5 Tips To Help Boost Your Immune System
We all know that a healthy and strong immune system is vital in enabling us to fight off colds, flu and other nasty viruses. When we are run down, tired or in general ill health, we can be at a greater risk because of a weakened immune system.
On the whole, your immune system does a great job of defending you against disease-causing germs. But sometimes it fails us, we pick up a germ and it makes us sick. We should not forget that our immune system is just that, a system, and a complicated one at that. So unfortunately, there are no 'magic bullets'. But there are things we can do to make sure we stay in good general health and give our body a fighting chance of starving off illness and encouraging a quick recovery.
In this blog, we cover 5 basic tips to help boost your immune system over the coming winter months.
1. Get some sleep.
The first and easiest way to ensure your immune system is working at full strength is to get a good night's sleep. If you are continually not getting enough sleep or having disrupted nights then your body isn't getting the time it needs to rejuvenate properly.
Prolonged lack of sleep can seriously disrupt your immune system, so you're less able to fend off bugs and illness. If you find yourself not getting enough sleep, there’s really only one way to improve it: by getting more sleep!
If you can't remember the last time you woke up naturally and are always woken by an alarm, try going alarm free at the weekend. Grabbing a couple of extra hours sleep and a natural wake up may do you a world of good. Many studies have shown that people who only get 6 hours sleep or less a night are far more likely to catch colds regularly and have a higher susceptibility to other viruses.
2. Do some moderate exercise.
There's no need to go running marathons, which may have the opposite effect if you aren't an athlete, but studies have shown that just a single session of moderate exercise can reduce inflammation in the body and help immune cells regenerate regularly.
Starting a small exercise plan (and sticking to it) can help keep your immune system in good condition, as well as your bones and heart. Try a brisk walk, some steady and relaxed cycling, swimming or a good hike at the weekend. Even if the thought of exercise sends you running to hide under the duvet, just a small walk around the block each day can bring a lot of health benefits and boost your immune system.
3. Eat well.
Your immune system is like an army and it fights best on natural foods. It needs good nourishment to be as effective as possible. The best way to get all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs is through a well-balanced diet of natural whole foods. As well as the fruit and vegetables we all should be thinking about, nuts and seeds are rich in protein, fibres, and healthy fats that may give you an upper hand against harmful pathogens. A healthy balance is essential for a well functioning immune system.
Our Raw Vitamin Honey is boosted with Vitamins C, B6, B12 and Echinacea. A single teaspoon contains 25% of your recommended daily allowance of these vitamins, which help support your immune system and would be a great addition to a more health focused diet.
4. Stay hydrated.
Fluids are a crucial part of our bodies’ function, helping maintain and improve everything from our eyes to our immune system. The nutrients in our bloodstream are crucial to keeping our immune system in the best condition, and the blood stream is mostly water.
Keeping hydrated also helps lymph production; lymph fluid travels throughout the body collecting bacteria which is then taken to the lymph nodes and destroyed. Keeping your water intake up helps to keep your body's natural fighters strong and active. There are many ways to get your daily recommendation of fluids, from simple water to herbal teas, coconut water or unsweetened fruit juices.
5. Reduce your stress levels.
I realise this might be easier said than done! Many of us have busy and stressful home and work lives but it's important to have good mental health as well as being physically healthy. Many studies have come forth showing the link between mental health and physical health, with one of the most well-known being that the more stressed you are, the lower your immunity gets.
The stress hormone corticosteroid can suppress your immune system, lowering your number of white blood cells to fight invading bacteria and viruses. While being stressed for a job interview likely won’t ruin your body, long term stress can put your immune system at risk.
There is not one guaranteed cure to reduce how stressed you are, but some simple tips include taking more time to relax, exercising, eating a balanced diet, and talking to friends and family. For the more adventurous among us, Yoga is a great way to relax the body and mind and help you become more aware and in control of your body's general health.
More than anything having a healthy immune system is about having a healthy balanced diet. Cutting out processed foods and eating natural products when possible is a great way to start boosting your immune system back to its maximum potential, especially over the winter months. Here at Just Bee we believe that our raw honey, using only natural ingredients is a healthy and delicious way to start improving your diet and overall health. Boosted with Vitamins C, B6 and B12 it will also support your body's immune system, enabling you to fight off viruses and make a swift recovery from common seasonal illnesses like colds and flu.
So eat well, sleep well and be well.