6 Tips for Boosting Your Immune System

6 Tips for Boosting Your Immune System
There’s nothing worse than that first ‘aaaa-choo’ as you feel those classic body aches and sniffles of an oncoming cold kicking in. But whilst this is something all of us would like to avoid, now more than ever we’re feeling the importance of staying well and being free from more serious illnesses. As the current lockdown continues many of us are asking the same questions – how we can boost our immune systems and protect ourselves against the spreading virus? Whilst yes, social distancing and regularly washing your hands for those recommended 20 seconds should be your top priority, there are a couple of lifestyle changes you can make to try and keep yourself in tip top shape!

Feeling Stressed?

Don’t you often find that after an extremely busy or stressful period you always seem to come down with a cold or virus? Turns out ‘worrying yourself sick’ is a real thing, with lots of emerging evidence showing the great connection between our minds and bodies and how stress hormones such as cortisol can compromise immune function.

Before your stress levels send your body into total meltdown, it’s time to create some healthy habits that keep you feeling calm; be that meditation, mindful activities or simply talking more openly about your anxieties. Not sure where to start with looking after your mental health during lockdown? Check out our latest blogpost.

Stuck on the Sofa? Get Moving

To have a fighting fit immune system, you need to be physically fit too! It’s no secret that exercise is great for our general good health, and therefore contributes to having a healthy immune system too. More directly, it also promotes good circulation, allowing the cells of our immune system to move freely and do their job more efficiently.

So, don’t let being stuck inside all day stop you from getting moving! Get that heart rate up with home HIIT workouts, your daily run or walk, dancing in your kitchen or even an overly competitive board game! But remember, quality over quantity. If you’re not used to doing much running or HIIT training, ease in gently. Going from a struggling stair climber to a half-marathon runner is another sure-fire way to increase your stress hormones and weaken your immune system.

Eating Beige? Up Your Vitamin Intake

When it comes to eating to boost your immune health, let’s start with the basics – eating a variety of nutrient dense, colourful fruits, veggies and whole foods. With the immune system living in our gastro-intestinal system, it’s no surprise that gut health is also key, and having a healthy gut will mean you have less susceptibility to infections! Make sure you’re feeding that gut with plenty of it’s favourite high fibre foods like veggies, pulses, fermented foods and wholegrains.

Our bodies cannot make Vitamin C, so eating plenty of foods high in this is a winner for helping to protect your body from infections and stimulating the formation of antibodies to fight off those unwanted bodily intruders. And don’t forget about your protein intake, as getting plenty of protein from lean animal sources or plant-based products can help to build and repair tissues that support a healthy immune system.

Feeling overwhelmed? We’ve got you! Our Free Soul nutrition blends are full of protein and are specifically formulated with premium ingredients that provide all the key macro and micro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need to stay well. So instead of panicking about what vitamins you’ve eaten during the day, just whip up a shake and breathe easy!

Boozing Hard? It’s Time to Cut Down

If your current lockdown coping mechanism is emptying the wine rack at breakneck pace, it might be time to slow down a little!

If you want to boost your immune system, it’s time to cut back on booze as heavy drinking depletes our immune cells and some research also suggests that the body’s first line of defence is not as effective in those who have had a lot of alcohol. Drop the nightly cocktail competitions and opt for a more medicinal measure instead!

Sweet Tooth? Go Easy

We might all be trying to rival Mary Berry to cure isolation boredom, but a high sugar intake can increase inflammation in the body and can affect the cells in your immune system that target bacteria. If you’re eating a lot of refined sugars, it’s also likely that you’re consuming a lot of processed, low nutrient foods, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and therefore lower immune health.

But don’t worry, we’re not here to tell you to take away everything fun! If you’ve got a sugar craving that needs scratching, here’s some of our favourite healthier recipes to keep you busy (and well-fed!) during lockdown.

Not Getting Those Zzz’s?

Sleep is one of the most underrated contributors to our health and wellbeing, including your immunity! When we sleep, our immune system is working optimally, and our bodies are focusing on our three-favourite r’s; resting, repairing and recovering!

So, with that commute going from 45 minutes to 30 seconds, and no need for normal make-up routines or crack of dawn gym classes, now is the time to make sure you’re getting those 8-10 hours – so go get that beauty sleep!