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10 ways to boost your immunity

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10 ways to boost your immunity
Cold and flu season might be upon us but it’s not too late to start protecting yourself! To help fight of the chest infections, runny noses and sore throats, here are Health & Wellbeing’s top 10 ways to boost your immunity.

1. Exercise regularly
Exercise is a natural, healthy and effective way to keep the common cold a bay. Exercising for 45 minutes at least four times per week boosts your immunity by increasing the circulation of cells that fight viruses and bacteria in your body.

Exercise also helps secrete unwanted nasties through sweating. Don’t think that just because winter is here you can now slack off your exercise regime. If not to fight off colds, do it for you bikini body — there’s nothing worse than trying to fast-track your shape before the summer months hit.

2. Try cooking with garlic
Also known as the stinky rose, garlic has a number of cold-fighting and immune-boosting capabilities. It’s packed with vitamins A, B, C and E and also contains minerals such calcium, magnesium and zinc.

Garlic increases the potency of two important cells of the immune system: T-lymphocytes and macrophages. It’s known to be an antibiotic and antiseptic for the immune system and also assists in kick-starting the body’s lymphatic system to rid toxins in the body.

3. Get a full night’s sleep
A healthy six to eight hours of shuteye can boost your whole body’s functionality and increase your energy levels. Lack of sleep can quickly cause your body to become rundown and stressed, which means you’re more susceptible to catching a cold. So rest up and beat the battle of the cold this winter.

4. Take a supplement such as echinacea
Hear at Health & Wellbeing HQ we call them the herbs with healing powers. Both echinacea and goldenseal are great supplements to take during the winter months to strengthen your fighting power and withstand those floating infections from the sneezy person who sits next to you at work. Keep the supplements on your desk, so when you hear that first sniffle or sneeze in the morning you won’t forget to take them.

5. Drink tea
Studies have shown that an ingredient in tea, L-theanine, primes the immune system’s response against infection. Researchers say five cups a day will help keep those winter illnesses at bay. Try adding lemon and ginger for an added flu-fighting boost.

6. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet packed full with fibre, protein, fruit and vegetables will assist your body in kick-starting its own natural immune system. Eat green vegetables such as leafy Chinese green, broccoli and beans. Fish or chicken are great meal options for the evening. Oranges, grapefruit and mandarins are fail safe fruits options packed with vitamin C and are in full season now. Avoid high-fat, high-sugar junk foods, as they can decrease the activity of the immune system.

7. Omega-3 fats
Omega-3 fats boost your immune system by increasing activity and strengthening white blood cells (also known as phagocytes), which assist in diminishing bacteria in the body. Omega-3 essential fats can be found in fish, nuts and seeds. Go nuts and increase the amount of fish and seeds in your diet to fight infection.

8. Reduce stress
Our bodies respond to emotions, so stressful times can cause a sore throat or a headache to feel a lot worse. By reducing stress your whole body will function better. So it’s time to nurture yourself and give your body a little TLC.

Try a yoga class, meditation or even a massage to relax get rid of your stress. Catching up with family and friends is also a good stress reliever — try it and we promise you’ll feel 100 percent in no time.

9. Eat oysters
Zinc is essential for maintaining proper immune function, not to mention being great for your skin and hair. Eating zinc-rich foods such as oysters, liver, beef, pork, turkey, lamb, lentils, pumpkin, sesame seeds and yogurt can prevent a weakened immune system by increasing the activity in white blood cells. It’s also a powerful antioxidant and assists in alienating toxins from the body.

10. Reduce sugar
Too much sugar can be a huge drainer on your immune-fighting system. We all know what vitamin C is essential for fighting colds, right? It does this by boosting up activity and strengthening white bloods cells (aka phagocytes), which eat up the viruses and bacteria in our body.
Vitamin C and sugar have similar chemical structures, so when vitamin C is trying to strengthen white blood cells it’s also fighting with glucose to get into the cells. So cut the sugar and you’ll see noticeable results in your energy levels, weight distribution and immunity.

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