We’re all worrying about our health more than ever these days, as we’re in the midst of needing Covid 19 support, and heading into the cold and flu season. While there is no way to guarantee staying healthy, you can make it less likely that you’ll fall ill by supporting and boosting your immune system. There are some simple lifestyle and nutritional changes that you can make to boost your body’s natural defences.
Eat More Fermented Foods Or Take A Probiotic Supplement
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Try adding fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and natto.
Healthy gut bacteria can help your immune cells to notice the difference between healthy cells and invaders that could harm you.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for immunity. Not getting enough or getting poor quality sleep has long been linked to being more susceptible to getting ill.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you’re more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep well and get more sleep Being well-rested can help to strengthen your natural immunity. This is what makes you want to sleep so much when you’re unwell, so your immune system is better able to fight the illness.
Remember that stress impacts sleep, so you will need to learn some coping mechanisms for this difficult time, even if it means a private covid test for peace of mind.
Eat More Whole Plant Foods
Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that helps your body to fight against harmful pathogens. The antioxidants in these foods could help to decrease inflammation, before it builds up enough to cause a problem.
Chronic inflammation is linked to all kinds of different health conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and even some kinds of cancer.
The fibre that is found in plant founds will feed your gut microbiome, which is the community of healthy bacteria in your gut. Keep your gut microbiome strong to improve your immune system and prevent harmful pathogens from getting into the body through your digestive tract.
Fruits and vegetables are also rich in all kinds of nutrients that your body needs, like vitamin c, which can reduce how long you stay ill with things like the common cold.
Eat More Healthy Fats
Healthy fats, that are found in foods like olive oil and salmon, can strengthen your immune response by decreasing inflammation. Low-level inflammation is a normal response to stress or an injury, but chronic inflammation can cause damage to your immune system.
Olive oil is very anti-inflammatory and has even been connected to a decreased risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease and type 2 Diabetes. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help your system to shake off harmful bacteria and viruses.
Omega-3 fatty acids, like the ones that are found in salmon and chia seeds, can help to fight inflammation as well.
Consider your Immunological Age
Whilst this may sound strange, your immune system ages differently to your actual age, how you live your life and what you eat are some of the factors that influence this. Take a look at my blog on this subject here;
Presenter on Early Years TV Food