As we find ourselves amidst a global pandemic, the best thing we can do, and let’s face it there’s not much else to do right now, is to keep ourselves strong and healthy. Should we contract the virus we need the best version of our immune system to be able to combat it.
“The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them.” says Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D. from Medical News Today.
So here are some immune boosting tips on how to keep your immunity at its peak while potentially in the confines, or should I say the comfort, of your own home.
We don’t necessarily need to start eating differently just because we are leaving the house to shop less often. Stock up on legumes, pulses, and frozen vegetables if you have limited supplies in the shops but generally fresh fruits and vegetables should be available. Your diet, for full immune boosting power, needs to be full of a variety of these every day. Don’t go for five a day, up your game and get in as many types as you can. Make hearty salads with as many ingredients as you can, add seeds and nuts. Make soups, stir-fries, combining all varieties of ingredients. Experiment and enjoy the challenge of incorporation! A healthy gut equals a healthy immune system and also a healthy mind. If you can’t manage to find all the necessary ingredients to make sure you’re immune system is at its best, there are always supplements in times of need.
Top immune boosting sources; garlic, broccoli, ginger, citrus, red peppers, spinach, almonds, papaya, kiwi fruit, sunflower seeds, oily fish, blueberries, dark chocolate, sweet potato, green tea,
During difficult times we often suffer with anxiety and stress, the unknown can be troubling to say the least and on top of that our health is at risk. This is scary. To keep your mind calm, find peace and clarity during confusion and uncertainty we can take time out to meditate, pray, sing, dance or whatever it may be to keep your mind at ease and your emotions level. Finding your own balance and centring yourself is essential during this intense period. Take a walk, if you’re permitted, stretch it out, take a bath, listen to soothing sounds, find your comfort and stay grounded. Read a good book, talk to your loves ones, find humour and have a good laugh. Try to stay away from any negative social media or news stories, conspiracy theories, doom and gloom and stick to a few minutes a day looking at a reliable trusted news source. Speculation can lead to stress! As well as this our diet directly relates to our emotional health so keep up your gut healthy to keep your mind healthy (see above).
We must exercise. Human beings absolutely need exercise in order to thrive, every single day. Our bodies are designed to move, and to move a lot! We must keep this going at all times, especially during this moment of uncertainty. Each hour of the day, if you’ve been sitting still, get up and walk around, stretch and move every part of you for at least fifteen minutes. Walk up and down the stairs, jog around the garden, put on an exercise routine online, practice yoga, run on the spot if you have to! I’m currently on full lockdown in a small apartment with three children and we are making great use of the tiny balcony we have to do squats, press ups, sit ups and stretches – as are all the neighbours. Our physical health is also directly linked to our immune system and needs to be kept up to scratch for us to be as strong as possible.
As well as exercise another immune boosting habit is sleep, and to sleep well when we do. Hibernation of at least eight hours per night will contribute to our overall health and wellness as well as a healthy immune system. Try to limit screen time before bed, ensure that your bed is as comfortable as possible, that the room can be darkened and noise is at a minimum (reach for the eye masks and ear plugs when this is not possible), design yourself a bedtime ritual which not only instigates your mind to assume sleep is on its way but also provides a sense of calm and peace. Keep bedtime as regular as possible.
Don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, don’t take drugs, don’t overeat; and if any of these things must be part of your life then limit them. Moderation is key to everything that is health, although this list should sincerely be kept in check (and avoided if possible).
Hydration is another imperative that we so often neglect. You may not feel thirsty but those eight big glasses per day are extremely important to your overall wellness and ability to fight off illness and infection.
“We cannot always control everything that happens to us in this life, but we can control how we respond.” ~ Lionel Kendrick
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