I wish to share some key health tips to help you feel more empowered and positive during this extremely challenging time.
Now more than ever, it is vital that we do the best we can to build up and keep our immunity as strong as possible. We have an incredible army of immune cells that are constantly working around the clock to keep us healthy.
These immune cells need key ingredients to keep them working at their full potential so that they can help protect us from getting sick. If we do get sick we want these immune cells to support our recovery.
I am very aware of the overwhelming amount of information we are receiving at this time about the coronavirus, so my aim is to keep this as simple as possible.
Here are my key health tips to support the reduction of our stress levels. When we reduce stress levels, our immune system is able to work more effectively.
- Stay informed by watching/listening to the news each day but aim to limit this to once or twice a day. It can be emotionally draining to hear sad news multiple times in the day.
- Choose uplifting music to listen to and programmes to watch that are light-hearted, as often as possible.
- Read books that you enjoy and help you feel more relaxed and joyful.
- Stay connected with family and friends and express how you’re feeling. It sure is a rollercoaster of emotions we are all experiencing these days.
- Try to get a good night’s sleep. Aim not to use screens for the hour before bed and dim your lights. Less artificial light at night helps increase the sleep hormone, melatonin. Another supportive action to take is having a foot bath with Epsom salts before bed. We absorb magnesium from the Epsom salts and this helps our muscles relax and aid sleep.
HEALTHY EATING TIPS
It’s important to not feel restricted around food as this can add to the stress we are aiming to reduce. Healthy eating is not just focusing on what we are eating but also how we are eating. Taking time over meals and enjoying what we are eating, benefits our digestive system, immunity and metabolism.
- It is very natural that we are craving comforting foods and drinks at this time. When we feel stressed, it’s understandable to want more pleasurable foods such as chocolate, sweets and crisps etc. My tip is to enjoy these comfort foods in a way that you can fully saviour them. Eating them slowly and without distraction. This means our brain can fully register the feel-good factor and it’s easier not to overeat these foods.
- Enjoy eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables as these are full of phytonutrients (plants chemicals), minerals and vitamins that are vital for a healthy immune system.
- Eat good quality protein sources each day, these include eggs, fish, meat, beans, nuts, seeds, cheese and yoghurt.
- Reduce the amount of wheat-based products you eat each day. These can contribute to higher inflammation levels in the body. Instead, choose alternative grains such as spelt (ancient wheat) oats and rice.
- Stay well hydrated by drinking water in between meals. A good way to help our cells absorb the water is to add a good squeeze of lemon juice or some pure fruit juice to the water.
IMMUNE SUPPORTIVE SUPPLEMENTS
Good quality supplements complement eating well.
- Vitamin D – researchers from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing at Trinity College Dublin have recently released a crucial report on the role vitamin D plays in preventing respiratory infections. It also states that vitamin D boosts the immune system’s response to infection. Taking between 1,000 – 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily is recommended, unless we can get adequate sunshine instead. Ask your health practitioner for more individualised advice.
- Vitamin C – a supportive daily amount is 1,000 mg – 2,000 mg.
- A probiotic – it is well known from research that a healthy gut microbiome is vital for a healthy immune system.
- Good quality multivitamin and mineral – to ensure your essential nutrients are at optimum levels.
Ask in your local health shop or pharmacy for individual advice on these helpful supplements.