Nutrition

The Science Behind Immunity | Boost Your Immune System

Written by Jack Boardman


How To Boost Your Immune System


Your immune system is a network of tissues, organs and cells all working to protect your body from microorganisms and substances that may cause disease and infection. When it’s colder and bugs are being passed around your workplace, if you fall ill it’s very likely that a germ has infiltrated your immune system. The word ‘system’ is notable, as it’s not one entity that has an on/off/power up switch, it’s an entire system that requires balance in order to work efficiently. This is how a focus on overall health can help. A healthy immune system can be maintained by keeping good overall general health. However, there are certain things that you can do and that you should avoid to boost it and stay healthy.

 

Regular aerobic exercise has been proven to boost your immune system in a study by researchers from the University of North Carolina, USA. Probiotics have been found to stimulate the white blood cells – an integral part of your defence system. Along with supplements, a good source is natural yoghurt, which is also high in calcium.


Greek yoghurt Whey Protein


Boost The Immune System

 

Antioxidants and anti-microbial food goods are great for boosting your immune system. Looking for a source? Try porridge oats, which will also keep you in good stead with a dose of carbs in the morning.

 

Vitamins. You’ve probably been told your entire life to take your vitamins, and your immune system is a good reason why.

Vitamin C is highly effective and a deficiency can result in illness. Your best natural sources include oranges, spinach, broccoli and kale, to name a few.

Vitamin B6 is important in supporting biochemical reactions in your immune system. Good natural sources include green veg and chick peas. Get your hummus.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps the body fight off infection. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds and spinach.

Vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D – common in the UK during the autumn and winter months – has been associated with increased symptoms of depression, according to a new study. Vitamin D has been associated with dopamine levels, a chemical linked to mood, in the brain as well as health benefits for the bones, muscles and heart.

 

Furthermore, The Daily Telegraph has reported that vitamin triggers and arms the immune system. Best thing is, it’s free. By getting just fifteen minutes of sunshine a day you are arming your immune system. Supplements are advisable in the winter months when the free source is harder to come by. Garlic is also a good for fighting off colds and fighting infections. If you want to build your immunity but don’t want to smell, go for the capsule form.


vitamin e side effects


Things to Avoid

 

For the many other ways, it is bad for you, smoking has been proven to have a detrimental effect on the immune system.

You won’t catch a cold from walking around in the rain as you were told when you were little, but if your body temperature is low then a dormant cold virus may develop into a nasty cold. A normal, regulated body temperature helps your immune system to fight off germs. Therefore, it’s wise to dry off when you’ve been in the rain and wrap up warm in the colder months.

A good sleep pattern is vital for a strong immune system. Protective cytokines increase in your body during sleep, while inflammatory cells decline. With a good sleep pattern, your body is able to function at its best.


 

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye Reid has a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Physiology and a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Sports Nutrition. Faye has worked with numerous high-profile oranisations, such as Men's Health, Sky Sports, Huddersfield Giants, Warrington Wolves, British Dressage and GB Rowing, providing her expert sports science support. Find out more about Faye's experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/faye-reid-8b619b122/. She puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding.


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