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Five ways to boost your immune system this winter

by Megan Tidbury
Five ways to boost your immune system this winter

Your immune system is the first port of call when fighting infections and diseases. Keeping it in good condition is important to staying happy and healthy. To help, we have put together five ways to help boost your immunity this winter.

immune system

1. Get plenty of sleep

Immunity and your sleep are a lot more closely tied than you may think. It is suggested by the NHS, that prolonged lack of and poor-quality sleep can disrupt the immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses like colds and the flu.

Adults should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. However, it is reported that 45% of Brits get less than seven hours of sleep a night.

If you are having trouble sleeping, here are some top tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Have a regular bedtime routine to help you wind down
  • Avoid electronic devices for an hour before bed
  • Sleep in a dark room or use an eye mask
  • Regular exercise during the day

immune system

2. Undertake moderate exercise

Your immune system is very responsive to exercise, and studies show that there is a relationship between doing moderate exercise training and decreasing the risk of illness.

Moderate exercise can improve the defence activity that your immune system undertakes as well as your metabolic health.

Other studies have found that people who exercise more than two or more days a week have half as many days off work due to cold or the flu as people who do not exercise. This is because exercise helps your immune cells regenerate regularly.

Examples include:

  • Walking for 30 minutes
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Weight training at the gym

immune system

3. Stay hydrated 

Your immune system relies on a well-hydrated body for it to function optimally. The cells within your immune system require nutrients to fight infections and illnesses.  Water also helps to absorb these and transport them through the bloodstream.

Preventing dehydration is vital for your overall health & wellbeing.

Did you know your organs absorb a majority of your daily recommended amount of water before reaching your skin?  (six to eight glasses is the recommended daily amount)

Here a couple of top tips for keeping yourself hydrated:

  • Consider investing in a water bottle that helps to visualise and monitor your daily water intake
  • Infuse your water with slices of fruit
  • Fruits and vegetables with a high water content contribute to your daily intake (cucumbers, melons and tomatoes are prime examples)

    immune system

    4. Maintain a healthy diet

    Several foods can help strengthen your immune system and are easily incorporated into a variety of meals for you to enjoy. Eating a balanced diet of the right proportion of nutrients and antioxidants may give you a boost against harmful pathogens.

    Fruits, vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil and salmon help decrease inflammation within your immune system, inflammation tends to occur during illness.

    Fermented foods are a great way of ingesting probiotics, bacteria that gives your immune system a boost. These can include yoghurts, kimchi and kefir.

    Green Magic

    5. Supplements

    Whilst you can get most of your vitamins and minerals from nutritious foods, you might still have nutritional gaps. These can be filled with immunity supplements to help improve your immune response.

    Vitamin D is essential to the functioning of your immune system. Usually, the body creates this from direct sunlight, however, during the winter months it is a great idea to take this in supplement form due to lessening sunlight.

    Superfood blends like Green Magic can also help support your immune system with its excellent source of vitamins and minerals. There are high levels of antioxidants in each serving, and it contributes towards your five-a-day. Available in both a powder and capsule form, this supplement is a simple way to get the nutrients your body needs without the fuss.

    Even better, you can incorporate the Green Magic powder into your cooking to create some tasty and nutritious meals that you can share with us @officialprotocoluk.

     

    You can check out our full range of immune system care supplements to help strengthen your immune system in these cold winter months.