When it comes down to maintaining your immune system, a healthy, balanced lifestyle is essential!
For COVID-19, and other harmful diseases of course.
Did you know that when it comes to improving your immunity, you have a lot of things under your own control? I would like to share with you my top 6 of tips!
1. Eat Balanced, Healthy Foods
Nutrition is the basis of strengthening your immune system. If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to switch to a healthy and balanced diet. It is preferably better to avoid too much sugar, fat and meat. And choose a light kitchen rich in vegetables and fruit with a high nutritional value.
Make sure you eat at least 300 grams of vegetables a day, and 250 grams of fruit. Lots of colors, lots of varieties. Half your plate filled with vegetables, a fourth protein, a fourth carbohydrate. Three wholemeal slices of bread in the morning with toppings. Limit your portions and build in “veggie days”.
Fruits and vegetables strengthen your resistance. Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts and radishes, for example, contain sulforaphane, a substance that stimulates the immune system.
Blue grapes and various types of berries are also healthy, as are fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwis, tomatoes and peppers. Garlic is also a real boost for our immune system. It has a strong antibacterial and antiviral effect and helps prevent colds, because it contains allicin, a natural antibiotic. To make the most of the substance, add the cloves to the food as late as possible.
2. Drink Enough Water
Your skin is your first barrier against viruses and bacteria, so it’s important to keep that organ healthy.
A must is to drink enough water: at least 1.5 liters per day. In this way, waste products can be removed faster: the less waste products, the better your body can focus on pathogens.
By drinking enough water you also keep your mucous membranes moist, which is important to stop colds and flu viruses.
If you want to learn more about the many health benefits of water, I can advise the book of Dr. F. Batmanghelidj.
3. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
On average, an adult needs 8 hours of sleep to resist stress and fatigue. It is important that you relax before you go to sleep. Don’t sleep too late and prefer reading to one of your many screens that are considered a source of sleeplessness ( by inhibiting the production of melatonin or ‘sleep hormone’).
Research shows that sleep deprivation reduces the number of immune cells, making you sick faster. How much sleep a person needs differs from person to person, but on average an adult needs about seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Regularity in your sleeping pattern is also important.
It’s a myth that you can ‘sleep it off’ in the weekends by getting up later!
4. Do Some Kind Of Daily Physical Activity
It is no secret that people who are physically active on a regular basis are better able to cope with stress, have a better quality of sleep and a relaxed nervous system. But there’s more: sufficient exercise also reduces diabetes and cardiovascular risks.
Go hiking, rowing, badminton, cycling or fitness; no matter what, as long as it’s physically strenuous. If you do at least 20 minutes of intensive exercise three times a week, it will boost your immune system.
The body tackles invading viruses more firmly and there is less room for chronic inflammation. People who exercise a lot are less sick on average four days a year.
Movement also seems to strengthen the ‘immune memory’ after vaccinations: the body knows better what to do when an intruder you have been vaccinated against is rattling at the door. Don’t exaggerate, however. People who train extremely hard or for a long time in a row and take too little time for recovery are more likely to get sick.
5. Leeeeet The Sunshine In!
Sitting in the sun now and then is perhaps the best way to work on your health. Vitamin d is produced in our skin, as a reaction to sunlight. That’s why we are less stressed and less likely to get sick in summer, when it’s longer light.
During dark months, you can also get the daily portion of vitamin D from oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sea wolf, mackerel and herring.
While you enjoy the sunlight, something positive happens to your immune system. It makes the T-cells in the body move faster. These T-cells are an important part of the immune system. If they can move fast, they are quickly at the site of an infection to start the attack.
The blue light in the sun’s rays would be responsible for this. Further research is needed, according to the researchers, but treatment with blue light for people with a weakened immune system does not rule them out.
6. Keep Your Intestinal Flora in Balance
The bacteria that naturally occur in our intestines have a great influence on our health.
Your intestinal flora is your body’s crash barrier: it fights unwanted intruders from within. More than 70% of all our immune cells are located in the intestinal mucosa.
That’s why it’s important to keep your intestinal flora healthy. Make sure you eat enough fibers. In addition, probiotic yogurts, milk products and sauerkraut contain healthy bacteria (the so-called lacto- and bifidobacteria) that will keep your intestinal flora healthy.
Many disorders of the immune system – such as allergies, chronic intestinal inflammation and autoimmune diseases – are partly caused by the intestinal system not being in order. Studies have found positive effects of probiotics, for example for eczema.
How is your immune system doing? Are you already applying any of these life hacks?
I hope you pick up a few of them to boost your immune system quickly.
Get in touch with me or leave a comment below!
With love ,