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Boost your immune system

With even the most health conscience amongst us.  People who experience high levels of stress tend to get sick more than others. Combine stress with lack of sleep and poor nutrition, and our immune system’s ability to naturally protect itself against bacteria and infection is greatly reduced.

Eat Right:  Maintain a healthy weight, eat when you’re hungry rather than eating 3 large meals a day, try 5-6 small meals a day which include protein and fruit and or vegetables and whole grains. Some nutrients and foods that have been found to enhance the immune system include:

  • Vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus fruit and broccoli
  • Vitamin E-rich foods, like nuts and whole grains
    Garlic
  • Zinc-rich foods, like beans, turkey, crab, oysters, and beef
  • Bioflavanoids, which are found in fruits and vegetables
  • Selenium-rich foods, like chicken, whole grains, tuna, eggs, sunflower seeds, and brown rice
  • Carotenoid-rich foods, like carrots and yams
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, found in nuts, salmon, tuna, mackerel, flaxseed oil, and hempseed oil.

Regular and Restorative Sleep: Getting regular 7-8 hours sleep is so important in boosting your immunity. To make sure you are getting enough quality sleep, avoid caffeinated drinks (and other stimulants), decongestants, tobacco, and alcohol. Alcohol can assist falling into a light sleep, but it interferes with REM and the deeper stages of sleep, which are restorative.

Manage Stress:  When the body is relaxed, it can cope with the everyday stress of  life more effectively.  According to the National Institute of Health, hormones (like cortisol) that hang around during chronic stress can put us at risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other illnesses. These stress hormones can work in two ways, either switching off disease-fighting white blood cells or triggering a hyperactive immune system, which increases your risk of developing auto-immune diseases. So find ways to de-stress a few times per week, whether you exercise, practice yoga, meditate, or take a relaxing bath.  Sometimes, all you need to do is give yourself some love, care and attention and in doing so,  your mind and body will relax.  The knock on effect is that you feel better, you take better care of yourself, you feel happier, and all these put together have a direct effect on boosting your immunity.

Along with getting regular 7-8 hours sleep, eating a healthy diet containing fresh fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight and taking regular exercise; Complementary therapies can help to restore the body’s balance.  Here are some popular therapies that can help get you back on the right path to good health and wellbeing:

Reflexology:  Based on a system of reflex areas in the feet correspond to every organ, gland and part of the body.  Reflexology is a great way to relax and help clear every blocks caused by nervous stress and tension.

Massage: Regular therapeutic massage sessions provide significant benefits beyond the immediate relaxation we enjoy.  Clinical studies have indicated that regular massage not only helps alleviate stress, but can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity (the activity level of the body’s natural “killer cells”) and decrease the number of T-cells, which improves the body’s immune functioning overall.
Naturally enhances the body’s ability to get nourishment to important areas

Helpful Wellness Tip: Massage therapy may be a great addition to your exercise program. Just like regular exercise can keep your muscles strong, regular massage can help keep your immune system performing at its peak.

Author Info

Allison Drayton