Immunity. Boosting one’s immunity. Herd immunity. Acquired immunity. The word, and the idea of immunity is getting a whole lotta ‘love’ of late.
We’ve all read the tweets/blogs/articles about how we can ‘boost’ our immune systems, and then we’ve all been slapped down by doctors and scientists saying that we can’t boost our immunity through eating our veggies.
No doubt. And to be completely honest, hearing what these doctors were saying really made me stop and think about the language I use in clinic. Let’s take a moment to break it down.
Can you boost immunity?
The words I prefer to use with you are ‘optimising’ and ‘supporting’. Let’s think of your immune system as a car. We all have that one friend who has a little red Mazda. Your friend takes it to get serviced as directed, they clean it out and hoover the inside every Sunday night. They only thing in their glove box are their rego papers. They check the tyres every morning before heading off to work. Once a month your friend pays to have it cleaned. They check the oil, wiper fluid, and water levels regularly. They carry a spare tyre, jumper leads, and panty hose “just in case”. As a result, your friend’s car runs like a dream, doesn’t leave them stranded and late for work due to not starting, and gives them many years of safe travels.
This is what supporting your immune system for optimum function is like.
Support or Optimise.
You support your immune system for optimum function. This looks like, eating a fresh, wholefoods diet with lots of variety. You recognise any gaps in your diet caused by foods of dis-ease, and you supplement wisely. At times of extra stress, physical or mental, you spend a bit more attention on detailing and tweaking your diet. You identify any weak points in your body, and address them. Make time for rest and exercise. This is what can help opitimise your immunity.
On the other hand.
We all have that friend who treats their car like a giant handbag on wheels. There’re a few empty coffee cups lying under the seat. A used protein shaker in the boot that you don’t dare open. The ‘check engine’ light has been glowing for two years, and when you mention it, they just shrug it off. There’s a broken Haviana flip flop in the glove box, and ashtray is stuffed with gum wrappers. This friend is also notorious for running late because they’re ‘running low on petrol, just need to find a servo, be there soon!’. You love this friend dearly, but their car is a hot mess.
How do I optimise?
Great question! For the rest of April 2020, my blogs will be focusing on ways you can support and optimise your immune health, and the immunity of those around you. My first challenge for you is to look at how much fresh fruit and vegetables you’re eating, even if you are Physically Distancing. Over the next few days try to get at least five types of vegetables each day, of a variety of colours!
Make sure you’re signed up to receive my newsletter too, as I’ll be dropping tips there fortnightly.
- Jenna Verhoeven
- immune boosting, immune health, immunity, nutrition support