5 Ways to Boost your Immunity
By Janet Doyle, Post date: 6th June, 2016.Stephen Eddey - Nutritional consultant offers 5 ideas for fortifying your immune system this winter.
1. Eat fermented foods
The health of your gut flora can impact everything from your weight and immune system to your state of mind! To reduce bacterial imbalances in the gut, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance of prebiotics, found in such foods as leafy greens, and probiotics found in fermented foods such as kefir, miso, kombucha, and sauerkraut! Aim to add fermented foods to at least one meal a day.
Olive Leaf extract is an immune-boosting powerhouse traditionally used to support the immune system and relieve symptoms of cold and flu, sore throats and upper respiratory tract infections. Antioxidants such as polyphenols act as free-radical scavengers, helping to quench free radical activity which can cause a weaker immune system. Oleuropein, the most well-known polyphenol, has been shown to be one of the most powerful antioxidants because of the unique way it works in synergy with the other antioxidants found in olive leaves. To ensure the best quality and potency, it’s advisable to choose olive leaf extract which is ‘fresh-picked’. For more information, click here.
Whether you’re stressed, loaded with caffeine or are just more of a night owl than your morning alarm allows, multiple studies have shown that a lack of sleep can deplete the immune system. When we’re slumber deprived, our body releases fewer infection-fighting antibodies and reduce the levels of the flu-preventing protein cytokines that your body generates. It’s advisable to aim for seven to nine hours of restful sleep per night to repair and restore.
Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine determined that people who work out catch fewer colds. What’s more, when they fall sick, the symptoms in exercise-fans were much less severe! (i) Exercise boosts your heart rate, which helps to remove toxins from the body and circulate immunity boosting white blood cells. Aim for moderate physical activity on most – preferably all – days of the week reap the health benefits. Not a fan of sweating it out in the gym? Not a problem – even a brisk walk is better than nothing.
5. Hydrate Water
Water helps to flush out harmful toxins in your body, including those nasty winter germs. By keeping your body well-hydrated, you can help it fight any harmful viruses and stave off colds for longer. Drinking adequate amounts of water endures that your cells get all the oxygen they need to function and that your kidneys are able to get rid of waste properly. If you’re dehydrated, waste products will build up in the bloodstream and weaken your immune system. Studies show that 2% loss in hydration can decrease your immunity. (ii)
(ii) Kreider RB, Almada AL, Antonio J et al. ISSN exercise and sport nutrition review: research recommendations. Sports Nutr Rev J 2004; 1(1): 1-44.