How To Boost Your Immune SystemMonday, 30 September 2019 | Dani Ramaekers
When it comes to boosting your immune system, what better ingredient could there be than ‘the mushroom of immortality’? And while Reishi mushrooms won’t see you live forever, combining them with the natural health tips below will help strengthen and protect your health - especially during times of mere mortal stress.
Vitamins to boost your immune system
If you’re looking to boost your immune system, incorporating targeted care alongside adequate amounts of C and B vitamins is a must.
As an immune system essential, Vitamin C helps your body fight back and supports immune responses. B Vitamins are your immune system regulators, helping to moderate the number of antibodies produced when under attack.
The beauty of Reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum, for the science lovers out there) is its ability to do both.
In traditional Chinese medicine, Reishi is known as an immune modulator, helping to bring the immune system back into a state of precious balance.
This action is attributed to polysaccharides, the immune modulating actives that work to either stimulate or suppress the immune response as needed, making Reishi a great choice for long term immune system care.
Foods to boost your immune system
Like any proper defense operation, your immune system is built up of a first, second, and third line of defense, and a diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables helps to nourish all three.
The body cannot store vitamin C, so consuming a daily dose of vitamin C rich foods such as citrus, blackcurrants and broccoli, is crucial when boosting immune system health.
The weird and wonderful world of fungi is an excellent immune boosting food group and Reishi’s humble counterpart, button mushrooms, are a great source of energy-giving B vitamins.
How to boost your immune system quickly
Zinc plays an essential role in supporting the immune system.
Zinc is critical for wound healing and appropriate immune responses. Unfortunately, most people don’t get enough of it in their diet. Or they consume substances that interfere with zinc absorption, such as phytates found in grains, cereals, nuts, and legumes. (Soaking these food groups, or ‘activating’ them, helps begin the sprouting process, decrease phytic acid and enhance mineral absorption).
Low levels of zinc can lead to decreased resistance to infection. Eating moderate amounts of oysters, beef, lamb, seeds (though these contain smaller amounts) and good ole’ fashioned bone broth will increase your uptake of this vital mineral for a quick immune system boost.
How to boost your immune system naturally
In the original Chinese medicine textbook, lingzhi (the Chinese name for Reishi) was regarded as the highest of all plants and fungi for its health-giving benefits.
That’s hard to beat.
These medicinal mushrooms have been a staple of Traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. Held in high regard in China and Japan, Reishi is traditionally used to enhance longevity and improve vitality - much like antioxidants, another one of nature’s time-honored helpers.
Antioxidants help protect cells from free radical damage, reduce oxidative stress, support the liver, and support healthy immune function.
Fresh fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants and Manuka Health’s Premium New Zealand Propolis is a trusted source of powerful antioxidants that help boost immune resistance.
How To Boost Your Immune System When Ill
Whether it’s the winter woes or springtime allergies, if nasties manage to infiltrate the defense system, sometimes the best thing is rest.
Placing additional strain on the body increases the stress hormone cortisol, which has an immune-suppressing effect. Recuperating for a few days with the help of a superior supplement can help your body bounce back quicker than trying to power through.
Following these immune-boosting tips will have you feeling superhuman in no time. The addition of a targeted supplement providing a daily dose of New Zealand Propolis, Zinc, and immune balancing Reishi will help improve resilience, and this targeted tonic will help transform your immune system to near-immortal status.
Dani Ramaekers is a naturopath, medical herbalist and yoga teacher with a passion for sustainable living and natural beauty.
• Chiu, Hui-Fang et al. Triterpenoids and polysaccharide peptides-enriched Ganoderma lucidum: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study of its antioxidation and hepatoprotective efficacy in healthy volunteers, Pharmaceutical biology vol. 55,1 (2017): 1041-1046.
• Henao SLD, Urrego SA et al. Randomized Clinical Trial for the Evaluation of Immune Modulation by Yogurt Enriched with β-Glucans from Lingzhi or Reishi Medicinal Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum (Agaricomycetes), in Children from Medellin, Colombia. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2018;20(8):705-716
• Ćilerdžić Jasmina Lj., Stajić Mirjana M. et al. Ganoderma lucidum - from tradition to modern medicine, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Biology, Matica Srpska J. Nat. Sci. Novi Sad, No 133, 151—161, 2017.