As the flu season presses on, it is important to make sure your immune system is ready to fight off any infections.

Keeping your immune system in good shape is vital because it helps protect the body against harmful substances, germs and cell changes that could make you sick.

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It will take some effort on your part but registered herbalist Trish Taylor has a few tips to help you out:

1 Good gut health is critical

Doctors believe that up to 80 per cent of your immune system is in your gut. A diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods and antioxidants may have a protective effect. It reduces inflammation and encourages good gut bacteria that help establish a robust immune system. Focus on fibre-rich vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains and healthy fats.

Fermented foods such as Rawbiotics Defence, kombucha, sauerkraut and yoghurt are beneficial. Be kind to your liver, as it is responsible for filtering the blood, breaking down fats, and removing excess cholesterol and toxins. Apples, Kale, broccoli, and cabbage can help increase your liver’s ability to detox the body naturally.

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2 Exercise Regularly

Physical activity helps flush out bacteria and clear the airways. It slows down the release of stress hormones. It also decreases your chance of developing some diseases, such as heart disease and fatty liver, plus keeps your bones strong.

3. Take Extra Vitamins.

Vitamin C contributes to immune defence by supporting cell function and protecting against free radicals and pollutants. The best way to get Vitamin C is through oranges, strawberries, spinach, kiwi and grapefruit. Vitamin D enhances your immune response and may protect you from respiratory conditions.

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10 minutes of sun exposure daily produce plenty of vitamin D, or take a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin B6 found in chicken, tuna, chickpeas and green veggies. Vitamin E found in nuts, seeds and spinach. Zinc helps protect our immune systems from colds and flu.

4. Reduce Stress Levels

This is often easier said than done. Stress affects your body’s immune response. It causes you to produce extra levels of cortisol and cytokines, which trigger inflammation. It can decrease the number of white blood cells available to fight infection, leaving you at risk for colds and flu. Stressed people are probably not getting enough sleep, and they neglect other healthy habits that boost immunity.

5.Yoga and Meditation

This calms your nervous system, helping to reduce inflammation. Reduces stress levels, improves concentrations, nurtures healthy immune systems. Deep breathing clears your airways, calms your mind, lowers blood pressure and improves the lymphatic system.

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6. Adequate Sleep

It’s a natural reboot to your system. Did you know that researchers have found that poor sleep makes you four times more likely to catch a cold?

It can be the number one factor determining if someone gets sick – more than age or stress level. Your body relies on a whole night’s rest to replenish cells and proteins.

7. Immune Boosting CBD Oil

Taylor suggests Life Retreats Immune Boosting oil which has been specifically formulated to boost your immune system and reduce inflammation.

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Some of its powerful ingredients include lemon verbena leaves, buchu Leaves, ginger root, sutherlandia (Cancer Bush) leaves, turmeric root, CBD, and loads more.