Immune System Boosters: Facts vs Myths
During this time of uncertainty due to Covid - 19, many of my friends and family are starting to transition from office to working from home and implementing social distancing. How can we keep our immune system strong and keep it strong during this time?
1. Eating healthy - has been proven and is known to be essential for a healthy immune system. Although we may probably want to hole up and eat junk food it's not going to do anything for your health. The ingredients in junk food have been proven to cause inflammation of the body leading to a weakened immune response. If you're eating fresh produce then you'll be getting all your RDA of essential vitamins and minerals.
Try: swapping milk chocolate for dark chocolate, at least 95% dark. There are some great brands out there who do delicious 100% cocoa bars with zero sugar, such as Giddy Yo.
2. Regular exercise - we all know by now that regular exercise can ward off many ailments, decrease inflammation in the body which has been said is the cause of many common health conditions. Another added benefit of a good sweat session apart from strengthening your lungs and other organs, is the mental benefits. Endorphins pumping round the body will hopefully help you forgot about what's going on in the world even if for a moment.
Tip: Put on a YouTube workout and have a laugh!
3. Keep your metal health in check - some stress is good for the body, but constant stress due to a 24/7 stream of news at the touch of our phones is not the kind of stress we need. Some things we can control to protect ourselves include stop reading the news so often, talk to a loved one about how you're feeling and don't bottle it up, some guided meditation to quieten the mind, some gentle yoga stretches, going out for a walk (at a safe distance) to clear the mind.
Tip: even doing your hair or putting make up on can give you a boost.
4. Sleep - there are some people who brag about only needing 5 hours of sleep. Studies have shown those who sleep more (at least 7-8 hours a night) live longer... Sleep is important and sleep helps our body and minds recharge overnight. If you're working from home use the extra time you have in the mornings to get some additional ZZZZZ's.
Try: getting ready for bed an hour earlier than usual to get used to an earlier bedtime.
5. Breathe - yes, seriously, learn to breathe to increase oxygen in your blood to help your body overcome bacteria and other viruses. I practice the Wim Hof method, which is a series of controlled breathing exercises followed by cold exposure training. Yes, it sounds quirky but have a look at the website and do your own research into the studies. The basic science is that the breathing rounds oxygenate and alkalizes the blood to improve immune response.
Tip: if you are trying Wim Hof, go slowly. His app is free and he provides guided programs.
6. Vitamin D - if you're not taking any, now is the time whilst you're inside self isolating or social distancing. If you're talking it already, try and increase the dose.
Tip: liquid Vit D is more readily absorbed by the body than capsules. I use Genestra liquid Vit D3 1000.
Stay safe, wash your hands and look after each other!