Keep infection at bay and maintain a happy and healthy immune system with these tips
Many products claim to protect or boost your immune system, but is that even possible?
Your immune system essentially fights off harmful infections and disease and usually, it does a pretty good job. However, during the colder months, we can become more susceptible to colds and flu.
Most of us, 7 in 10 to be precise, will catch a ‘common cold’ every year. A cold isn’t the end of the world but most of us would avoid it if possible - especially when it takes an average of 9 days for symptoms to shift.
Our immune system isn’t a single entity, it’s interconnected with our entire body - making it difficult to ‘protect’ or ‘boost’ it specifically. The good news is that certain lifestyle changes better our overall health, and in turn, improve our immune system.
1. Nutritious Foods
Our immune system is closely linked to our digestive system. In fact, 70% of our immune system is found in the gut! For the gut and the immune system to operate to the best of their ability, it’s essential to consume a balanced diet rich in micronutrients.
For instance, foods such as bell peppers, papaya and grapefruits are a great way to prevent infection as they contain Vitamin C, which stimulates the formation of antibodies and improves your immunity.
2. Get Moving
Not only is exercise a great way to stay energised, but it can also protect you from infection. Research has found that moderate exercise reduces your chances of catching upper respiratory tract infection like the common cold, sinusitis and tonsillitis!
Studies have shown that people who partake in moderate exercise 2 days a week have half as many cold or flu induced sick days as those who don’t exercise. So enjoy a gym glass, relax in a yoga session or just get outdoors and reap the benefits!
3. Be Social
From heart disease to strokes, loneliness has been linked to a range of illnesses. One study found that people experiencing social isolation had greater inflammation and a weaker immune response - increasing their likelihood of infection.
With this in mind, prioritise family and friends as this makes a huge difference to your physical and mental wellbeing.
4. Catch Those Zzz’s
Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep has been found to increase our chances of getting sick whilst also prolonging our recovery after an illness.
Studies have demonstrated that sleep can actually assist our immune system by improving the functionality of T cells. These cells become more effective at killing virus-infected cells or cancer cells when you’re asleep due to low levels of stress hormones such as adrenaline.
Prioritise sleep and try to have 7-9 hours of sleep each night to boost your energy levels and ensure your immune system is in tip-top condition!
There is no single solution to supercharge your immune system, but you can boost your immunity and decrease your chances of infection with the steps listed above. It would be great to know how you maintain a happy and healthy immune system! Feel free to share your hints and tips by joining Simone Thomas’ Wellness World - or leave a comment below!