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Boost your immune system

21 Feb 2020 / 15:35 H.

The current Covid-19 outbreak has the world on edge, but there’s no need to fear as long as you take the necessary precautions. In any case, now is the best time to focus on improving your immune system, so that you will be less susceptible to infections.

Fuel your body the right way

Eat well-balanced and nutritious meals on a regular schedule starting with breakfast, the most important meal of the day! Keeping a regular meal schedule not only helps prevent the possibility of developing gastritis, but it’s also a good way to make sure your body has the required nutrients to fight off illnesses and maintain energy levels throughout the day.

Take plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure you have the necessary vitamins and fibres. According to Healthline, fruits that are high in vitamin C help increase the production of white blood cells which are key to fighting infections. Although our bodies do not produce and store vitamin C, we can get our daily dose from citrus fruits and vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system, and luckily for us, our body can produce it thanks to exposure to sunlight. Be careful not to overdo it though. While sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, staying too long under the strong rays increases the chances of getting melanoma, a form of skin cancer. To be safe, remember to put on sunblock if you are planning on basking in the sunlight longer than a few minutes.

Another delicious way to get your dose of vitamins and fibres is by drinking fruit juices. For those always on the go, you can easily grab a healthy drink from stores such as La Juiceria. La Juiceria mixes and matches cold-pressed fruit juices, producing a fun twist of flavours without sacrificing the nutrients.

Rest well

Have good quality sleep. The lack of sleep increases the stress hormone called cortisol which can suppress the immune function over time. When you lack sleep, the body will also produce fewer cytokines, a protein that targets infection and inflammation. This, in turn, makes the body susceptible to illnesses and take a longer time to heal.

Mind games

Studies have shown that keeping a positive outlook can help make us feel better and in turn, boost our immune system. According to studies done by John Hopkins University and several others, keeping a positive outlook helps lessen the damage from stress and negative emotions, which in turn help people make better life decisions. This domino effect of making better decisions will lead to an increase in overall health, immunity and happiness.

Cardio

Jesse Eisenberg’s character in the cult movie Zombieland has 33 rules to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, and his number 1 rule is CARDIO - the faster you run, the further away you can be from a zombie. While it is highly unlikely that we’ll need to outrun a zombie in the near future, exercising regularly is a great way to boost the immune system.

By moving the body, it promotes better circulation of cells from the immune system, and helps decrease the risk of infection. For those who don’t like or don’t have the time to hit the gym ... they can still work on their fitness by consciously making little changes to everyday routines. For example:

1. Take the stairs instead of the lift as much as you can.

2. Download an app to keep track of how many steps you walk in a day, and set achievable targets for yourself. A simple 30-minute walk daily with proper nutrition is already enough to set you on a path to a better immune system and overall fitness!

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