10 Ways To Boost Your Immunity

10 Ways To Boost Your Immunity
© Provided by Natural health

From: Natural Health

Avoid processed foods

During colder months we tend to change our dietary habits significantly, steering away from fresh foods to more comfort foods, which tend to have higher fat and sugar content. “These types of foods tend to be inflammatory by nature,” says Dr Macciochi.” Therefore, minimising intake of processed and sugary foods can aid in lowering global inflammation.”

Eat nutritious food

It sounds obvious, but good nutrition is vital to support all of the many processes carried out by your immune system every day. It also supports your resilience to infections, helping you recover well. Make sure you include plenty of green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, proteins and oily fish.

Get regular exercise

“We should aim to include regular cardio into our week spread across 4-5 days, at least,” says Dr Macciochi. “Remember this could be a gentle walk and doesn’t have to be something high intensity. Resistance training is extremely important to immune health especially as we age. We lose muscle mass from our 30’s and muscle is very rejuvenating to our immune system. Studies have shown that being sedentary for long periods is a risk factor for unwanted inflammation and chronic disease even if you exercise regularly.”

Especially outdoors…

As the temperature drops and the wind picks up, it’s tempting to forego that run around the park for some indoor yoga, or even to decide not to exercise at all. However, exercising outside where possible (and supplementing with indoor activity when the weather is just too awful) will help to maintain physical, mental and immunological fitness, ready to fight infection. So, get your walking boots on!

Read More: Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep

Stock up on Echinacea

Research supports the use of Echinacea purpurea to support the body’s immune system. The extract is said to help your body reduce the occurrence, duration and severity of cough, cold and flu symptoms. If you’re thinking of giving it a whirl, Dr Walton advises: “The quality of these products available on the market can vary, it is important to look for products that display either a PL or THR logo on pack to assure they have been assessed by the UKs Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for safety and quality.

Avoid stress

Many of us underestimate the physical impact of stress. People don’t really consider the negative effect stress can have on your immune function. “It might often feel stress is psychological,” says Dr Macciochi, “but it’s always biological. There’s lots of stress chemicals that are released into our bloodstream when we feel really stressed, whether that’s short term, for example, we’re about to get hit by a bus, or an ongoing workrelated stress. It’s important to have some real-time tools to help your body and mind handle stress ‘in the moment’. This can include breathwork or going for a walk.”

Take a supplement

“We always advise getting that which we need from our natural diet,” says Dr Walton. “If, however, you find deficiencies in your natural diet, then supporting it is an option.” He advises always discussing this with a healthcare professional first, though, to make sure you’re taking the right supplements for your needs. Your GP can run some blood tests.

Especially vitamin D…

We primarily get vitamin D from the sun but in the winter months in the northern hemisphere, exposure to sunlight is limited making it can be hard to get enough. In the UK it is recommended to supplement with 10micrograms a day in the months from October-March. “People with darker skin, those who are of a higher body weight, the elderly or those who spend a lot of time indoors are more vulnerable to deficiency in vitamin D and in the UK are recommended to supplement all year round with 10micrograms day. Try Healthspan Vitamin D3, 240 tablets £8.95.” says Dr Macciochi.

Get plenty of rest

We all know how important R&R is to our wellbeing, but according to Dr Walton, frequent and appropriate rest and recovery, including a healthy sleep schedule, is actually central to allowing our bodies time to regroup and rebuild after strenuous activities. “This is also true for immunological fitness where effective rest, shown to reduce physical and mental stresses on the body will have the effect of improved immune system functionality,” he adds.

And sleep…

Consider your quality and quantity of sleep. “Sleep is really key in supporting optimal functionality of our immune system, keeping it firing on all cylinders, especially during winter months when more germs are circulating,” says Dr Macciochi. “Sleep is an opportunity for your immune system to do some housekeeping. It’s anti-inflammatory and restorative.” There is not a magic number for everyone, aim to get between 7-9 hours sleep per night. Maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake time can support a healthy sleep pattern. Melatonin is the sleepy hormone that we produce in the evenings when it starts to get dark. Avoid bright lights especially from screens in the hours leading up to bedtime for good quality sleep.

See more at Natural Health

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item United Kingdom: 10 Ways To Boost Your Immunity
10 Ways To Boost Your Immunity
Simple lifestyle hacks from our experts to support your wellbeing through the winter months and beyond. United Kingdom
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