Eat well. Exercise. Sleep. There are no substitutes.
The air we breathe is full of microbes; some we pick up from food, others from surfaces we touch. Some microbes cause diseases like cold and flu and coronavirus, especially in the winter months. It is the job of the immune system to identify and fight microbes that will make us ill. A weak immune system can make it difficult to fight these diseases. So, what’s the solution?
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” goes the old saying. This is a simple way of saying there is no better way to boost your immune system than by following a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet is key.
FOOD TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
Oranges, grapefruits and lemons are a common source of vitamin C. These citrus fruits are filled with antioxidants that also minimize the risk of heart disease and help regulate blood pressure.
It may taste and smell strong, but it has a stronger effect on our bodies. Due to its useful chemical allicin, garlic is known to fight off viruses such as cold and flu. It also lowers cholesterol levels in our bodies.
If you thought citrus fruit was the best source of vitamin C, think again. Broccoli is full of vitamins A, C and E. Also, eating raw broccoli is more beneficial for you in terms of nutrients, than eating it cooked.
This vegetable can be used in both sweet and savoury foods. It helps heal a sore throat and it lowers cholesterol, at least in animals, according to a study reported by PubMed.
Aside from fruits and vegetables, yogurt is a great source of Vitamin D that helps regulate your immune system. Before you buy, read the label closely and choose yogurt with vitamin D.
If you have any doubts about your diet, consult a health care provider knowledgeable about nutrition. Also, supplements like a good multivitamin, vitamin D and omega-3’s can help to boost your immune system.
PLUS, TWO MORE
Not only do we have to eat healthy, but we also have to exercise. According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, regular exercise can boost our immune system. Exercise is known to increase circulation of both the circula- tory and lymphatic systems, key parts of the immune system.
The final piece of the puzzle is sleep. Most adults need at least seven hours a night, usually more. Over time, cheating on sleep is hard on the body and mind. Fatigue compromises the immune system. Get some extra Zzz’s. There’s no substitute.
More Insights: Check out this awesome article on the 4 myths of supplements.
Author: Nerven Ramadan is a contributing writer for Optimyz Magazine and a nutritionist.