How To Strengthen The Immune System
Summer is quickly turning into autumn, as many people have said to me, how quickly the summer has gone, and I agree.
I think it’s when we wait for something for so long and then when it finally arrives it’s gone in a flash. It’s a bit like the feeling of Xmas when we are younger, the excitement and the build-up seems intense and then it’s over in a day.
One of the things that the autumn brings apart from lots of lovely different shades of leaves are colds…..and other horrible coughs and bugs.
This is more prevalent if you have children when all the bugs seem to pass from child to child.
But what if you could do something to protect your child from catching all these horrible bugs and having to take time off school? Of course, you’d do it wouldn’t you?
The immune system is a wondrous thing when it’s working properly, it’s our protective shield. I like to think of it as a force field stopping invaders from getting into our body.
But there are ways we can strengthen that force field, strengthen the immune system.
7 Ways -How to Strengthen The Immune System
- Cut out the junk. It’s so easy to have a treat here and there, the odd chocolate from the tin at work, the odd biscuit here and there, but the fact is, these things add up. They make your blood sugar unbalanced and you just want more. Have a look in your food cupboard, finish off or give away any food items you know are not good for you, and when you next go shopping just don’t buy them. Have a look for healthier snacks such as nuts and fruit, high protein spreads such as hummus, and nut butter, so you will feel less inclined to reach for the chocolate.
- Drink water. Not everyone likes water but put simply it is so important for so many body processes you need to drink it. It keeps you hydrated, without it, your body can think you are hungry so you eat more, when actually you are just thirsty, and we can’t live without it. If you don’t like the taste, you could drink some herbal teas, or add a small amount of juice and gradually reduce this down so you become accustomed to the taste.
- Eat the right foods. Specific foods that help the immune system include, citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, they contain good amounts of vitamin C, that is known to help strengthen the immune system. Red Bell peppers are also another good source of vitamin C and can be added to a variety of dishes very easily. Broccoli one of my favourite vegetables is packed with vitamins AC and E, and is great for strengthening your immune system and for overall health. You can find a good recipe using broccoli here: Broccoli and Chicken Soup. Garlic is also thought to help strengthen the immune system with its sulfur-containing compound Allicin helpful for fighting infections. Ginger and Turmeric are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and ginger is also a known remedy for fighting infection.
- Exercise. Dance, run, play, cycle, swim, bounce, do Pilates or yoga…..whatever exercise you like, look at ways of incorporating into your lifestyle. If you don’t like traditional forms of exercise then walk your dog, or just walk. Walking is low impact but has great benefits to your overall health and wellbeing. If you would like to try Pilates then you can check out my classes in Jersey by visiting www.nrgizepilates.com
- Wash Your Hands, okay so this might seem obvious, but kids in particular, can be bad at washing their hands regularly. I have a routine where I get my kids to wash their hands as soon as they get home from school. Practicing good hand washing routines is essential to keep the germs away.
- Take Echinacea. I am a big advocate of echinacea and like to take this as a tea and as a tincture in the winter. My favourite tea, is the Yogi Immune Support Tea, it contains a blend of Echinacea, acerola and elderberry. If you have children and want to protect them, I particularly like Sambucol. Invented by a virologist, I use this periodically for my kids, and occasionally have a bit myself. The good news is, it tastes nice, so your kids will have no problem taking it. You can find this in your local Boots store and some supermarkets also stock it. You can also buy echinacea as a tincture, Vogel is one of the brands that I use.
- Sleep. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep after being exposed to a virus such as the common cold virus are more likely to get sick. This might be due to the protective proteins that our immune systems release called Cytokines. Sleep deprivation causes may decrease our production of these and therefore our infection-fighting anti- bodies are reduced. Additionally, not getting enough sleep leads to eating the wrong foods, which affects our mood and our eating patterns, potentially leading to ill health.