How can I boost my immune system?
‘Tis the season… of bugs, colds and the flu. There’s always a nasty virus floating around as winter sinks into our lives. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure or potion we can take to stop us catching a bug at this time of year. You need to prepare your body instead!
We all know that a balanced diet is key to staying in good health. The problem is, many people don’t necessarily know what a ‘balanced diet’ is. Eating a wide range of fruits, vegetables, proteins and fats will give your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
- Carrots, sweet potatoes and leafy greens (such as kale and spinach) give your body a dose of Vitamin A which will help you fight off nasty infections.
- Introducing foods such as; pork, poultry (chicken and turkey), fish, oatmeal, brown rice and soya beans into your diet will give your body the Vitamin B6 it needs. Vitamin B6 makes sure your body keeps a healthy immune response.
- We aren’t going to be seeing very much of the sun in these winter months. Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D we can get for our bodies. Taking supplements at this dark time of the year will help your body destroy invading germs and boost your immune system.
If the fact that exercise keeps your bones healthy and strong, decreases your chances of developing heart disease and helps keeps you healthy both mentally and physically isn’t enough, we now know that it also helps keep your immune system healthy too!
- Physical exercise has been proven to flush bacteria out of your airways and lungs. This may reduce your chances of developing a nasty flu or cold, or any other illnesses for that matter.
- Regular exercise has been shown to increase the production of white blood cells in your body (which attack the cold triggering bacteria!) Get exercising and have a cold free winter!
- Exercise also slows down the release of stress hormones. Lower stress hormones in the body may protect you from contracting illness.
You don’t need to run a marathon or be an Olympic athlete to get the above benefits from exercise. Going for a relaxing swim after work, going to the gym three or four times a week or having a 30 minute walk in an evening is enough to help you stay healthy!
Get Enough Sleep!
Our body repairs itself during sleep. It also builds up the immune system. One of the best medicines is sleep, and one of the best preventions for sickness is also, you guessed it… sleep.
However, have you ever heard the saying “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing”? Well, this is also the case regarding sleep. We aren’t encouraging you to stay in bed and sleep all day. However, a good 7-8 hours sleep a night is going to give your immune system a good boost and keep you healthy! If you struggle to get a good nights sleep, this could be significantly affecting your health. See the National Sleep Foundations’ ‘Healthy Sleep Tips‘.
Get Rid Of The Bad Habits!
Staying away from things which are unhealthy to you is obviously going to benefit your health. However, it’s not always that easy – especially with addiction and mental health issues. Bad habits such as drug use, binge drinking, smoking and even not controlling your temper all have unhealthy effects to your body. All these bad habits make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients, also raising blood pressure to unhealthy levels.
Below, we have listed some help which you can use to kick these bad habits and get on the road to recovery!
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