It’s officially sniffles season.
According to the HSE, peak influenza levels are expected to continue to wreak misery for the next few weeks across Ireland.
When we catch the dreaded flu, it can feel that our bodies completely shut down, rendering us helpless, however, our immune systems are actually working hard behind the scenes to try and fight it off.
The immune system is just like that overprotective parent or big sister.
It just wants to shield you from any harm and wishes you would wrap up warm and eat your veg!
We have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our immune system.
It exists to protect our bodies from infection and is our first line of defence when it comes to fighting off harmful pollutants and viruses which are rampant at this time of year!
Knowing how hard-working and vital our immune system is to our overall health, it is important that we treat it like the precious commodity it is.
But First, How Does Our Immune System Work?
This hardworking system creates, stores and distributes the white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses that enter our bodies.
When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system then releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kills them.
How To Boost Your Immune System Naturally
There’s no one fool-proof way to keep your immune system in top shape. It’s a complex system that requires a number of factors for it to operate efficiently.
At Vitropics, we believe that;
Healthy Habits & Lifestyle= Healthier Immune System.
So, we’ve put together some tips on how you can help boost your immune system naturally throughout these colder winter months.
Fight Flu with Food
While food alone cannot fight off viruses, what you consume can directly affect the body’s daily operations including digestion, sleeping well and fighting off infection.
Friendly bacteria present in foods such as yoghurt and fermented dishes, Vitamin C-rich foods like oranges and peppers and fruit and veg packed with antioxidants are all great at building the body's protection against viruses.
Protein also has its place in protecting the body. It builds and repairs tissues and supports in the making of vital hormones and enzymes that promote the body’s daily functions and a healthy immune system.
Support with Supplements
Where your food falls short, supplements can help fill any nutritional gaps and support your overall health.
Our monthly cycle supplement Triumph is packed with a supercharged formulation of 55 natural vitamins, minerals and herbals including Vitamin A, C, D, Zinc, Selenium, Copper and Vitamin B12 which contribute to the normal function of the immune system.
Reduce Stress Levels
Stress. The word, alone, brings on uneasiness.
While some stress can be good, chronic stress can actually greatly impact our health.
When we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced, making the body more susceptible to infection.
Stress also causes the release of the hormone, cortisol. This hormone interferes and reduces the white blood cells present in our body that works to fight off pathogens.
Stress reduction strategies not only give your mind a break, but they can also relieve the pressure on your immune system. Consider implementing mindfulness, deep breathing exercises into your routine to help calm your nervous system and reduce inflammation.
Moderate Alcohol Intake & Avoid Smoking
Ok, so we recognise that there are no major revelations with this one. Almost daily we hear horror stories on the nasty effects both alcohol and smoking can have on our health.
Smoking, in particular, weakens the immune system by constantly creating damage to cells throughout the body.
The high levels of inflammation caused by smoking can have a devastating impact on the lungs, increasing the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia.
If you have contemplated taking the step towards quitting, make 2020 your year- your immune system and overall health will thank you!
Keep Your Body Moving
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It has been shown to improve our heart health, controls body weight, lowers blood pressure and can protect from a variety of diseases.
When we take part in regular exercise, a type of white cell called T-cells are released in the body, acting as a guard against infection.
To avoid injury or stress on the body, ensure you prepare your body efficiently for exercise by making sure you are properly fuelled and hydrated.
You can also collect bonus points for moving your exercise outside! Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of Vitamin D which has been known to help decrease the risk of influenza.
Don't underestimate Quality ZZZs
As a lot of fellow parents can attest to; sleep impacts everything!
It affects how we look, feel and perform on a daily basis and can have a major impact on our overall quality of life.
It’s vital for the body to function and provides a chance each night for the body to carry out essential repair on our muscles, organs and other cells.
Lack of sleep can cause the inflammatory immune response to activate, reducing the activity of the defensive T-cells in the body. The result? A weakened immune system.
Aim for at least 7 hours per night, avoid all-nighters and keep digital tools away from the bedroom to prevent over-stimulation.
The Good News!
The bottom line is that a healthy body is dependent on a strong immune system.
As we have outlined, there are many ways to perform immune-system upkeep.
As well as avoiding destructive habits, stressors, and toxins, by embracing the natural immune boosters and adopting the behaviours you can help support an immune system that supports you.
If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out some of our similar posts;
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