You’ve been having so much momentum going for you this year. Plans are on track, things are going as expected, and you’re high on drive and energy. You feel invincible, until, you fall sick to the common flu virus.
If you’ve been pushing yourself at school and work, and not eating proper meals or getting enough sleep, your immunity will suffer. And that's when infections and diseases can attack easily. Your immune system works round the clock to ward off bacteria, toxins, viruses and other substances that can cause harm to your body. That’s why it’s crucial to give your immune system the love it deserves by keeping a healthy lifestyle.
For a start, these four pointers might just give your immune system that added boost to better protect your body against infections as we strive through our goals and challenges this year!
1. Give your gut the proper nutrition it needs
The health of your gastrointestinal system significantly influences your immune system. Did you know that as much as 70% of your immune cells are housed in your gut? For one, your intestinal lining releases cells and antibodies that help fight harmful substances.
To boost your gut health, you can start taking probiotics – good bacteria and yeasts help to improve digestion and keep your gut functioning well. You can find them in supplements, or in yoghurts and fermented foods. You can also start taking nutrients that are important for immune health. For example, vitamin D and C are known to be crucial for immune defences against infections and diseases.
Some examples of probiotics include Sambucol's elderberry range to fight off cold and flu, as well as Ocean Health and KinderNuture's probiotics for your children's immunity. You can purchase probiotic supplements on our wellness Marketplace and get them delivered to your doorstep. Click here to get started.
2. Manage your stress levels with mindful meditation
People who tend to worry easily should start keeping an eye on their stress levels. Long-term stress can decrease the production of immune cells, thereby causing a great deal of damage to the immune system.
Practicing mindful meditation or finding an outlet to release your emotions can help you manage the pressure and stressors in your life, which is good for your immunity in the long run. If your stress is getting out of hand and is impacting your health and lifestyle, please seek medical help from a doctor.
3. Strengthen your body with regular exercise
Exercise may help boost your immune system to diseases and infections. For example, it has been suggested that physical activity may flush bacteria out of your respiratory system, which lowers the risk of getting a cold or flu.
Regular exercise may also help to reduce your body’s release of stress hormones, which helps with building immunity, as mentioned in the second point. Studies have also suggested that exercise may improve the circulation of white blood cells, thereby helping your body better detect and fight infections.
4. Get vaccinated for common viruses
What’s better to ward off infectious diseases than getting direct immunization? If you’re concerned about conditions such as influenza, vaccinations are the most effective protection against them.
If you’re about to go on holiday, check with your doctor on the kinds of diseases endemic to your destination country that you need to get vaccinated for. In Singapore, everyone older than 6 months old is recommended to go for a flu vaccination each year.
Contrary to popular belief, the flu isn’t just another inconvenient condition, such as a cold. It can be quite serious, and in some cases, can cause death. Consult a doctor for more information on how you can boost your immunity for you and your family, or if you’re looking to get vaccinated.