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Caring for your immunity during Covid 19

Caring for your immunity

At this uncertain time, it is vital to look after our physical and mental health in any way we can. Here in Meaghers we want to arm you with information to make the best decisions for your health and wellbeing. We have compiled a number of ways in which you can support your immune system and mental health as best you can.

Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies

  1. Sleep

Keeping your regular routine is vital right now, rising at the same time you normally would and hitting the pillow at the end of the day at a reasonable hour to get enough sleep to maintain that routine is important for your mental and physical health.

While we sleep, the body uses this time to rest and repair. The proteins and cells of your immune system detect and fight off any external aggressors that attack the system. It also enables the immune system to be ready to fight them off in future. Sleep is vital to strengthen your body’s immune response, if you are feeling unwell in any way it is vital to get as much rest as possible.

  1. Exercise

As little as 20 minutes of exercise daily can provide so many benefits for numerous systems in the body, all our systems are linked and our immunity is dependent on these systems working in harmony.

Exercise activates the sympathetic nervous system, a pathway that increases heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. When this happens, hormones are released that help with immunity.  Moderate exercise also has an abundance of other health benefits, like controlling hypertension and diabetes and crucially at this time helping control anxiety and stress.

So, get the runners on and get out in the fresh air for a walk or a jog, roll out the yoga mat and get some stretches in or pop on a workout on YouTube and follow the instructions in your living room. Any sort of exercise right now is important and once you keep your distance from others is safe.

  1. Eating a healthy and wholesome diet

When self-isolating or working from home it can be really tempting to munch on snacks that you might not normally eat but like your sleeping pattern it is important that you keep to routine as much as possible when it comes to getting three healthy meals a day.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is key to our immune system working effectively. We need enough energy to make immune cells and our protective enzymes need vitamins and minerals to work effectively.

This means we need to make sure we’re eating all of our body’s requirements for macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and D, as well as B6, B12 and folate, zinc, copper, iron and selenium, as well as essential amino and essential fatty acids.

So now is not the time to try a restrictive diet or to limit the amount we eat either. Try and get your 5 fruit and Veg a day, ensure your diet is varied one. That you are including carbs, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water.

For those who have adopted a plant-based diet it is important to keep in mind it may be slightly harder to get iron, for example, and more difficult to get enough B12, in a diet without animal products. For these, and for omega 3 fatty acids, many experts recommend supplementation. However, it’s recommended we get as much goodness as we can from food.

One of the best immune-boosting foods is fruit, due to their high content of polyphenols, especially flavonoids. It is also key to ensure you are eating fibre rich foods to ensure a healthy gut. A healthy gut can help contribute to a strong immune system, the key to which a healthy diet and fibre, which organisms in the colon feed off.

If you are concerned with the balance of bacteria in the gut, we recommend the probiotic Symprove, it is water-based formulation that contains four unique strains of live activated bacteria. Because of this unique formulation Symprove will not trigger digestion, meaning the bacteria are able to get to where they need to be and work more effectively than freeze dried alternatives.

There is evidence to suggest that nutritional deficiencies can weaken our immune system and make us more vulnerable to infections. So, the first port of call is making sure you are getting as much as you can from your diet, then if needed supplementing with high quality supplements that will have the nutrients to allow our systems work to their potential.

Our top picks

Children get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their diet but this may not always be the case. As parents you can play a large role in helping your kids immunity. There are some fundamental guidelines to adhere to regarding your child’s immunity and they are :  ensure they have a sleep routine and where possible stick to it, try to get them out in the fresh air every day so they can top up their vitamin D ( Vitamin D is essential for strong, healthy, bones and teeth) , most importantly make sure they eat a balanced diet as this will provide them with the majority of their vitamins and mineral needs.

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