8 things you can do to improve your immune system
Simply put, no specific food or supplement will stop you from catching COVID-19. However a strong and health immune system is important to help defend our bodies.
By Dominic Bowser
Our immune systems are amazing – they defend our bodies and allow us to destroy bacteria, viruses and parasites. In the current climate it’s so important that we all make sure our immune system is at its strongest.
Dominic Bowser, senior personal trainer at Benton-based Sound Mind and Body health and wellbeing centre shares eight ways we can boost our immune systems.
Food is your fuel
You really are what you eat. Be sure to eat simple fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, pulses, fish and meats all as natural as possible. These foods are nutrient dense and will supply your system with vitamins and minerals as well as providing the energy needed for your cells to work at their optimum.
Sup up your supplements
What we eat and drink should provide our bodies with the nutrients that it needs, but often the western diet doesn’t include enough of the essential nutrients. Taking a simple well-balanced multi-vitamin each day works well to fill in any gaps.
Create a happy gut
A healthy gut has been proven to have happy effects on our mind and body, and a healthy gut is created from a diverse range of simple foods. To boost your gut bacteria, add fermented foods such as kefir, kombucha and kimchi into your diet as they will feed your gut bacteria.
A good sleep is essential
When in a deep sleep, our bodies repair both physically and mentally. The problem for the majority of us is getting to sleep. Aim for 6-8 hours sleep each night and try to sleep in a dark, quiet environment. Avoid distractions such as digital devices and keep a notebook by your bedside if you often wake up with things on your mind, so you can write them down and try to get back to sleep.
Your fitness is key
Generally, the fitter you are, the more efficient your immune system is – and no, that doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym. It’s all about doing the little things often. Increase your steps, take the stairs, cycle more – these small steps improve your overall fitness and keep your immune system working well.
Two is never a crowd
Zinc and Magnesium are the two minerals responsible for helping your immune system. Zinc keeps the immune system strong, helps heal wounds, and supports normal growth, whereas magnesium is involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in your body and your muscles use it to contract. Magnesium keeps your heart beating steadily and your immune system strong. Use foods such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and fish to make sure you’re getting enough of these minerals.
See more sunshine
Even when self-isolating, try to get into the garden or go for a walk. We all need sunshine to make vitamin D, which is important in the functioning of your immune system.
A cool dip
Rather than a piping hot shower, hit the cold tap! A cold shower increases your metabolism wakes you up and reduces your stress levels all of which can improve your overall immunity.
Try to adopt these small steps into your daily routine to boost your immunity and createan overall sense of wellbeing and vitality.