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7 Ways to Support a Strong Immune System

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7 Ways to Support a Strong Immune System

To live our healthiest lives, it’s always important to look after our immune health. A strong and healthy immune system means that we’re better able to fight off colds, flus, stomach bugs and other nasties that can bring us down and scupper our plans.

But now, with the Covid-19 coronavirus taking hold around the world, many of our plans are scuppered even though we might not even be ill. Weddings, holidays, parties and trips are all now effectively on hold until further notice. So whilst we all spend more time at home, our thoughts are turning to ways to support our immune systems so that they’re at their best and we stand more of a chance of staying fit and healthy.

Here’s how to keep your immune system as healthy as possible.

  1. Eat lots of fruit – fruits, especially citrus fruits, kiwis and strawberries, are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that supports good immunity by promoting the production of white blood cells, an important component of the immune system. Red, yellow and orange peppers are also packed with vitamin C.
  2. Include honey in your diet - honey id believed to have antimicrobial properties. They’re also rich in antioxidants that support a strong immune system.
  3. Take curcumin supplements – curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, the spice that gives curries their yellow flavour. Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to support good immunity.
  4. Exercise regularly – with gyms, sports centres and exercise classes all closing their doors, there’s never been a better time to exercise at home. So keep going with your Own Your Goals regime to get the best results. Exercise also helps to boost immunity by getting the blood pumping and in doing so, sending the white blood cells around the body to do their job of seeking and destroying bacteria and viruses more effectively.
  5. Cut back on alcohol – all this time at home makes it tempting to open a bottle of wine each night. But excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a reduced number of our internal armed forces – the white blood cells - potentially leading to a weakened immune system.
  6. Get plenty of sleep – studies have shown that a chronic lack of sleep can also lead to a weakened immune system. It’s thought that not getting enough sleep reduces the number of T cells, a type of white blood cell crucial to good immunity.
  7. Consume prebiotic foods – our guts are teeming with trillions of good bacteria, viruses and fungi, called probiotics and collectively known as our microbiota. It’s now thought that a healthy microbiota is linked to a healthy immune system. Prebiotics are foods that contain a type of fibre that we can’t digest, but that the probiotics can, and allows them to thrive. So aim to eat foods such as chicory root, dandelion greens, leeks, onions, garlic, oats and barley. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha are also great for supporting the gut.

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