Try our 7 easy ways to improve your immunity
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. avogel.com 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.