With winter upon us boosting your immunity is a great way to keep your body from getting sick and to best protect your body from harm, every component of your immune system needs to perform exactly according to plan. The best way you can ensure that happens is to practice the good-for-you behaviours every day that your immune system runs on. Here are five key ones.
A quiet, dark, and cool environment can help promote a sound slumber, set your bedroom up so that you can't wait to get into your nighttime routine, start to relax your body an hour before bed by taking a bath, reading a book, lighting a candle or diffuser with some relaxing essential oils, also regular relaxation exercises that have you falling into the sheets is a great idea. Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep cycle is one of the most important strategies for sleeping better. If you keep a regular sleep-wake schedule, you’ll feel much more refreshed and energised than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, this helps set your body’s internal clock and optimise the quality of your sleep. Also avoid caffeine (found in coffee, tea, chocolate, cola, and some pain relievers) for four to six hours before bedtime.
It is now more critical than ever to ensure we take care of ourselves and our loved ones. Humans are not defenceless. Both to its credit and detriment, our immune system can be compromised depending on one’s lifestyle. To fight off infections you can give your cells a fighting chance by treating your body right. Here are seven plant-based foods to boost your immune system:
- Berries, Kiwi’s, Oranges
Use the power of your senses to relieve stress on the spot and stay calm, productive and focused, no matter what life throws at you. If you're feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music, playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. There are countless other techniques for managing stress, some of our favourites are yoga, mindfulness meditation and good old fashioned exercise are just a few examples of stress-relieving activities that work wonders.
Being inactive is linked to poor metabolic and psychological health and a less functional immune system. Most people know that regular exercise can improve markers of metabolic or psychological wellbeing, but what is less appreciated are the effects of exercise on the immune system. Working through multiple pathways, research shows that the right amount of exercise can boost immunity as well as keeping your bones healthy and strong, it causes change in anitbodies and white blood cells which are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. Exercise slows down the release of stress hormones and lower stress hormones may protect against illness.
When your gut is healthy, it’s full of good bacteria which helps to strengthen your immune system. Fresh fruit and vegetables in their whole form and preferably organic without chemical spays are rich in fibre and help increase the good bacteria in the gut. Variety is also important so aim to eat a range of different coloured fruit and vegetables daily to boost your immune system. Some other immune boosting foods include fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut, legumes and pulses such as beans, lentils and chickpeas and ginger, garlic and onion. Food is central to keeping your gut healthy, but supplements can also be helpful, most notable in supporting gut health are supplements containing probiotics or prebiotics.