Try our 7 easy ways to im­prove your im­mu­nity

The People's Friend - - 8 -

Early To Bed

Lack of sleep has been shown to se­ri­ously re­duce your im­mu­nity de­fence. One study showed just one night of four hours’ sleep is enough to re­duce 70% of the cells which cir­cu­late in your blood fight­ing in­fec­tion and dis­ease. By go­ing to bed just a quar­ter of an hour ear­lier each night you could ac­cu­mu­late pre­cious sleep to stay fight­ing fit.

Not Just For Christ­mas

A por­tion of Brus­sels sprouts could do you the world of good. These mini green gems con­tain 75mg of im­mu­nity-boost­ing vi­ta­min C – that’s more than you get in a big fresh or­ange. But on top of that you get all the su­per­food prop­er­ties packed in this lit­tle leafy green veg­etable, which con­tains com­pounds that po­ten­tially pre­vent heart dis­ease and fight can­cer, too.

In Tune With Ad­vice

Ac­cord­ing to the Royal Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal So­ci­ety, reg­u­lar and thor­ough hand wash­ing is the best way to pro­tect your­self against win­ter stom­ach bugs and chest in­fec­tions. This only works if you wash for 20 sec­onds or more – the time it takes to sing “Happy Birth­day” twice or the full first verse of “God Save The Queen” – the choice is yours!

Sip An Echi­nacea Hot Drink

Dr Dick Mid­dle­ton, Chair of the Bri­tish Her­bal Medicine As­so­ci­a­tion says: “Echi­nacea is be­lieved to sup­port the im­mune sys­tem whilst its anti-vi­ral prop­er­ties help re­lieve symp­toms of the com­mon cold and in­fluenza-type in­fec­tions.” Try the warm­ing Echi­naforce Hot Drink (£9.99) from www. avo­ and in health stores.

Heal­ing Power Of Med­i­ta­tion

Re­search shows a lit­tle daily med­i­ta­tion can strengthen im­mu­nity, but there’s no need to sit cross-legged and chant “om”. Just go­ing for a daily walk on a fa­mil­iar route can be a pow­er­ful med­i­ta­tive ac­tiv­ity that al­lows the brain to rest and re­store and so charge your im­mune sys­tem.

A Gig­gle’s Good For You

Stud­ies show be­ing in a good mood can boost your im­mune sys­tem, and hav­ing a laugh is great pre­ven­ta­tive medicine. That’s be­cause it’s been shown to boost the lym­phatic sys­tem which helps clear the body of tox­ins, so eas­ing its work­load and al­low­ing pre­cious re­sources to be used to strengthen the pro­tec­tive forces of im­mu­nity. A re­cent study also found watch­ing a TV com­edy be­fore your flu jab could make it more likely to work.

A Breath Of Fresh Air

You can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce your risk of catch­ing a cold or flu by open­ing a win­dow when you are in a room or car with peo­ple who you sus­pect might be ill. Re­search in Aus­tralia found that spend­ing 90 min­utes in a mod­ern car with some­one who has flu gives you a 99.9% chance of catch­ing the virus. But your risk falls to 20% if you open the win­dows.

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