It is important to fuel your body with nutritious options. The way you eat can result in the way you feel.
For instance, see how you feel after eating oily take out versus a home-cooked meal filled with protein, carbs and healthy fats.
Your body reacts to everything you eat and drink as if it is telling you what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ for you.
The way you eat can also largely impact your immune system. Many vitamins and minerals are needed in a daily diet. If vitamins and minerals are neglected, it can result in your body poorly fighting off harmful bacteria.
Vitamin deficiencies can leave you feeling unwell, tired, moody, hungry and can even cause a loss of appetite and loss of hair.
Sufficient intake of vitamins benefits the body in numerous way. For example:
- Vitamin A: Helps in the formation of healthy teeth, bone, skin.
- Vitamin D: Also known as the sunshine vitamin, helps the body absorb calcium and can prevent feelings of fatigue that are apparent if you do not have enough Vitamin D.
- Zinc: supports the immune system.
When looking to increase the health of your immune system there are several lifestyle changes that may need to take place, such as:
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep
The amount of sleep you get dramatically impacts how you feel the next day. It is well known that not getting enough sleep can often be linked to increased risk of catching a cold, fu or virus. When you do have a cold you may notice that you feel tired and sleep more, this is because your body needs rest to recover and for your immune system to fight off the illness.
- Limit your added sugar intake
As good as sugar may taste, sweet treats can become increasingly addictive. Sugar can create a short term high energy spark in your body as it releases dopamine in your brain. This has been known to cause addiction and is why one chocolate bar today can easily lead to two chocolate bars tomorrow. The more sugar consumed, the more likely you are to increase fat and put on weight. If this was to continue, it can cause obesity which is also known to increase your chances of catching a cold, flu or virus.
- Manage your stress levels.
Stress plays a huge role in your immune system. As your body goes into fight or flight mode, your immune system is directly impacted. Being under stress can cause internal inflammation in your body and is often why many feel bloated when stressed. Lowering your daily stress levels through meditation, yoga and exercising can help maintain a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin C
When you feel unwell, one of the first vitamins it may be recommended that you eat or drink is vitamin C. This is because Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells which is a key factor in fighting off infections. Vitamin C can be taken in a supplement form or can be found naturally in a variety of foods such as citrus fruits including, oranges, grapefruits and lemons.
- Eat more whole plant foods.
Whole plant based foods are also known to fight off inflammation in the body. They are packed with the vitamins and minerals that are crucial to maintain a healthy immune system. Whole foods that you can incorporate into your daily diet include fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts.
- Drink plenty of water
Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, lack of focus and problems with digestion. These states can all cause your immune system to weaken and to leave you feeling unwell. To ensure that you are not dehydrated, and to keep your immune system healthy, make sure you are drinking enough water daily. You should drink when you are thirsty and may need more water when you are exercising or in hot climates.
Overall, many lifestyle choices will help maintain a healthy immune system. Having a healthy immune system has never been so important and the above lifestyle changes can easily be incorporated into your daily routine.
Dr Papanicolaou inventor of Pap Smear helps save millions of women’s lives worldwide