Power Up Your Immunity
Feeling under the weather? Here are ways to ensure your immune system is at its tip-top condition to prevent and fight against sniffles and sneezes.
TIPS TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY
In Singapore, flu season tends to happen during the cooler periods between May to July, and December to February. It is important to do quick check-ins with your body, especially during these seasons, to ensure that you are in tip-top condition to fight off the pesky viruses. Here are some tips on how you can supercharge your defenses and boost your immunity:
Eat your fruits and veggies
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 infections1. An excellent source of antioxidant comes from Vitamin C, which is abundant in foods such as citrus fruits, kiwi and capsicum2. However, with our modern diet which varies from time to time, we might not be able to consistently meet the optimal daily intake of Vitamin C. Supplements such as GNC Triple C™ 1000 is formulated to provide all-day antioxidant and immune support.
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. 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.
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 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 day3. Researchers have also found that walking regularly may increase the bodies’ white blood cells, which help fight infections.
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 system4.
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.
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 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
4 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