It feels very empowering to know that you are taking the right steps to optimize your health and wellness during stressful times. We teamed up with our HealthOne Naturopathic Doctor, Saira Kassam, to get her best tips for healthy immune function.
In this article, HealthOne offers you little changes to your diet and routine that can help to boost your immune system. These 7 tips will enhance your body’s natural ability to defend itself against potential illness.
1. Manage Your Stress
Stress causes an abundance of negative effects on physical and emotional well-being, including a reduced immune response.
Short term stress (such as exams or a big deadline at work) can suppress cellular immunity (the immunity that promotes the killing of infected cells to eliminate reservoirs of infection) while preserving humoral immunity (formation of antibodies against foreign antigens, materials recognized as non- self).
Try meditation or mindfulness practices, as well as other self-care activities to manage your stress effectively.
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2. Get Enough sleep
Quality sleep and a healthy circadian rhythm (a 24-hour internal clock that is running in the background of your brain) has a specific role in enhancing immune defense, especially in the formation of immunological memory.
HealthOne recommends an adult should have enough 7 to 9 hours of sleep for good health.
If you are travelling in different time zones on a regular basis, try consuming 2–3mg of Melatonin to reset the circadian rhythm.
3. Eating Fruits and Veggies
Eating fruits and veggies provides the nutrients and vitamins that your body’s immune system needs. Vitamins A, B6, C, D and E are vitamins that can boost and strengthen the immune system. Vitamin C has been shown to have a particularly large effect.
Go for a wider variety of fruits and vegetables from every colour of the rainbow. Your plate will look more enticing, and you will get many health-boosting vitamins. Include berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
Quick Tip: Cut down sugars and excess alcohol as these can down-regulate the immune system.
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4. Grab your Vitamin A
Vitamin A, also known as Anti-inflammation Vitamin, not only enhances growth and development but also maintains eye vision and enhances the immune system.
Grab Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Liver Oil, Spinach, Broccoli, Mango which are rich in Vitamin A.
5. Stepping Out in Sun
Step out in sun for natural light as it invigorates the formation of Vitamin D. A leisure walk in sunlight for a few minutes is enough for the required level of Vitamin D production.
- Vitamin D is expressed on immune cells and synthesize active Vitamin D
- Vitamin D can harmonize the innate and adaptive immune
- Vitamin D deficiency can make us suspectable to infections.
- The benefits of Vitamin D can extend beyond the cementing effect on bones.
6. Go for Garlic
Eating fresh garlic either through chopping or minced - releases Allicin, is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal compound.
Garlic can give a boost to the proliferation of T cells in our immune system and also responsible for the reduced severity of cold and flu.
Baked or toasted - the crunchy Garlic bread is a vigorous and energetic culinary duo - Garlic's high sulphur makes it one of the best cold and flu warrior. Zinc, from whole wheat bread, is also an excellent immunity booster.
No gym required - a moderate exercise like choosing stairs instead of elevators or spending a few more minutes whilst walking your dog, has an abundance of benefits. It can control hypertension and diabetes, can reduce anxiety and stress, and slows down the ageing process.
HealthOne wishes you a healthy body and a strong immune system.
If you have any questions or would like to visit our Medical & Walk-In Clinic, we post our clinic wait-times online.
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