immunity

The Gut Brain Connection

by Elysia Humphries - Naturopath on April 7, 2016 · 0 comments

brain

Digestive health is so important for health!

Do you feel butterflies in the pit of their stomach when you are stressed or anxious?

This reaction shows there is a complex interaction between your gut and brain, with the gut being referred to as our “second brain”. The gut is full of nerves and neurotransmitter receptors from the enteric nervous system (part of the autonomic nervous system which performs unconscious function, like your heart beating) that is wired directly to the brain. The gut cells produce most of our serotonin, the “happy” neurotransmitter, so not only do we need to look at ingesting enough of the nutrients required for serotonin production, we need to ensure our gut health is in balance to be able to utilise it! [read more....…]

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Is Stress Making You Sick?

by Ananda Mahony on June 1, 2015 · 1 comment

You work long, tiring days trying to meet deadlines, keeping your social life active, making sure you’re a conscientious member of your community and making sure your family’s needs are being met, only to go on a well-deserved holiday and spend most of the time in bed with the flu! Why is it that you managed to hold everything together and the moment you relax and take a holiday, you get sick?

The answer may lie with Psychoneuroimmunology – the study of the interactions between psychological process, the nervous system and immunity. Research has found that when we are stressed, whether it be for only a few minutes (acute stress) or for days or longer (chronic stress), our immune system experiences a complex array of chemical and hormonal changes. The immune system forms part of our bodies defence system.  It provides response to internal dangers such as tissue damage and the threat of infection and disease and providing our body with this defence takes a lot of energy. When we are fighting infection or disease, our desire to engage in other activities such as socialising, eating and engaging in hobbies is diminished. [read more....…]

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Pathology Testing: How It Can Benefit Your Immune System

by Elysia Humphries - Naturopath on June 1, 2015 · 1 comment

Sick of getting sick all the time?

 Boost your Immune system by testing and correcting your nutrient deficiencies.

Do you always get sick during the winter months or pick up whatever is going around the office / home? Have you ever wondered why you get sick more often and take longer to recover than those around you?

There are ways you can prevent this from happening this year. You could be deficient in the vital nutrients which your immune system relies upon to build immune fighting cells.

Did you know that Naturopaths can request blood tests for you to pick up deficiencies that could be leaving you open to a weaker immune system? [read more....…]

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Immune boosting foods

by Elysia Humphries - Naturopath on June 6, 2014 · 1 comment

Coming up to the winter season, it is important to strengthen your immune system to become resilient to external invasion from colds and flu’s. Your lifestyle may also be contributing to a weakened immune system, including the following:

  • Unbalanced diet
  • Poor environment
  • Poor sleep
  • Congested lymphatic system
  • Long-term stress and extreme psychological stress
  • Impaired intestinal micro-flora balance (digestive issues)
  • Long term strenuous physical exercise
  • Lack of exercise
  • Overuse of drugs, including alcohol and smoking

Your immune system in an amazingly complex system that has the ability to protect your body from external invaders. It is comprised of organs including the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes as well as tissues and cells (including white blood cells.) As a Naturopath, I educate my clients about the amazing foods and herbs that natures provides us with to boost our immunity and reduce our risk of getting sick. Also, if you do get sick, these tips will help you get better faster.

Helpful foods include:

Bioflavonoid  rich foods – cabbage, green peppers, parsley, carrots, broccoli, turnips, parsnips, horseradish, garlic, lemon juice, grapefruit, most fruits.

Avoid the following foods:

Refined sweet foods, salty foods, excess dairy, eggs or other mucous forming foods (Pitchford 2002, p. 69-70)

Immune Boosting Foods

Using food as medicine is a powerful way to support your immunity during winter.  When your immune system is functioning well it reduces the chances of developing a cold or infection as well as reducing the length and severity of time that it take you to recover.

As well as eating more of these foods it is important to remember that you give your body time to rest, this means that you have time out and reduce stress (as much as possible!) to rest and ensure that you enough sleep. And of course drink lots of room temperature/warm water. Gargle with warm salt water for sore throat.

Having easier to digest foods such as stews, casseroles and congees (or any meal where all the ingredients are cooked in the one pot) means there is less strain on the digestive system and the nutrients in the food are absorbed by the body more effectively. Plain steamed rice and boiled eggs are also useful.

Vitamin C containing foods [read more....…]

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Winter Immune Boosting Tips

by Elysia Humphries - Naturopath on May 31, 2012 · 0 comments

It’s that time of year when everyone starts to get sick.  Kids average six to eight colds a year and adults between two and four.  Everyone has experienced the feeling of a tickle in their throat, a runny nose or the building up of mucus in their sinus cavities.  This is our bodies sending us signals to slow down and rest!  Now is the time to get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious foods and have plenty of fluids.  It is vital to our health to make smart lifestyle choices and listen to our bodies. The choices we make affect our own immune system, the immune system of our families, as well as our general health and wellbeing.

Here are some tips to help boost your immunity this autumn and prevent colds and flus:

 

Tea and water

  • Drink plenty of water however make sure to avoid cold (from fridge) drinks.
  • Black tea, white tea and green tea contain antioxidants and polyphenols which contain anti inflammatory properties.
  • Thyme tea helps sooth the throat and coughing as well as and relieving headaches. Thyme is an expectorant, which means it helps to shift the mucous build up in the chest.  Use fresh thyme sprigs for each cup of tea.
  • Hot water, lemon and manuka honey tea:  The anti-bacterial honey, the alkalising lemon and the warming hot water make this the perfect combination to nourish, hydrate and flush out the flu. [read more....…]

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