In the current climate it is very easy to forget what is most important. Yes all the initiatives we are taking to wash our hands, use sanitizers, quarantine etc are mega important and please continue doing them; but something that should be at the forefront of our minds seems to be forgotten: OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM!
Below we address 5 Factors that are imperative in supporting our Immune System.
A HEALTHY BALANCED DIET:
Whilst everyone is dashing out there stuffing their trolleys with everything they find; one thing seems to have been overseen – the amount of junk people are stocking on! Eating crisps, sweets, cereals laden with sugars, bread and refined sugars!!
This is a time when our immune system should be taking priority because if our Immune system is weak, we are more likely to submit to the virus, hence why the sick, old and young kids are more venerable. Eating junk food depletes our immune system.
Eating a balance of protein, carbs & fats along with a variety of fruit and vegetables, will help boost your immune system.
One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost their immunity, as vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system.
First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection.
Second, vitamin C helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals.
Third, vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defense system. It’s actively transported to the skin, where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers.
Studies have also shown that taking vitamin C may shorten wound healing time. What’s more, low vitamin C levels have been linked to poor health outcomes.
For example, people who have pneumonia tend to have lower vitamin C levels, vitamin C supplements have been shown to shorten the recovery time.
Foods Rich in Vitamin C – include broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes.
Vitamin D supplementation helps boost your immune system by stimulating naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides, which protect the body by destroying invading microbes.
These antimicrobial peptides live in immune cells throughout the body, including cells lining the upper and lower respiratory tract. There, they are able to directly fight off viruses and bacteria that cause common immune and respiratory infections like colds and flu.
Supplementing with vitamin D is important for immune health throughout the entire year, but especially during the peak of the cold and flu season when vitamin D levels are at their lowest.
Food rich in Vitamin D: Fatty Fish like Tuna, Salmon and Mackerel. Egg yolks and mushrooms.
Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Following a regular sleep routine calms and restores the body, improves concentration, regulates mood, and sharpens judgment and decision-making.
You are a better problem solver and are better able to cope with stress when you’re well-rested. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, reduces your energy and diminishes mental clarity.
You might find that you can’t concentrate as easily without sleep. Research demonstrates that lack of sleep renders you more emotionally reactive, more impulsive, and more sensitive to negative stimuli.
These sleep-driven cognitive impairments can give rise to stress in any number of ways, from creating difficulty in relationships to causing problems with job performance.
Stressing over the coronavirus is not going to make the situation any better, infact it will only weaken your immune system further. Take time for self care and step away from social media.
What people don’t realize is by posting misinformation they are creating scaremongering, raising fears and anxiety for most.
The ability to fend off illness and disease depends on several factors, some of which are beyond our control, but the way we react to stress and the general health of our immune system are things we can influence.
If we’re not able to change our response to stressors, we’ll find ourselves in a constant hormonal battle that will lead to serious health issues like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. The brain and the immune system are in constant communication in this delicate balance that can be disrupted by any kind of physical or emotional stress.
Practicing mindfulness exercises can help you direct your attention away from this kind of thinking and engage with the world around you.
Disclaimer : Please contact your doctor before taking any supplements.