A healthy immune system is vital for preventing infection and disease. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk of more severe consequences following contraction as their immune system is already compromised. Lifestyle choices have a significant effect on your immunity, therefore it's important to look after our immune system all year round, especially as we begin to age and during flu season. There are many ways to improve our immune system, with nutrition and other lifestyle factors being paramount.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Here's our advice on boosting your Immune System!
YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM IS YOUR INTERNAL DEFENSIVE ARMY!
Your immune system is made up of a network of processes, cells, and chemicals that attempt to stamp out invading pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, and toxins. However, sometimes the initial battle is lost and a germ successfully invades your system and makes you sick. Thankfully it is possible to set up the trench against the imposters, boost your artillery and speed up recovery. You can optimize your diet, take specific vitamins and herbal supplements and alter your lifestyle to produce an enhanced response.
The most effective way to improve how well you combat viruses and bacterial infections is through lifestyle choices. This is your daily routine and habits! These are the most effective strategies;
BECOME A GREEN MACHINE
Research has shown a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly, demonstrating that what we eat influences the strength of our immune system. “Micronutrient malnutrition” seems to be at the core of this issue. This is when a person is deficient in specific vitamins and minerals. If you suspect your diet is not varied enough or you don’t like vegetables, then you're probably not consuming enough of these essential nutrients.
A well-respected health claim is that you should aim to eat a “rainbow” of foods. By eating various colourful fruits and vegetables you are more likely to consume greater amounts of phytonutrients, which improves immunity and reduces the risk of infection. This problem can also be solved via supplementation. A daily multivitamin will help you reach the recommended daily intake and boost your immune system. PNI SUPER MULTI VIT & MINERAL contains high doses of immune-boosting nutrients with additional benefits. PNI SUPER MULTI VIT & MINERAL also contains prebiotics & probiotics, which have been shown to boost our immune system. This is the good bacteria that improve our gut health.
Exercise is another key component to a healthy and disease-free life. Exercise can lower pressure, reduce stress, control body weight and improve cardiovascular function. Therefore exercise, just like a healthy balanced diet, contributes to overall good health and therefore supports your immunity. One of the main ways exercise has this effect is by improving circulation, this enables active cells and chemicals of your immune system to work effectively. Additionally, exercise increases the release of endorphins, the “happy” or “pleasure” hormones, making exercise great for stress relief, which also has damaging effects on our immune system. You should aim to meet the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per day or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise. It’s also advised to do at least two strength-training sessions per week. BRING SALLY UP, BRING SALLY DOWN (youtube it!)
SOLDIERS NEED THEIR REST!!!
Sleep is a major part of a healthy lifestyle. Whilst we sleep our body recovers and regenerates, making sufficient sleep vital for our immune system function. Essential immune cells, such as white blood cells, are predominantly produced and utilized whilst sleeping. Therefore, when we don’t get enough sleep, our immune system isn't as strong, making us more susceptible to harmful invaders.
A method to increase your chances of getting a productive night’s sleep is to turn off the electronics at least 2 hours before bed. Yes, that means no scrolling through Facebook right before behind to get some shut-eye. You can naturally optimise your hormones, stress levels and increase relaxation by supplementing with ZMA MAX.
In recent years, modern medicine has come to appreciate the mind-body connection. Emotional stress has a big effect on our immune system. When we feel low and stressed we are at a higher cardiac risk and are more likely to feel unwell physically and fall ill.
Allowing ourselves to be stressed over whether coronavirus will stop Liverpool from winning the Premier League and focusing on other uncertainties can raise cortisol levels. When cortisol levels are consistently high they block the immune system from functioning optimally, making us more susceptible to losing the battle against germs.
It is impossible to remove stressful situations from our lives, but we can control how we respond to them. Beneficial activities include meditation, mindfulness exercises, drawing, and reading. Mobile phone apps such as ‘Headspace’ and ‘Calm’ can help you have a productive mindfulness session. You should try to do one stress-reducing activity per day. Start by going for a walk in the sunshine, this will also boost vitamin D in the body, which also boosts immunity. NOW MARCH! But enjoy it.
If you struggle with stress or if stress affects your productivity there are supplements available. Nootropics are supplements that contain adaptogens, these are natural substances that help us adapt to and resist stressors. PNI Brain Fuel contains researched back ingredients that are proven to enhance mental clarity and awareness, and reduce stress.
BEING A DRUNKEN SOLDIER WON’T HELP!!!
Research has shown an increased susceptibility to infection with chronic heavy alcohol consumption. The trick is knowing where to draw the line, experts suggest that you should limit your consumption to two drinks per day, but this is vague. To put it simply, the more alcohol you drink the more you compromise your immune system. If you do have a few drinks, Pure Labs Milk Thistle helps remove toxins from your liver, boosts liver health and remedies hangovers.
SUPPLEMENTS! BULLETPROOF YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM!
In no way should supplements replace a healthy lifestyle but they can assist and improve the benefits. If you are concerned for your immune system health or want to maximise your defense then check these out;
PNI Heart Health - formulated to help people live longer, healthier, more active lives and prevent heart disease, which is the largest killer in Western Europe. It works by improving blood flow and optimising blood pressure and cholesterol.
PNI Super Fish Oils - This supplement contains very high doses of both EPA and DHA, which improves cardiovascular health, enhancing cognitive function and promotes stronger bones and joints. This is also a good source of fat that promotes cell health and fights inflammation.
PNI Multi-Vitamin & Mineral - Packed with over 20 ingredients to improve the immune system and well-being. PNI multi-vitamin & mineral has a multitude of health benefits, including increased energy levels and improved muscle function.
PNI Super D3 - One of the key vitamins for a healthy immune system. It is recommended for everyone in the UK to supplement vitamin D as we spend a lot of time indoors and don’t get as much sun as other parts of the world. Vitamin D also supports bone health.
PNI Vitamin C - Vitamin C is one of the most popular immune-boosting supplements on the market, and for good reason. It has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of the common cold and speed up recovery. Vitamin C boosts white blood cell formation and fights free radicals.
Everyone needs to look after their immune system health, however, it becomes more essential as we age and during flu season. We can improve how well our internal army operates (immune function) by optimising our lifestyle. The most effective ways are to eat a balanced diet, loaded with fruit and vegetables, get adequate sleep, exercise daily and reduce stress. If you don’t like vegetables, a multi-vitamin is advised as your immune system may begin to weaken at a faster rate. Other supplements can assist your lifestyle and promote a stronger immune system.