Monday, 9 March 2020

Boost your immune system

We can all do things to boost our immune system which will help to fight off germs that we encounter.

I am very keen to keep the panic down about whatever might or might not be circulating right now – but we all need to be able to deal with the myriad of bugs that always  circulate , especially at this time of the year.  

We are bombarded with pathogens all the time – our white cells step up to the mark and deal with these invasions.  A healthy lifestyle will mean that your body is in the best condition to deal with these onslaughts.  

·        Starting with our gut microbiomes – these form protective barriers and programme our immune systems.  Inflammatory diseases reduce the number of good gut bacteria (as does being old).  We can help by eating a varied, high fibre diet.  The addition of fermented foods is thought to help – have such things as kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi for example.  

·        Skin microbiomes are important – too much UVA is damaging as is over washing with strong soap. 

·         Exercise is an imperative for immunologically fitness.  Exercise helps to mobilise the otherwise somewhat sedentary white cells.  We should be aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week.  And as we always say – older people are not exempt – we all need to exercise too (if you’re not sure what to do – just ask - it’s what I do all the time)

·        An additional benefit is that exercise reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, and that helps to boost immunity.  

·        Keep the alcohol levels down – heavy drinking depletes our immune cells 

·        Watch your Vitamin D levels – you might need a boost in the winter with a good quality supplement

·         Get some sleep – a tired body is much more susceptible to bugs

·        Oh -and yes – wash your hands – not just because there’s a new bug on the block – but because it’s a good, basic hygiene discipline!  

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