My introduction to Natural Medicine was Cancer, not myself, but in one of the closest people in my life. It was that experience, that lead me to change direction and return to Uni, to study Nutrition and Naturopathy with the dream, of one day, working at the cutting edge of Cancer Care.
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I was incredibly lucky, had a ”yes” mindset and opportunities came my way. I took them and ended up working all over the world culminating in leading the Lifestyle Department in an Integrative Cancer Centre in the United States. There I worked with a brilliant doctor, an amazing team of nurses and a heroic group of survivors.
Our focus, was to cleanse them of their chemical loads, and nourish them to the point that their immune systems would start working again and their bodies start producing healthy new cells….. because our belief was and is, that we are designed to be healthy, and if we focus on achieving HEALTH, our body will always work with us…
And our immune system was foundation because once our Survivors immune systems were strong enough to take over, their bodies were back working for them.
Just like success in any field of life, success is built upon doing the basics right, our immune system takes a beating throughout the year with seasonal changes and stress, making us more susceptible to colds, flu and other illnesses.
So here’s 10 simple ways to boost your immunity and stay healthy!
1. Oxygenate, Oxygenate, Oxygenate
Our immune system is strongest in a highly oxygenated state. Many bacteria and viruses thrive where oxygen levels are low and cannot survive where oxygen concentration is high. If you’re feeling run down try some gentle exercise, drink plenty of water and lemon juice, and add a rich variety of green vegetable foods to your diet to help boost oxygen levels.
2. Eat real food
Edible foods like substances are all too common in our cupboards, fridges and on our plates - bagged, boxed, bottled, canned products that line the shelves of any supermarket. Remember that we are just another animal - we have not evolved to be able to handle the overload of chemically preserved, artificially flavored, ‘nutritionally fortified’ products largely developed in just the last 50 years. If bacteria won’t eat it why would we? Go for fresh and choose organic if you can.
3. Power packed protein
Immune cells contain tiny proteins that fight and destroy infection and disease. High quality vegetable and superfood-based protein boosts our immune system in an easily digestible form. Great sources are broccoli, beans peas, and nuts and seeds. Animal proteins are best from organic sources and always choose wild caught fish.
4. Eat your greens
Vegetables provide a rich balance of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that enhance our body’s immune system. Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants vital in fighting infection and disease.
5. Spice it up
Organic garlic has amazing antimicrobial and immune boosting properties. The elements that make up the plant’s own defense system are what also boost our immunity.
Ginger is a rich natural source of Zinc, important for our immune system, and has been found to selectively inhibit growth and cause death to cancer cells in a number of Peer Reviewed Studies.
Curcumin, one of the active ingredients in the spice Turmeric, has been found to actively inhibit growth and prevent spread of Cancer cells.
All three of these superfoods are also rich sources of antioxidants which protect our cells from attack from free radicals and infections.
6. Specific nutrients
Many vitamins and minerals play central roles in our immune system, especially zinc and vitamin C from food. Most fruits are excellent sources of vitamin C and red peppers are one of the best. Zinc is found in ginger and many nuts and seeds. Brazil nuts, pumpkin and watermelon seeds are great sources. Blend the flesh of a watermelon with the seeds and drink for a refreshing alkalizing, protein and zinc packed drink!
7. Drink plenty of fluids
Water is the solvent in which all nutrients and wastes are transported around the body in our blood and lymphatics. Drinking enough healthy fluids to stimulate 6-8 strong urinations per day will help our body deliver nutrients, flush wastes and dilute mucous, helping eliminate bacteria and viruses that make us ill. Herbal teas like Echinacea and Ginseng, and fresh juices are a great way to support your body.
8. Work up a sweat
Have you noticed when you get an infection you develop a fever or the local area becomes hot? Our immune system is at its most effective a few degrees above basal body temperature and an increase in temperature is your body creating the conditions in which our immune system is most effective fighting infection and disease. Sweating also promotes the release of stored toxins through our skin, easing the load on our body.
Using an Infrared Sauna creates an artificial fever which is just as effective. The beauty of Infrared waves are that they are capable of penetrating human skin at a lower temperature than a conventional Sauna, reaching deep into your body while you stay comfortable, stress free and relaxed. There is no need to be uncomfortable to receive the benefits of an immune boosting fever.
9. Cold shower burst
Turning the water to cold at the end of your shower stimulates lymphatic circulation which transports immune cells around our body, an invigorating way to enhancing cleansing and boost your immune system!
10. Get plenty of rest and relaxation
Stress and tiredness weaken our immune system and we get ill easier when we are run down. Our body recuperates and restores itself during rest and sleep. Try to reduce your stress levels and make time for relaxation. Allow your body recover and fight off illness by getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night – that Infrared Sauna is a great way to relax and unwind beforehand.
You can learn more about Paul and his journey so far by visiting - http://paulharpernd.com/