2020 has been a challenge worldwide. No doubt you are wondering 'Is there anything I can do to improve my immunity?'. We have put together a list of some practices that can assist.
Evidence suggests there are some things we can do to improve our immunity. This includes the following:
- Keeping up your Vegetable & Fruit intake
Current research suggests that ensuring you have a variety of vegetables and fruit is key to improving immunity. Current recommendations suggest aiming for a minimum of 5 serves of vegetables/salads per day and 2 serves of fruit per day. Having a variety of these foods will help make sure you don't fall short of your requirements in : zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E & more. If you are finding it difficult you may invest in a multivitamin as a supplement however remember a supplement does not make up for eating real foods. Increasing your vegetable and fruit intake can bring about changes in your gut bacteria for the better by also increasing your overall fibre intake. If you are not sure where to start or how to make this easier; our Dietitians are here to help.
- Probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics contist of LIVE good bacteria. In addition to helping with the digestion of food, they also help breakdown disease-causing cells and help produce vitamins. Probiotics may play a role in increasing our body's immune response. They can be found in foods such as: Yoghurt, yeast, fermented foods or in the form of supplements.
Prebiotics are found in fibrous foods such as fruits and vegetables and provide nutrition to the gut bacteria to help maintain a balance. Studies have suggested that prebiotics can improve the immune system by increasing anti-inflammatory markers! Again, if you are struggling with this - speak to one of our Dietitians or consider adding a fibre booster to your drinks.
- Keeping an eye on stress levels, sleep and exercise
Ensuring you are able to manage your stress levels, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly will help keep your immune system functioning well. You may notice those times when you haven't been able to keep up with any of the above that eventually it may catch up to you and your body lets you know of that! All of the above help contribute towards good health.
- Minimizing intake of alcohol and smoking
We know drinking alcohol and smoking can have an impact on our overall health therefore our immune systems also. Reducing the intake will assist the body in continuing on with it's day to day processes. Alcohol intake is also associated with changing the way bacteria interacts within our guts .
- Practice good hygiene
Keep up with the WHO recommendations of washing hands safely, cough or sneeze on to your elbow and sanitize items such as your phone regularly.
How do I put this to practice?
If you have identified areas to make some changes in and need help with the nutrition side of things, book an appointment with one of our Dietitians today. These can be conducted online or on the phone.
Always confirm with your practitioner before starting a new regime, supplements and vitamins.
It's always recommended to follow your countries guidelines and keeping up to date with WHO guidelines.
Science is always changing!