In a series of posts I’m sharing healthy, practical tips to glow from the inside out.
Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in our bodies. It is an important compound for both our skin health and overall wellness. Sulfur amongst many other things, is necessary for producing collagen, which gives skin its structure and strength. The breakdown of collagen or insufficient production of collagen as we age is one of the major contributors to the development of wrinkles.
You may have also heard of glutathione. Glutathione is one of THE most important antioxidants in the body. (Antioxidants help prevent the damaging effect of oxidation on our cells).
‘Sulfur is also required for the formation of glutathione and high levels of glutathione in the body can prevent damage caused by free radicals, which are also thought to be a major cause of cellular aging.’ ~ Dr Chris Kresser
The level of glutathione in the body is greatly impacted by having adequate sulfur.
The best and most ideal way to obtain sulfur is through our diet. Sulfur is derived almost exclusively from protein, such as fish and high-quality (organic and/or grass-fed/pastured) beef and poultry. Meat and fish are considered “complete” as they contain all the sulfur-containing amino acids you need to produce new protein.
Sulfur is also found in some plant foods. Good sources include garlic, onions, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, and kale. Fermenting these vegetables can make sulfur even more bioavailable in the body.
Supplementation e.g. MSM
You might have come across MSM, Methylsulfonylmethane, an organic form of sulfur that’s naturally found in many plants. Common health complaints can be associated with low concentrations of MSM in the body including:
As with any supplements, if you consider adding it into your diet, just make sure you purchase a good quality brand, with MSM as the only ingredient and only after you’ve added real food in first.
Sulfur is a critical nutrient that can be overlooked. If you’re eating a good diet with loads of real food and you’re absorbing well then you’re in a great place to enjoy youthful skin.
This is so much more important than many of us realise.
If you get 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night, consider going to bed earlier (rather than sleeping in late). When we go to bed soon after sunset or long before 12pm, it does a whole lot of good for our immune system, our hormonal system, and even our digestive health. Keep this in mind if you have children and teenagers too. Getting a good nights sleep helps us in SO many ways. Our skin is a direct reflection of this. What can you do to get the best and most rejuvenating nights sleep?
There are 2 clear strategies I work on to boost immunity.
1. Nurture your good bugs.
When this natural symbiotic relationship is strong and you have a healthy army of bugs, you have a great chance of keeping pathogenic infections at bay and therefore strengthening your immunity, naturally. You’ll know things are going well because digestion will be happy and regular and immunity good.
2. Nourish your cells.
It’s easier than you might think. Let’s assume you’re enjoying some wonderful nourishing foods. The other important question to consider is, ‘How well are you (and the children) absorbing all those wonderful nutrients those foods are providing you…?’
VERY simply when these two functions are going well – we are well.
The difficulty is there are many factors in our environment that can work against these two most natural immune building functions. And we may not even realise we have these factors working against us until we realise we’re not as healthy as we thought we were or our kids are ALWAYS sick.
27 tips to nurture your good bugs and nourish your cells. A checklist.
Whatever you’re not already doing, choose one or two ideas that make sense for you and begin, and importantly, have fun along the way;
1. Vitamin D. The sunshine & happiness vitamin. And instrumental for a healthy immune system. Enjoy a healthy dose of sunshine whenever you can. Cover up only when you need to. We need the sun.
2. Sleep. Approximately 10 – 14 hours for kids, depending on their age. 7 – 9 refreshing hours for adults.
3. Stress Less. Rest your nervous system. Allow for down time (schedule it in), play, have fun, get outdoors, be creative, let the kids get dirty, mediate, rest, do more of what you love and love what you do.
4. Fresh Air & Physical Activity. Keep your body, your systems and your cells moving and communicating.
5. Water. 1 – 2L filtered good quality water a day. Preferably mineralised.
6. Reduce or eliminate sugar, dairy and gluten. Especially dairy for sinus, colds or mucous generating infections. These foods can hamper immunity and feed pathogens. Avoid them when the bugs abound and reduce them as necessary.
7. Reduce processed, packaged foods. These too hamper immunity and disrupt strong digestion.
8. Evaluate simple carbohydrates, (including fruit). No more than 2 pieces of fruit a day.
9. Greens, glorious greens. Lots of them any which way you can. They’re cleansing, full of nutrients, feed the good bugs (act as a prebiotic) and are energising. A simple green smoothie is the best or something more medicinal like this medicinal spring smoothie.
10. Good fats & protein. Help to keep blood sugars stable. Including bone stocks regularly is a perfect food to be adding in these two macro nutrients, coconut oil or milk, organic ghee, eggs etc.
11. Whole foods. Especially herbs and spices. For example garlic, ginger, lemon, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme etc. Add your preferred herbs and spices to a cup, add warm water and allow to steep for a few minutes before drinking for a perfect immuni-TEA.
12. Eliminate trans fats. Baked goods, chips, margarines, cooking with vegetable oils.
13. Check toxin exposure or anything hampering optimum health. Personal and home cleaning products, radiation, EMF & chemical exposure, cookware, plastics, heavy metals, microbial infections etc. can all work at disrupting your immune system and more.
14. Fermented foods. Add them in regularly e.g. kefir, home made yoghurt or an authentic, sugar free brand, sauerkraut, miso paste, olives, capers etc.. And if you’re buying them, preferably buy unpasteurized.
15. Enjoy a good breakfast & lunch or afternoon tea / dinner and keep your blood sugars stable.
16. Own a pet. Research shows pet owners naturally have a stronger immune system.
17. Laugh often.
18. Detox or cleanse e.g. do a gentle cleanse, use an infrared sauna, keep your fascia and your lymphatic system moving, remove inflammatory foods and allow your body to rest and digest.
Supplement if you need a boost e.g;
19. Good quality cod liver oil or fish oil.
20. Probiotic (if you’re not fermenting foods).
21. Prebiotic e.g. inulin, psyllium husk, green vegetables (fibre), herbs preferably home grown.
22. Vitamin C, kakadu plum (gubinge), lemon myrtle or camu camu.
23. Zinc and Magnesium.
24. Responsibility. Take back control. Your health and your families health is in your hands.
25. Be consistent & patient. There is no quick fix.
26. Try therapeutic grade essential oils if they feel right for you. They smell amazing and are a perfect way to stimulate the senses. When we feel we heal.
27. If your or your families immunity is low work with your health practitioner to give it a boost. Within a matter of weeks you can notice a difference.
Kate’s immunity building resources:
Now you’re ready for your healthiest season yet!
What’s your favourite way to boost immunity? I’d love to hear.