Apex Tips For Boosting Your ImmunityMaddy Slade | 1 Nov 2021
With the clocks changing yesterday and the darker mornings encroaching, there's no denying it, winter is coming...and unfortunately, with winter comes the dreaded cold season.
There's nothing worse than the common cold. The fact that you feel absolutely dreadful but can still function and go about your day makes it that much more frustrating. Everyone and their brother's uncle seems to be unwell at the moment. That's why we thought it would be a great time to share some of our favourite immunity boosting tips to help you feeling fit and fighting off those pesky colds.
Start with your basic nutrition
Food is medicine. Natural, unprocessed foods are packed full of vitamins and minerals that support your immune system and fight off potential bugs and viruses. The key here is variety. Eat the rainbow! By packing in as many different types of fruit and vegetables into your diet, you're ensuring you're getting a good dose of vitamins and minerals that will support your body and fortify your immune system. The more colourful your plate the better.
Some MVPs in the immunity food department...
Garlic is full of anti-viral, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties so don't be shy when you're adding it into recipes. Plus, it literally makes everything taste good. Just be sure to carry a breath mint or some chewing gum on you!
We've said it once and we'll say it again, greens do wonders for your body. Packed with phytonutrients and fibre for good gut health (more on that later) you literally cannot go wrong whacking these into your diet. Try sneak in greens whenever you can. Chuck some spinach into your smoothie, stir through some kale into your lunchtime soup or under your morning eggs. Leafy greens also contain high levels of magnesium, proven to help with sleep, another key player in the immunity department.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are packed full of vitamin C. We love having hot water with lemon first thing in the morning, it's kickstarts your digestive system and removes toxins from the body. For extra immunity boosting benefits add ginger and Manuka honey, a natural anti-microbial powerhouse, and you've got yourself a party!
Get Your Gut Happy
The gut is where roughly 80% of the immune system resides. Strengthening gut health is a surefire way to boost immunity. Fermented foods are the winner here, things such as sauerkraut, yogurt and kimchi feed your gut the bacteria it thrives on. Refined sugar starves your gut of this beneficial bacteria so try and limit your processed foods and refined sugars where possible.
As much as we can get the majority of our vitamins from our diet sometimes it can be difficult to ensure you're getting adequate amounts of everything. It might be a good idea to try supplementing to ensure you're getting adequate amounts of the nutrients your body needs to function at its optimum. Some key vitamins you might want to consider are Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D.
Sleep is the best medicine, it's your body's chance to recover and reset so it's really important to try and get roughly 7-8 hours each night. If you want more tips on getting a good night's sleep check out our blog post here.
Minimise Stress (where you can)
Stress is pretty terrible for our immunity, it releases the hormone cortisol and suppresses the immune system. Although some stress is inevitable in today's day and age, it is important to figure out some ways to manage it so it doesn't take over. Different practices work for different people so you need to find out what works for you. We love breath work as it's so effective in calming the nervous system and can be done anywhere, even if it's just for 5 minutes. Try implementing some breath work or meditation into your routine, or perhaps set time aside to get out and spend some time in nature - figure out what works for you and try to make it a habit!
You didn't think we'd leave this one out did you? Exercise is great for immunity! It helps to flush out toxins from the body and can help stimulate the immune system. As much as we do find it hard to get off the bike, it is also important here to find balance and ensure you're taking adequate rest days too. Your body loves to move, even if it's just a walk in the park or an evening stretch - just get that body moving!
Water helps to flush out toxins in the body. When you're dehydrated your body isn't able to get the nutrients it needs and immunity suffers. It's also really important to factor in exercise when you're gauging how much you should drink. Remember to replace the water you lose when you're working up a sweat, this is something people can often forget to factor in. The general consensus here is 2-3 litres a day, if you find yourself often forgetting to drink water we recommend setting yourself reminders on your phone.
We hope these tips will help keep you feeling good and staying well as the winter months approach, keep well A-Team!