Proven Steps to Strengthen Your Immune System
On average we suffer from 2.5 colds a year. So, the average person spends around 20 days each year coughing and blowing through inflamed nostrils. For every person who has a cold there are two or three others who are infected but don't develop the more uncomfortable and serious symptoms.
Would you prefer to have an effective way to avoid that run down and miserable feeling? There are proven steps you can take to strengthen your immune system, and taking other precautions.
Get plenty of sleep – at least 7 hours a day and preferably 8. If you miss out on this then catch up with relaxation exercises, meditation and warm soaks in the bath before going to sleep – this will help deepen the quality of your sleep. Lavender oils in the water and a milky drink will also help. Not getting enough sleep can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system by up to 50%,
Make sure you have those 5 portions of fruit and veg – particularly important are carrots, peas, broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, blackcurrants, oranges, blueberries and (not just for Xmas) – sprouts!
Vitamin C is a safe vitamin to take as a supplement and is available as part of multivitamin tablets. If you are in doubt about any condition you have which you may feel could be affected by taking a supplement you should always consult your GP.
FRESH HEALTHY FOODS
Avoid too much convenience food and fatty foods – these can put stress on your digestive system and can weaken your ability to extract the vitamins and nutrients from your good food.
An average adult needs 40g to 60g of protein daily. If you are vegetarian, grains, rice, cereals, eggs and dairy products are all high in protein. Vegans should eat plenty of tofu and other soya-based foods, sprouted seeds and nuts. Selenium and zinc are two key minerals essential for a healthy immune system and zinc is found in most red meat, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, milk, cheese and wholegrain cereals. The British Dietetic Association warns that people who do not eat enough protein, could have a weaker immune system.
Keep your hands clean. Viruses will spread from your hand to others via telephones, taps, files, door handles, communal mugs in offices, and when shaking hands with someone that has a cold.
Exercising boosts your natural immunity and general health. Just 30 minutes a day, five times a week, will improve blood circulation and help keep your immune system strong.
However, be careful not to exercise to excess as competitive athletes are often found to have lower antibody levels than sedentary people and some have fewer white cells.
Smoking damages your immune system and can put you at a much higher risk of a range of common infections such as sore throats and tonsillitis, but worse than that the chest is the most vulnerable area. Smoke contains toxins that allow bacteria and viruses to get a hold. A simple cold that a non-smoker can shake off can cause a chest infection in a 20-a-day smoker. If you are a smoker than it is even more important to take note of the other lifestyle changes listed above to help strengthen and support your immune system.
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