Now, more than ever, keeping your immune system supercharged at all times is vital. We have rounded up 7 pillars of immunity to incorporate into your life.
1. Eat Well
Maintaining a healthy diet keeps the immune system balanced and ready to fight against infection and viruses. By eating a varied diet we can absorb the many vitamins and minerals we need to support a strong immune system.
2. Keep on Moving
Engaging in regular, moderate exercise, such as a daily 30-minute walk can help your immune system to fight infection. If you do not exercise regularly, you are more likely to get colds, for example, than someone who does. Exercise can also help you sleep better, which in turn helps your immune system.
Drinking water can do wonders for your immune system, as it can help your kidneys to flush toxins effectively from the body. It also helps your body produce lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune system cells. Avoid too much of anything that will make you dehydrated – such as coffee – and eat more hydrating foods, such as cucumber, celery and watermelon.
4. Stress Less
Psychological stress actually weakens our immune system, so managing your stress levels is key. Exercise releases endorphins, which make us feel calmer. Other good ways to destress are through creativity, gardening and yoga.
5. Sleep Soundly
Along with stress, sleep deprivation also weakens the immune system, we should aim for 8 hours a night. If you have trouble sleeping, try introducing measures such as avoiding caffeine, using ear plugs, wearing an eye mask or picking up a nice pillow spray to help you drift off. If you’re still struggling, make sure to talk to our team in your local CarePlus Pharmacy.
6. Vitamin D
There are three main sources of vitamin D – diet, sunshine and supplements. However, it is difficult to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D from our diet and the (lack of) sun – so a supplement is key. A recent Oireachtas report stated that Irish adults have an alarming level of vitamin D deficiency nationwide, due to a lack of sunlight (in particular UVB rays) as well as longer working hours indoors. Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to worse health outcomes in relation to COVID-19. Ask your CarePlus Pharmacist about a vitamin D supplement.
7. Super Supplements
A deficiency of single nutrients available in supplements such as zinc, selenium, iron, copper and folic acid, along with vitamins A, B6, C, D and E can alter the way in which your immune system functions. It’s useful to get a blood test at your GP to make figure out what – if anything – you are deficient in, then pop into your local CarePlus Pharmacy to pick up what you need.