Power Up Your Immunity
In this season of our ‘new normal’ besides ensuring that we keep up with essential hygiene and social distancing measures, what more can we do to keep our family and loved ones protected? Read on to find out!
Keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe means being ever mindful to “mask up” properly when we are out and about, remembering to wash our hands well with soap and water frequently and maintaining safe social distancing.
Further to the above precautionary measures, here are some ways to keep your immune up so you stay protected from inside-out!
Focus on your nutrition
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that are essential to your immune system. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, a type of unstable molecule that is known to affect the immune system by lowering its defenses, making it difficult for the body to fight off infections. 1 An excellent source of antioxidant comes from Vitamin C, which is abundant in foods such as citrus fruits, kiwi and capsicum. 2
Widely known for its bone health benefits, studies have also shown that Vitamin D is important in regulating our immune system and ensuring a healthy respiratory system. Vitamin D is produced by the body in response to the skin being exposed to sunlight and in foods such as fatty fish, cheese, egg yolks and fortified dairy products. Do you know, despite Singapore’s sunny weather - more than 40% of Singaporeans are deficient in Vitamin D?3
Given our hectic lifestyles and frequent dine-out meal culture, ensuring our body receives the adequate nutrition it requires can be a challenge. As such, we might not be able to consistently meet the optimal daily intake of Vitamin C and D needed by our body. Supplements such as GNC Triple C™ 1000 and GNC Vitamin D-3 1000 IU are formulated to provide optimal immune support for you and your family.
For more on the key vitamins and minerals that can help rev up your immune health, click here .
Protect your gut
It might not seem like it but your gut actually plays an important role in ensuring a healthy immune system. The immune system consists of a complex network of organs, cells and protein. The walls of your gut contain 70 to 80 percent of cells that make up your immune system.4 These cells kill invading organisms, harmful bacteria and viruses. Hence if your digestive system is compromised, it might make you more susceptible to viruses or cause gut problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
Maintain a strong digestive and immune system by taking probiotic supplements to ensure that you keep a healthy balance of ‘good bacteria’ to keep the growth of harmful bacteria at bay.
Manage symptoms associated with stress
Stress is part and parcel of life. However, chronic stress over a period of time can be detrimental to your immune health and make you more vulnerable to illnesses. When you experience stress, the body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that “fuels your body’s fight or flight instinct”. Cortisol affects our immune system by suppressing it, meaning extended episodes of stress can leave your immune system weak.
Some ways to better manage symptoms associated with stress:
Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It not only improves your overall health but can also help boost your immune system and protect against diseases. Studies have shown that moderate intensity exercises may cut down the number of colds you get. Such activities include brisk walking for 20 to 30 minutes every day or going to the gym every other day.6 Researchers have also found that walking regularly may increase the bodies’ white blood cells, which are key players in our immune system, around our body.7
When it comes to immune health, sleep also plays an important role. While more sleep does not necessarily prevent you from getting sick, not having at least 8 hours of sleep a day could adversely affect your immune system, leaving you susceptible to the sniffles. Taking 2 naps not longer than 30 minutes each day can also reduce stress and offset the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system.8
Unable to get restful sleep? Try supplements such as GNC Herbal Plus® Natra Sleep which uses natural ingredients to soothe and calm the body, or GNC Tri-Sleep which is a triple-layer sleep technology that helps improve sleep quality.
When it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones during this period, a sustained, strong immunity is your best defense.
In addition to maintaining good personal hygiene, supplementing your diet with immune boosting nutrients and ensuring that you make healthy lifestyle choices also plays a crucial role in building a sustained immune system.
Let’s continue to play our part to stay healthy and strong together.
1Wong, C. (9 September, 2019). 5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Naturally. Retrieved 10 September, 2019, from verywellhealth: https://www.verywellhealth.com/ways-to-boost-your-immune-system-naturally-89283
2 Wong, C. (17 August, 2019). 5 Type of Foods to Boost Your Immune System. Retrieved 10 September, 2019, from verywellhealth: https://www.verywellhealth.com/types-of-foods-to-boost-your-immune-system-89020
3 Statistics source: Imagene Labs Bioinformatics. Based on study of ~1500 individuals.
4 Ciccolini, K. (30 January, 2018). If your gut could talk: 10 things you should know. Retrieved 12 Aug 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/things-your-gut-wants-you-to-know
5 Kubala, J. (7 June, 2018). B-Complex Vitamins: Benefits, Side Effects and Dosage. Retrieved 12 Aug 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b-complex#benefits
6 Ambardekar, N. (27 October, 2017). Exercising When You Have A Cold. Retrieved 10 September, 2019, from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/exercise-when-you-have-cold#1
7 Vorvick, L. (23 January, 2020). Exercise and Immunity. Retreived 12, Aug 2020, from https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007165.htm
8 National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Boost Your Health with Better Sleep. Retrieved 10 September, 2019, from sleepfoundaton: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity