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SIMPLE STEPS FOR IMMUNE HEALTH
By Kim Bulder, Mānuka Health Naturopath, 25 February 2020

Ever wonder why some people get sick every year while others have never taken a day off sick in their life? At the centre of whether we get sick (or even how severely and how long it takes to recover) is our wonderfully complex immune system.

The fact is, we are all regularly challenged by potential invaders. Whether they become a problem for us or not depends largely on the state of our immune function - and there is a lot we can do to keep our immunity in top form.

Support your first line of defence

The nose, eyes, mouth and throat are at the front line of our immune resistance. These areas are exposed to the outside world and have built-in mechanisms to help protect against invasion of any bugs and foreign particles. The natural fluids that coat these areas, and the health of the underlying tissues, are vitally important. If these areas dry out or are otherwise compromised our defences are impaired (think air conditioning, mouth breathing, dehydration, poor nutrition, smoking or air pollution).

  • Stay well hydrated - drink plenty of pure water throughout the day along with restorative herbal teas. Chamomile, Ginger and Licorice are all soothing and protective, and are perfectly enhanced with a spoonful of Mānuka honey.
  • Natural lozenges and throat sprays can help soothe the mouth and throat, prevent dryness and aid defences.
  • Keep hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid introducing any foreign particles.
  • Blink! Air-conditioning and too much screen time dry our eyes out. Regular blinking is our bodies way of keeping the eyes cleansed and protected.

Whole body support

To help build strong immune defences we need ‘whole body support’. The immune system doesn’t work alone – mental and physical stress, poor diet and bad sleep habits can all decrease immune function, reducing resistance and making us more prone to illness.

While we are all affected by the strains of modern living, there are many ways we can build our resistance and maintain wellbeing.

  • Prioritise sleep – sleep is when we repair and recover from the strains of our waking life.
  • Nutrition – focus on a wholefood diet with plenty of fresh vegetables, whole fruit, quality protein (fish, pasture raised eggs, meat, nuts and seeds) and minimise processed, packaged and refined foods; this promotes a healthy gut microbiome which is vital for healthy immune function.
  • De-stress in nature – if possible get out in nature every day. This helps us destress and stimulates natural mechanisms in the body that help balance the immune and nervous systems.
“De-stress in nature – if possible get out in nature every day. This helps us destress and stimulates natural mechanisms in the body that help balance the immune and nervous systems”
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