How To Boost Your Immune System

There are several healthy and natural ways to boost your immune system and it’s important to understand how you can help your body protect itself from illness. It’s especially important to do your best to strengthen your immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Here are some of the most effective ways to boost your immune system:


Vitamin D


The implications of Vitamin D deficiency have become clearer over the last few years due to various studies regarding its role in the functioning of the immune system.


Regarding COVID-19, a recent study shows that patients with healthy levels of Vitamin D in their systems had a decreased risk of death and also adverse outcomes as a result of contracting the virus.


Vitamin D is crucial for a functioning immune system and it also has anti inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties.


Vitamin D deficiency is common in the UK due to the lack of sunlight in the winter, so it’s often recommended to supplement during the grey season - it can also help with the winter blues!


Cold Showers


Now this one might take a little more convincing, but it’s free, only takes 30 seconds a day and is wildly invigorating!


I often bang on to my clients about all the benefits of a cold shower, including helping with anxiety and depression, increasing blood flow, improved adaptation to the cold and improved immune function.


One study in 2014 showed that a cold shower caused an adrenaline release in the body, which both reduces the body’s anti inflammatory response to infection and also makes your immune system produce anti inflammatory substances.


Nutrition


You’re probably tired of hearing about balanced diets, but it really is important to the whole health of your mind and body.


The first place to start is empty calories - these are calories that we consume that have no nutrients in them. Things like junk food, sugary snacks and high starch snacks. These are calories that are filling you up with no benefit to your health.


Switch out those empty calories for nutritious foods and not only boost your immune system, but experience less fatigue, less bloating and even decreased anxiety (sugary foods trigger a stress response, meaning the body triggers a release of cortisol).


Here are some nutrients that are key to the functioning of the immune system:


  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Zinc

  • Selenium

  • Iron


Protein


You should eat lots of fruit and veg which are full of nutrients. Examples include citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, kiwi, kale and garlic.


Exercise


We know that exercise is so important for overall wellbeing in a myriad of ways, and one of them includes possible boosted immune system response.


In the short term, exercise can help the immune system find pathogens and deal with them. In the long term it can help reduce the risk of infection by slowing down the altering of the immune system as a result of ageing.


Exercise helps improve blood flow too, enabling the cells and substances of the immune response to move more efficiently throughout the body.


Alcohol


Alcohol compromises the immune system, so it is a good idea to keep consumption moderate, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you drink every day or almost every day, you may have noticed that you get a lot of colds or find infections hard to shake off - alcohol consumption could be compromising the immune response so try cutting out or cutting down.

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