take the daily dose of 1ml with a meal, I take mine with breakfast. It’s really economical too, one bottle gives a two month supply.

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BioTrace Concentrated Mineral Drops

Liz: BioTrace Concentrated Mineral Drops

It’s essential to consume minerals in our diet because our body doesn’t produce them. Minerals are involved in every process that happens in our body, and it’s the stuff our body is made of. Did you know there is about 25g of  magnesium stored in our body? And that our body is so efficient, that we only need to eat about 250mg of magnesium every day to keep up our stores? The Biotrace CMD (Concentrated Mineral Drops) are an easy way to get magnesium and a wide variety of trace minerals that are found naturally in the Dead Sea, where the product is sourced from. I add a few drops to my water whenever I refill it at work. Minerals can support energy and that sense of wellbeing that can disappear if we aren’t taking the best care of ourselves.

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6. To keep on hand for immune threats

Wild Dispensary Throat Spray

Liz: Wild Dispensary Throat Spray

If like me, you’re feeling hyper-aware of the slightest throat tickle, or want to give your body some immune support. The linings of our nose and throat are some of the first places to receive immune threats, so oral sprays and nasal rinses are a great supportive measure. Featuring Wild Otago Thyme, sage, propolis and kawakawa as key immune support ingredients, and amazing taste from cinnamon, peppermint, and orange peel, you’ll love this spray as much as I do.

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BioBalance Liposomal Vitamin C

Rebecca: BioBalance Liposomal Vitamin C

If you want to support immune resilience, you can’t go past Vitamin C. It’s an immune essential – whether you take it daily during ills and chills season or opt for a high dose at the first sign of a throat tickle. Studies show that liposomals allow for better absorption – so you can get higher levels in your system, faster. I always have a bottle of this on hand – I love that Vitamin C supports natural collagen regeneration too, for plump and smooth skin.

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By taking a holistic approach to your immune health you're giving your body the best chance. Ensure you’re nourishing yourself with nutrient-dense meals each day, getting optimal sleep whenever possible, topping up with important minerals, and keeping your shelf stocked with immune essentials.

If you have any questions about your immune wellbeing or products to take during this time, we’re always here to help. You’re welcome to get in touch anytime.

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