Once again we are in the season where we lock ourselves up indoors with a cosy blanket, a hot cup of tea and our loved ones by our side. But what we often neglect is that this change in weather, the arrival of autumn and winter, also brings with it a host of viral respiratory infections and flu.
The last 18 months have been so much about protecting our health and taking precautionary measures around the pandemic, that the temptation is to give up these measures and get back to a normal lifestyle.
This is absolutely the wrong time to neglect our immune health. In this article we have some suggestions for diet and lifestyle measures to help you boost your immunity. O’Connors Pharmacy in Douglas is your trusted partner for advice and our online store has a select range of supplements
During the colder months of the year viruses thrive. We tend to spend more time indoors, in closer proximity to others and with reduced levels of ventilation, hence increasing the chance of infection. Couple that with the fact that most people weren’t exposed to respiratory viruses last winter due to lockdown and you can see that we should remain cautious and boost our immunity
The flu season in Ireland is said to begin in the month of October and can run through to May. So this is exactly where you need to start taking precautions to ensure we can have a healthy winter with our loved ones protected at all times. Here are some steps you can take to improve our immune system through the winter season.
- Eating Healthily. An apple a day, keeps the doctor away? Well, it is a little more complicated than that. Our dietary intake has a significant effect on our immune systems, hence it is really important that we include a wholefood diet, abundant in plant foods to support our whole body and strengthen the immune system. An intake of adequate protein, fibre and essential fatty acids is also vital to keep the gut healthy. Make sure to include ample green vegetables, wholegrains and fruits in your daily diet as these are high in anti-oxidants. Avoid sugar and refined processed foods.
- Supplementary Vitamins and Minerals. There is a range of vitamins and minerals that our body requires to keep our immune system strong. Vitamins C and D are essential for our immune systems. Our body can’t store them and the latter in particular is an issue in winter as the main source is sun light. Vitamin A has a role in several immune processes. Zinc is also required for healthy immune function and again can’t be stored by the body. With an extremely busy lifestyle, it is not easy to make sure you are getting all these in your daily diet. The majority of the population will benefit from a general multivitamin and mineral supplements to keep their immune system strong. Shop for them in our online pharmacy.
- Include Probiotics. Probiotics, also known as the friendly bacteria, support your microbiome (gut bacteria). The digestive system is intrinsically linked to the immune system and supporting it when feeling unwell will boost your immune system. Include foods such as live yoghurt, kefir and sauerkraut in your diet along with supplements to boost your gut health. Probiotics, microflora and digestive enzyme will help boost your microbiome health and strengthen your body’s immunity. We have a great range of probiotics available here.
- Improved Lifestyle. It is hardly news that the past year has completely changed our lifestyles and our approach to various different things. In addition to good nutrition, maintaining healthy weight and regular exercise are known to reduce stress level and hence improve overall wellbeing. Something that we as adults often compromise on is our sleep patterns which in turn effects our health in several ways. It is highly important to get a full hour 8-hour peaceful sleep to rest our body completely and let it heal.
People with weak immune systems are more prone to frequent infections. Practicing good hygiene, eating healthily, improving our lifestyle and including the necessary supplements to our daily diet will not only improve our well being but will also help us through the season without getting sick. And let us enjoy that hot cup of tea with our loved ones just as we like.