8 Ways To Improve Your Immune System
09th, Jan 2023
The core of everything we do at the Kingsbridge Private Hospital Group is the understanding that your health is of paramount importance, so we have gathered 8 ways to help you boost your immune system. Check them out below:
- Good gut health is key
The gut and the immune system support one another to promote a healthy body.
Did you know… the human gut houses 100 trillion microbial cells (collectively referred to as the gut microbiota), which is 10 times the number of human cells?
When everything is running smoothly, the gut sends signals for the development of healthy immune function modulating immune responses. In exchange, the immune system helps to populate the microbiome with health-promoting microbes.
Improving your diet by cutting out processed foods and including more prebiotic fibre (vegetables and legumes) can increase biodiversity.
- Eat Well
Eating well means incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet, alongside lean protein, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk / milk products.
Eating well also means limiting saturated fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
Oats and berries contain a range of chemicals and fibre which can help boost your immune system. We recommend adding a handful of oats and berries on top of porridge in the morning or making a berry smoothie with a handful of oats added in.
- Wash your hands frequently
Good hygiene is the first line of defence when keeping germs at bay. Stop infection before it begins and avoid spreading it to others with these easy measures:
- Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after using the bathroom
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, or cough into your elbow rather than your hand
- Wash and bandage all cuts and any serious cut, or animal or human bite should be examined by a doctor
- Do not pick at healing wounds or blemishes or squeeze pimples. Doing so allows germs to enter
Staying fit and active can lower your risk of falling ill. Regular physical activity can also help you feel better, sleep better, and reduce anxiety. Combined with eating well, physical activity can help a person maintain a healthy weight.
Moderate activities such as brisk walking, swimming or cycling are a great way to get your heart pumping. Aiming for 75 minutes a week of these exercises can help to boost your immune system.
- Stay up to date with any recommended vaccinations
To help give your immune system an added boost, we recommend getting vaccinated against the flu yearly. Keeping up to date with other vaccinations such as jabs against pneumonia, meningitis and the shingles can also help you to prevent serious illness this winter.
Getting a good night’s rest is also essential for your health. Scientific evidence is building that sleep loss can negatively affect different parts of the immune system. This can lead to the development of a wide variety of disorders including an increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attacks and strokes. While you sleep, levels of certain protective immune system chemicals in your body increase while inflammatory cells decline. Less sleep could result in a deprived immune system, so it is important to get the recommended hours of sleep; this is between 7 and 9 hours a night
- Take up yoga and meditation
Yoga helps lower stress hormones that compromise the immune system, while also conditioning the lungs and respiratory tract, stimulating the lymphatic system to oust toxins from the body, and bringing oxygenated blood to the various organs to ensure their optimal function.
“If you want to have a healthy immune system, you need to laugh often, view life with a positive eye, and put yourself in a relaxed state of mind on a regular basis.” - Michael T.Murray, N.D
- Practice deep breathing techniques
Diaphragmatic breathing expands the lungs and increases efficiency in oxygen absorption and supply. It strengthens the muscles of the chest, improves digestion and quality of sleep, and strengthens the immune system by reducing stress.
Check out our Talking Posture, Pain & Deep Breathing Techniques with Lead Physio, Shea McAleer on Healthstyle as he discusses how pain can be triggered through anxiety and stress and how simple deep breathing techniques can combat this.
If you have noticed a change or have any health concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our GPs and Consultant Specialists are ready to see you! Visit kingsbridgeprivatehospital.com for further information on all our services, treatments and healthcare professionals.