Ways to boost your immune system
No specific food or supplement will prevent us for catching a serious infection like COVID-19/Coronavirus. Good hygiene practice remains the best means of avoiding infection. However there are plenty of small things we can do that may strengthen our immune system.
From supplements to exercise to nutrition, we thought we’d share some of the natural ways we’ve been making sure we stay fighting fit at Twist HQ – or rather Twist WFH (Working From Home).
We’ve been eating our fruit and vegetables. These foods are fantastic for increasing your immune system. They contain various antioxidants that help fight against free radicals which can instigate inflammation within the body. Most fruit and veg contain a variety of macronutrients your body needs, for example, vitamin C which is required for development, repair and growth of all bodily tissues. It also produces antibodies which counteract hostile microbes and helps stimulate many types of white blood cells which help in fighting off illness. There’s an abundant of vitamins in tea, especially vitamin C, which is fantastic news for us at Twist Teas!
We’ve reduced our added sugar intake. There is of course a significant link between added sugars and being overweight or obese. Being obese may lead to a higher potential of getting ill. Studies have shown this whereby people who are obese are twice as likely to get the flu, even if they have had a vaccine. Reducing sugar intake can aid weight loss and reduce inflammation within the body. Your daily sugar intake should be no more than 7.5% of your daily intake, therefore, for someone who has 2000 calories, they should only have 32.5 grams of sugar. However some of us are finding it incredibly hard to keep to these levels during lockdown. So we’ve been drinking copious amounts of tea from our Puds Without Sin range including Mint Humbug, Lemon Drizzle, Banana Shake and Minty Allsorts. They don’t contain any sugar or artificial sweeteners and really deliver on flavour.
We’ve been exercising. Now this doesn’t mean we’ve all been doing crazy intense sprinting or weight lifting. Moderate exercise is a brilliant way to help boost your immune system. Physical activity helps antibodies and white blood cells become more active, meaning they’re more ready to fight illness. Exercise may also help your immune cells regenerate more regularly. We’ve all been making the most of our limited time outdoors by doing moderate exercise like walking, jogging and cycling – whilst keeping a safe distance from anyone we meet.
Decrease stress. Being able to manage your stress is a great way of reducing the chance of illness but it’s not easy especially at the moment. Increased stress levels may cause imbalances in immune cell functions which inhibit the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens. This is because the stress hormone corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system. Stress will also see a growth in inflammation within the body. Easy and fun ways to reduce stress is to do some exercise and stretching. This releases endorphins which activate the opioid receptors within the brain making you feel a sense of euphoria and accomplishment. It also helps minimise discomfort. Stretching is particularly helpful because it increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system which enhances relaxation. We’ve found it easier to complete a 20-minute stretch session whilst WFH. But beware, if followed by a cup of Chamomile Yawn it can lead to a daytime nap as well!