Written By Prerna Lade
When it comes to boosting your immune system and staying healthy so that you are able to function at a high level in this pandemic, here are 5 tips to add into your routine right now!!!!
1. BE ACTIVE:
Exercise is a great way to give your immune system a boost. Being active has been shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. It may even help you live longer. Exercise makes your antibodies and white blood cells circulate around your body later. Exercise also lowers the chances of getting sick. Doing exercise for 30 mins (even walking) for 3-5 times a week has been seen to greatly improve the body’s immune system.
2. FUEL UP YOUR BODY: A large percentage of your immune system happens in the gut (stomach or belly) so when we are healthy we are generally able to fight infections better. When we don’t do this we are not protected. The key to focus on is healthy carbohydrates if you are fighting from the viral infection (coronavirus) which consist of sweet potatoes, grapefruits, strawberries, mangoes, grapes, cherries, lettuce, garlic, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms etc and Mediterranean style of eating which consist of a rich diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. Our main energy source, carbs are important for fuelling the body and brain, protecting our muscles and feeding the bacteria in the gut. It’s also important to limit the amount of meat consumed from processed and fried foods which are more inflammatory.
3. MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS: There is a strong link between your immune system
and your mental health. When you are stressed or your body experiences too much stress your body starts releasing stress hormones which suppress your immune system. So how do you know you are stressed? What do I do about it? Don’t worry about just write down everything that you are juggling with in your personal life to your professional life. Even if you are on top of that list, if the list is long and you feel overwhelmed by the thought of it you are probably feeling some stress there. Whilst most of us can’t avoid the stress in our lives some tools to help deal with it are better organisation of the tasks and stresses we have, such as making a list of them, and against each stress write what needs to be done to reduce this stress or complete the task. Some stresses are caused by worry as opposed to workload so rationalise these out and see whether a better perspective can be taken on these. Meditation can help, and if you are feeling really stressed seek the help of a professional to get you through this. One other thing to point out is that people who are stressed are less likely to pay attention to other healthy habits such as getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, diet, exercise etc.
4. GET ENOUGH SLEEP: Sleep is another booster for your immune system. When your body doesn’t get enough sleep your body produces stress hormones which keep you awake and alert and can supress your immune system. Some tips to help you sleep are to get a good source of magnesium and Zinc in your diet, eg. Meat, shellfish, legumes ( chickpeas, lentils and beans), seeds, nuts, whole grains, dairy products, eggs etc. There are even some apps that can help you with sleeping, there are music’s that can help you with your sleep. Try to avoid phones, tabs and TV screens 1-2 hours before bed ( a tough one I know) and to really get a deep sleep. This deep sleep is really beneficial to your body’s recovery and can have an amazing affect.
5. USE FOODS: When looking to supplements to get the added boost that you need to help your immune system outlook to foods rather than pills and powders. Fresh fruit and vegetables cooked in the right way give you the best way of consuming those C and D vitamins. In addition herbs such as garlic, turmeric, ginger, oregano and rosemary can help with their inflammatory properties.
FOODS TO AVOID
Sugars ( as sugar suppress your immune system) Where are the sugars? • Fruit juice • Tomato Sauce • Soda • Packaged dinners • Desserts • Honey • Flavoured yogurt • Low-fat versions of processed foods • Salad dressing • Peanut butter
Nightshade Vegetables Are Inflammatory • Peppers – all varieties
• White potatoes • Eggplants(brinjal) • Tomatoes • Okra • Paprika • Cayenne pepper (red chilli)
Lectins Lectins are part of the plants natural self-defence mechanism that deters predators such as humans from eating the plants and its babies. (seeds/nuts/fruits) • Wheat • Tomatoes
• Chia seeds
Grains • Wheat
• Rye • Quinoa
• Corn • Oats
Milk, yogurt, and ice cream.
Fruit: Whole fruit and fruit juice.
Grains: Bread, rice, crackers, and cereal.
Legumes: Beans and other plant-based proteins.
Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes and corn.
SOURCE: • Mostly protein: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu.
Some protein: Legumes, nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, milk, cheese, cottage cheese, soy beverages, yogurt.
Little protein: Whole grain breads, rice, pasta, quinoa, barley.
These are some sources which you may add in your diet as all the nutrients are necessary for growth and development of your body. Be Healthy & Stay Safe!