2020 will go down in history as the year a virus changed the way we live our lives, quite possibly forever. Using hand sanitiser, wearing a face covering, being socially distant and the fear of what might be have all become normal for us now. And at the moment, it’s difficult to think of a time when we won’t have the coronavirus on our minds.
Perhaps one of the positives to come out of the global pandemic, is how much we value our health. Never before have we paid so much attention to our immune health in particular, with keeping our immune system as strong as possible at the forefront of many of our minds.
Our immune system is our natural defence against illness and disease, and is a complex system of cells, molecules, tissues and organs. If our immune system is impaired due to illness, medications or a poor diet and unhealthy lifestyle, we can become more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections. So it makes sense to protect it as much as we can.
But how do we do that? Here’s our top tips for supporting good immune health.
1. Eat a diet rich in antioxidant foods. Fruits and vegetables are all rich in antioxidants that help to support a robust immune system. Antioxidants do this by neutralising unstable and harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are caused by smoking, eating processed or fried foods and breathing in environmental pollutants. They’re also created as a by-product of normal biological functions such as breathing and digestion. They can cause damage to the cells of the immune system, but studies show that consuming antioxidants helps to combat this damage, helping to support the integrity of the immune system. Differently coloured fruits and vegetables contain different antioxidants, so aim to eat a varied selection every day. Active, healing honey such as Necta & Hive Jarrah and Red Gum honeys are also an excellent source of antioxidants! Our high TA Necta & Hive Jarrah 22+ TA honey is great for adding to your diet for an immune supporting boost.
2. Get enough sleep. Decent, deep and refreshing sleep doesn’t just help to make us more alert. It also allows the immune system to repair itself, allowing it to be as strong and healthy as possible. Follow our bedtime ritual tips to get your best nights’ sleep!
3. Exercise regularly, but not too strenuously. Moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, jogging or cycling helps to keep levels of inflammation in the body low. Inflammation is a natural immune response, but prolonged, or chronic inflammation can impair the work of the immune system. Vigorous, or sustained exercise can also lead to oxidative stress, which is linked to chronic inflammation, so aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
4. Keep stress under control. Chronic stress can also lead to chronic inflammation, so take steps to keep stress at a manageable level. Practicing yoga, regular mindfulness, a relaxing bath, dinner with friends – whatever you enjoy doing, do it regularly to help manage your stress.
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