- Sleep - a good night’s shut-eye is super important for our immunity. During the night, when we sleep, our body is busy repairing and detoxing all our systems and organs to ensure maximum function. Cytokines are proteins that target infections, and therefore important in our immune defence and these are made during sleep at night. The effectiveness of T-cells, one type of immune cells, is also helped by sleep.
- Sunshine - the sun gives us light and warmth (especially appreciated during the winter months) and also Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays an important role in enhancing the function of immune cells, including T-cells and macrophages, which protect us from invasions by viruses and bacteria. So go and enjoy the outside! Go for a walk, a bike ride, have a picnic, potter around in the garden etc. Fresh air and sunshine are so important in keeping us well. All we need is 10-20 minutes in the middle of the day without sunscreen and/or sunglasses to get enough Vitamin D. Please remember however that care and protection are needed to avoid sun damage when spending longer times in the sun.
- Nutritious food - what we eat has a huge impact on our immune system, so choose well. Especially important to our immune system are vitamin A, Beta carotene, vitamin C and D and zinc. Here are a few examples of vegetables, fruit, fats, protein, herbs and spices specifically indicated to nourish our immune system.
Our immune system is designed to keep us in continuous optimal health and is dependent on many factors which either strengthen or weaken it. Our general health plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Here are three easy steps you can take in order to boost your immune system so the likelihood of succumbing to illness is much smaller:
Monica leads NordicHealth, a naturopathic and remedial massage clinic in Cremorne on Sydney’s North Shore.