Immune system is our best defense and what we eat can have an impact.
There seem to be no ending to the Covid-19 pandemic. While early thoughts of life finally resuming some normalcy, the numbers of cases shot back up. Number of daily reported cases is setting record high day after day.
Life continues – might it be daily routines, work, and school. But is there anything you can to better protect you and your family?
It is time to call on our inner hero – our immune system! After all, our immune system is one of the most effective forms of defense against everything aiming to harm us.
Get into action. It is critical to improve the immune system of you and your family now.
Here is how.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat healthy and balanced diet.
- Supplement wisely.
How do you get enough sleep?
Tip: Set a routine every day before sleeping helps.
Here is the checklist to follow.
- Give yourself time to wind-down and relax before going to bed.
- Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time each morning, including weekends.
- Switch off gadgets and television.
- Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature.
- Do avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime.
Getting enough sleep strengthen your immune system. If you are an adult, you should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep. For teenagers, they need about 8-10 hours and younger children need about 14 hours. (source: CDC)
How to eat a healthy and balanced diet?
Tip: Keep a food journal for at least a month.
Here is what you need to identify.
- Write down everything that you eat and drink, no matter how small it seems.
- Write in detail including on how the food was prepared (e.g. fried, steam, boiled, etc.).
- Do it now. You can write it down or take a picture. But remember to record it.
- If writing is difficult, try searching for mobile apps.
Keeping a food journal helps keeps us alert. It sheds a light at our eating pattern such as are we eating too much fried food, too much processed food, too much sugary drinks, not having enough colors in food choices, etc. We will be more aware of our choices and encourages us to be more mindful in choosing a healthy and balanced diet.
Our daily diet is the main source for energy and nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. A healthy and balanced diet helps your body cells to function optimally, including immune cells. While a poor nutrition can compromise it.
How to exercise for immunity?
Tip: For building immunity, go for regular and moderate exercise.
Here is how to do it.
- Get at least 150 minutes or 20 minutes daily of moderate aerobic activity.
- Get at least twice a week of strength training exercises a week.
- Get active by reducing sitting time as much as possible.
- Keep a workout journal or workout apps for tracking and planning.
A regular and moderate exercise can boost the immune system. While a prolonged intense exercise can suppress your immune system. Studies indicate that even a single session of moderate exercise can boost the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems (23Trusted Source). Examples of moderate exercise include brisk walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, and light hiking.
How to supplement wisely?
Tip: Supplement is a convenient and affordable way to boost up your immunity.
Here is how to do it wisely.
- Do understand the supplement prior to consumption.
- Do take your supplement according to the directions on label.
- Do properly store supplements according to directions on label.
- Do consult your physician prior to any supplement regime if you are pregnant, breast-feeding or recently sick.
- Do consult with your physician prior to any supplements regime if you are on medications, have certain medical problems or are going to have surgery.
- Keep a journal to ensure consistent consumption of the supplement.
A deficiency of single nutrients such as Vitamin C, D and Zinc can alter the body’s immune response. Meanwhile consumption of certain herbals such as black elderberry, echinacea and garlic help to boost immunity.
Black elderberry is the latest rising star for immunity booster herb. But not all black elderberry is equal. The stardom of Black elderberry was based on various clinical studies showing it helps in
- Boost immunity in healthy individuals [barak].
- Boost immunity against pathogens and bacterial infections.
- Prevent the spreading of viruses.
- Boost cytokines production against virus infection
Most clinical studies uses a specific black elderberry extract known as Sambucol®. Sambucol® is developed by scientist, recommended by experts, and trusted by parents. It is produced using a unique formulation and extraction process which preserves and maximizes the naturally occurring health benefits flavonoids (naturally occurring antioxidants) of black elderberry. Other products are produced differently and may not have similar therapeutic effects of Sambucol®.
After all, our immune system is one of the most effective forms of defense against viral infections. It deserves the best.
- CDC – How Much Sleep Do I Need? – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2017). Https://Www.Cdc.Gov/Sleep/About_sleep/How_much_sleep.
- CDC – Tips for Better Sleep – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (2016). https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/sleep_hygiene.html
- Nutrition and Immunity. (2020, October 5). The Nutrition Source. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-and-immunity/
- Barak V, Halperin T, Kalichman I. The effect of Sambucol black elderberry, a natural product based on the production of human cytokines: I. Inflammatory cytokines. Eur Cytokine Netw 2001; 12:290±6.