As the colder months and the dreaded flu season crawl ever-closer, immunity is the word on everyone’s lips. So how should you be looking after your immune system in autumn and winter?
In this article we outline some of the best vitamins and supplements to improve your immunity and take a look at some of the foods you can look to incorporate into your diet to keep the virus at bay.
1. Load up on Vitamin D.
There’s been so much talk about vitamin D and its role in immunity in the news recently, and for good reason. Vitamin D3 plays a fundamental role in calcium metabolism and calcium, in turn, is a key component of a healthy and fully-functioning immune system.
Vitamin D3 works with vitamin K2 to promote calcium absorption and to ensure the correct balance of the mineral is maintained in the body. Vitamin D3 cannot do its job without the help of vitamin K2, which many of the recent news stories fail to acknowledge.
LYMA is a source of both vitamin D3 and K2, in perfect ratio and in highly bioavailable forms:
Vita-Algae D3™ is formulated in LYMA at a clinical dose of 2,000 i.u. (compared with a marketplace average of 600 i.u. - far too low to have any discernible impact) and K2 VITAL® - the world’s most bioavailable form of vitamin K2 - and is formulated at a clinical dose of 75µg.
Vitamin K2 can be obtained through diet - namely through the consumption of dark meats, liver, egg yolk, hard cheeses and other fatty animal products - but vitamin D3 is notoriously difficult for your body to extract from food and supplementation is heavily advised. It is estimated that the majority of adults living in the northern hemisphere are deficient in vitamin D3; a fundamental nutrient of which a deficiency can also have deleterious implications on mood, energy and musculoskeletal health.
There is only one way to effectively metabolise and activate calcium in the body and to ensure that it successfully penetrates your immune system, and that is to make sure you’re getting enough of both vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. Supplementing daily with LYMA guarantees that the levels of both vitamins in your blood remain adequate.
2. Focus on beta-glucans.
Beta-glucans are glucose polysaccharides - a form of soluble dietary fibre that is naturally present in the cell walls of bacteria as well as foods including yeasts, algae, plants, and cereals such as oats and barley. Beta-glucans have been clinically proven to protect against infection by bacteria, viruses, and pathogenic microorganisms. They work by altering the function of a number of immune receptors that stimulate immune cell activity, including T-cells, macrophages, neutrophils and monocytes, all of which play a central role in defending the body against infection and disease.
LYMA contains a Wellmune™ Blend, a highly specialized 1,3 1,6 beta glucan that has been scientifically confirmed as having the ability to boost our innate, rapid fire immune system, priming white blood cells' neutrophils and macrophages to engage with foreign pathogens. This Wellmune™ Blend is supported by over a dozen published, peer-reviewed clinical studies and - like all ingredients in the LYMA formula - is fully patented.
3. Improve your sleep habits.
A healthy immune system is better equipped to fight off infection: a sleep-deprived immune system will be significantly less effective as fighting off disease than will a well-rested one.
Focusing on improving your sleep hygiene and optimising your bedtime routine to ensure a wake-free night's sleep are therefore recommended measures that can be taken if you’re hoping to enhance your immune response ahead of a potential second wave.
Some easy places to start when it comes to reducing your sleep onset latency (the time it takes for you to fall asleep) and improving the quality of your sleep:
- Try to stick to a regular bedtime
- Avoid phones, iPads and other screens for an hour before bed
- Avoid eating too close to bedtime
- Avoid exercising too close to bedtime
The sweet spot for sleep is probably between seven and eight hours a night, but your individual needs may vary. Check in with yourself regularly to see whether you’re getting the right amount of sleep - if you are getting the right amount of sleep for your unique physiology, you’ll be waking up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated every morning, and you won’t suffer from energy dips throughout the day. You’ll also be comfortably tired again come evening.
4. Reduce stress.
Low-level and persistent stress can cause a build up of inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is very closely correlated with increased susceptibility to illness and disease, and high stress levels have been linked to a greater likelihood of developing infection of the upper respiratory tract. And yes, coronavirus falls into this category.
Employing stress management techniques such as meditation or breathwork can be a useful and effective way to prevent cortisol from building-up and inflammation taking hold. Keeping levels of cortisol and inflammation low will help to boost the integrity of your immune system.
Certain supplements can also help you to manage stress. Ashwagandha, for example, has been clinically proven to reduce cortisol levels in stressed humans by up to 30% when taken routinely, and studies around the world have shown that adults who supplement with ashwagandha consistently over a 30-60 day period report significantly reduced stress levels compared with those who take a placebo. LYMA contains KSM-66® Ashwagandha at a clinical dose of 600mg. KSM-66® Ashwagandha is fast-acting and has no known side effects.
For more information on how LYMA could help you prepare your body for battle this autumn and winter, particularly in the case of a potential second wave, check out our ultimate guide to immunity. LYMA is the ultimate blend of science and nature, certified to strengthen your natural defences. The proven benefits of LYMA enhance your mind and body’s resilience at a time when it’s most needed. Whatever you do, don’t leave your immunity to chance.
5. Foods to boost your immune system
Tweaks to your diet can also make a big change, and they aren't too worthy or unusual. Some of them, in fact, might even justify indulging your sweet tooth. Blueberries contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin which can help with immunity (as does green tea), for example, while dark chocolate contains an antioxidant called theobromine perfect for fighting free radicals.
If you love salmon, broccoli and sweet potatoes as meal prep staples, you’re in luck: all three contain nutrients that benefit the immune system, as does spinach. Winter might also be the perfect time to up your curry making, as ginger and garlic are both effective too.
If you need a snack - and blueberries aren’t for you - almonds contain vitamin E, manganese, magnesium and fiber. Upping your vitamin C via oranges, red peppers and kiwis is also a good idea.
Turmeric and the compound found in it, curcumin, are seen as beneficial for your immune system too, but you don’t need to worry about upping your consumption of turmeric latte: the most efficacious curcumin around is found in LYMA’s Supplement, alongside other immune-boosting ingredients like our Wellmune® Blend.
Originally published Sep 22, 2020.