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As flu season slowly creeps in, more and more of us seek out ways that we can support and strengthen our immune systems to effectively fight off all the illnesses that come with the colder weather. Particularly with the outbreak of Covid-19, it's important to arm ourselves with ways to make our bodies as healthy and strong as possible.
The immune system is complex. There’s no secret way to improve it in time for winter all of a sudden. But by making small changes in everyday life, you can begin to build a stronger defence system over time. Taking care of your body and taking care of your immune system go hand in hand, so that’s where we should begin!
Our modern-day lives offer up so many temptations that make us want to stay up late, from watching Netflix to finishing a gripping novel. However, getting the right amount of sleep is beneficial in a whole multitude of ways (helping your immune system is one of them). Skimping on sleep can therefore impact your immune system negatively, resulting in you getting sick easier. The average sleep requirement varies from person to person, which means you likely know how many hours of sleep your body functions well on - so try your best to stick to that!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is a vital method of keeping your body strong, which makes it essential for the immune system to function too. A poor diet filled with convenience foods and a lack of varied nutrients can impair the production and activity of immune cells and antibodies.
Plant foods should make up a huge majority of our diets because they’re filled with vitamins and minerals that keep our bodies working efficiently. Vitamin C and D and zinc are brilliant at keeping our immune systems strong, which is why it’s common to see citrus, ginger, garlic, and turmeric in products that are for strengthening immunity. You can purchase vitamins and supplements, but remember the most effective way of getting nutrients is through your diet, so bulk up on the whole foods! Recipes for immune system boosting:
We all know that keeping fit is a great defence against illness and disease, but just how useful is it? According to a biology professor, because exercise increases blood and lymph flow as your muscles contract, it also increases the circulation of immune cells, making them roam the body at a higher rate and higher numbers. However, while exercise can give you these immediate results, they will eventually wear off unless you work out regularly.
Stress and anxiety have the ability to wreak havoc on our bodies. The brain and immune system are in constant communication, and this delicate balance can be disrupted quite easily by stress. The corticosteroid hormone that our body gives off when it’s stressed makes our immune system weaker, which is why you should remember to go easy on yourself and make time to wind down. You may not think that you need time for ‘self-care’, but we all do. A stressed body is not a strong body. If you give yourself time to relax and work on managing your stress, you will be a much happier and healthier individual.
Keep yourself healthy by taking the necessary precautions for avoiding infection, such as washing your hands and wearing a mask.
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