Even the healthiest of people get sick every now and then. But by fine-tuning certain aspects of your health routine, such as diet and stress management, you can help support your immune system's defences against bacteria, and viruses!
//DIET// Following a diet rich in antioxidants is essential to supporting your immune system. Abundant in many fruits and vegetables, antioxidants combat free radicals—chemical by-products known to damage DNA and suppress the immune system. Make sure your plate contains a rainbow of colours, especially of the dark red and purple end of the spectrum for maximum immune boosting benefits.
Choosing healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish, seaweed etc.) over saturated fats (found in meat and dairy products) is generally recommended by health authorities. As well, it may help increase your body's production of compounds involved in regulating immunity. If you can't be bothered to cook, why not order a plant-based takeaway today from Luck & Boo at Apteekki.
For an additional immune boost, try adding garlic (shown to possess virus-fighting and bacteria-killing properties) Half a clove raw, thinly sliced in your salad or sandwich, or even just layered on a slice of toast with some fresh tomatoes, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil is all you need to give you a much needed boost each day.
//EXERCISE// The good news is that regular moderate-intensity exercise confers several benefits to the immune system. A 2019 study shows that moderate exercise mobilizes immune system cells, helping the body defend itself against pathogens and cancer cell growth. Those who regularly engage in this type of exercise have fewer illnesses and less systemic inflammation. Exercise may also protect the immune system from the effects of aging.
Regularly engaging in intense, vigorous activity like running, on the other hand, may temporarily weaken your immune function and leave you more susceptible to viral infections.
Why not work through Will Goodbourn, Sports Massage Therapist/Biomechanist 7 day stretch routine available over on his socials FREE to stream.
//STRESS// Chronic stress can have a negative impact on immunity, according to a landmark 2004 review of 293 studies with a total of 18,941 participants. The review suggests that while short-term exposure to stressors can rev up your immune defence, prolonged stress may wear down the immune system and increase your vulnerability to illness.
Stress is something we are all suffering with some degree or another with the impact of the Lockdown2.0 on our lives. Addressing stress is something you can take action on. To keep your stress in check, incorporate a relaxing practice like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing into your daily routine. Why not sign up to a Yoga Shala Melton virtual class, our Tuesday evening Yin session is a great relaxing practice and can be streamed for 48 hours after.
//SLEEP// Another healthy habit vital to preventing sickness is getting a full eight hours of sleep each night, which may help regulate immune function.
A study of over 22,000 people found that those who slept less than six hours per night or who had a sleep disorder were more likely to develop colds and other respiratory infections. Why not check out Kat's FREE Immunity Boosting Hypnosis - a 30 minute session perfect just before bedtime. It is free to download over on her website. https://www.berryandbloom.com/product/immunityboost/
//HERBS, OILS, SUPPLEMENTS// Although scientists have yet to determine whether Vitamin C can enhance immunity, there's definite evidence that this antioxidant can reduce cold and flu incidence.
Herbs such as andrographis, astragalus, echinacea, eucalyptus and elderberry are among those people use to help reduce the duration and severity of sickness if taken as soon as cold or flu symptoms arise, while vitamins and minerals such as zinc, vitamin D are often in short supply this time of year.
For advice on supplements to see you through winter, our resident Nutritional Therapist, Jane Naturally Grounded Nutrition Ltd will be able to guide you, while for aromatherapy oils and immunity boosting herbs, contact Sarah Helstrip - Essential Wellbeing & Massage .
We have everything you might need here at Melton Wellness House, the home of health and wellness in Melton Mowbray, even during lockdown. Our services, if not available in House, are all still available virtually - so do not hesitate to get in touch, keep commenting, and above all - ask for help if you need it.