Tips to boost your immune system

Your immune system is responsible for defending you against disease-causing micro-organisms. This defence sometimes fails, leading to a successful germ invasion which can make you very sick.

Your lifestyle affects how well your immune system can protect you from these micro-organisms, and living a healthy lifestyle as well as replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep your immune system robust.

Here are some tips to help boost your immunity:

1) Stress Less: Stress exposes the body to a steady cascade of stress hormones – cortisol and adrenalin – which suppress the immune system. Breathe deep when you are stressed out, meditate, or focus on ‘letting go’ to reduce your stress

2) Avoid tobacco smoke: It undermines basic immune defences and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone

3) Get enough sleep: Fatigue increases your susceptibility to illness. Like stress, insomnia can cause an increase in cortisol. A great way to boost your immune system is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night

4) Exercise: Try to get regular exercise. A daily 30-minute walk can help your immune system fight infection. Exercise can also boost your body’s feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better, which is also good for your immune system

5) Diet: Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc.

6) Laugh: This decreases the amount of stress hormones in the body while increasing a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Watch a comedy, it helps your stress hormones drop

7) Vitamin C: This well known vitamin for boosting the immune system is found abundantly in almost all fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also take Vitamin C supplements

8) Zinc: A great immune booster, Zinc is found naturally in red meat, chicken, fish, eggs and legumes

For more advice and help, feel free to ask a Doctor via The Reliance Care App.

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