The Immune System is your body’s natural defense system. It’s a complex network of cells, tissues and organs that link together to defend your body against nasty invaders. These nasties can include bacteria, viruses, parasites, even fungus, all with the potential to make us ill. A healthy immune system protects us by helping to create a barrier to reduce the amount of nasties entering the body. There is no single pill or supplement that will boost your immune system; it is a combination of many factors that will help keep you healthy during the winter months.
Sleep: If you are deprived of sleep you may feel fatigued, irritable and run down, well so does your immune system. During sleep your body has the chance to heal and replenish. Lack of sleep can lead to more colds, flu, and other infections. Try to get at least seven hours sleep to aid healing.
Exercise: Researchers aren’t sure exactly how exercise helps strengthen the immune system but studies do show that people who exercise have better functioning white blood cells. Even just going for a 30 minute brisk walk everyday can help improve your immune function and help to decreases stress levels.
Stress: When your body is under constant stress, you’re more vulnerable to everything from the common cold to major diseases. Look at your lifestyle and see what changes you can make to incorporate relaxation and fun.
Meditation, exercise, hobbies and being with friends help you enjoy life more, thus feeling less stressed.
Healthy Diet: Eating healthily is essential for a strong immune system. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals can boost resistance to infection. Fruit and Vegetables that are dark green, red, yellow and orange are packed with antioxidants. Make sure you drink adequate water everyday; cells need fluid to stay healthy.
Supplements: A professional grade Multivitamin and Mineral taken with a good Antioxidant can help your immune system. During the winter, herbs such as Echinacea, Elderberry, Turmeric, Garlic and Astragalus are know to improve wellbeing. Supplements that include; Selenium, Zinc, the B Vitamins, D, E and C can also be of benefit if taken regularly.
Good relationships, a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep will all help keep your immune system healthy. If you think you are lacking in vitamins or would like to take some herbs to help boast your immune system, talk to a Nutritionist, Herbalist or pop into an independent Health Shop. Don’t take loads of supplements just for the sake of it; what you take, when you take it and the quality of supplements can make a huge difference. It pays to get professional advice.
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