Health is wealth and at a time like this, we owe it to ourselves to stay healthy! We often come across lots of unrealistic information around having a healthy system, so here’s a reminder of five easy and realistic ways to boost your immune system!

We believe simplicity is best in all things. Which is why, when it comes to cleansing our system and boosting our health, no one wants to hear about a raw-food-only diet or a water fast. This only makes us want to run for the hills… with all the cooked food!

The steps we need to take to remain healthy is something we all know how to do, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded to encourage renewed commitment.

This is why we’ve put together a reminder of five things you should be doing to boost your immune system.

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Eat a balanced diet

It can be so easy to skip meals or snack continuously while working from home, but you will be much better off if you stick to a balanced diet.  Food plays a big part in helping you feel your best, the NHS recommends that you eat a variety of foods from the five main food groups and you drink plenty of fluids. This is to ensure you stay hydrated and are getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

Some foods that are particularly good for boosting the immune system are:

Foods rich in beta carotene: sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, apricots which create antibodies to fight toxins.

Foods rich in antioxidants: spinach, dark chocolate, blueberries can help reduce an excess of inflammation in the body and boost the immune system. While foods rich in zinc: beans, whole grains, nuts, meat and shellfish, zinc helps immune cells to function correctly.

Finally, foods rich in Vitamin C: red bell peppers, oranges, lemons, lime and kiwis increase the number of white blood cells that are produced which help to fight infections.

 

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A post shared by Nancy’s Fit Soul Kitchen (@fitsoulkitchen) on

If you are in need of some inspiration to create healthy and delicious meals, check out Nancy Odogwu’s Fit Soul Kitchen. Nancy is a health food blogger, mother of three, a bank investment banker by day, and a trainee nutritional therapist. Nancy’s blog is full of family-friendly, tasty recipes that have African and Caribbean influences that can also help you boost your immune system.

 

Get enough sleep

Sleep is the body’s way of healing and when we don’t get enough sleep it can harm your immune system.  It’s recommended that all adults should aim for 6 to 9 hours of sleep to be well-rested and to maintain a healthy immune system.  To help you get those precious hours of sleep it’s best to stick to going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding electronics an hour before bed, and avoid eating too close to the time you plan on going to sleep. Read our feature on four tips to better sleep.

 

Exercise regularly

The gyms may be closed but it’s still important we exercise regularly to keep our immune systems functioning properly. Exercise also helps to keep stress levels down, thanks to the endorphins that are released during exercise. So, not only can exercise help to boost the immune system it can also help you get that feel-good feeling. There are plenty of fitness trainers/ videos available, all you have to do to find them is take a look at Instagram or YouTube. But in the sea of fitness IG lives and YouTube videos, it can be hard to know where to start.

A good starting point Dr Sara Otung’s IG account, Sara is a doctor by day and on IG she shares a range of home workouts. Along with healthy food recipes and inspirational/motivational quotes to keep your spirits high!

 

De-stress

Okay, we know this article is meant to highlight the easy ways you can boost your immune system and at a time like this de-stressing isn’t never going to be easy. But if you can manage your stress levels, it’s very beneficial to your immune system. High levels of stress raise your cortisol levels, higher levels of cortisol actually block your immune system from functioning. It’s important to take some time to de-stress whatever that may mean to you whether it be reading, meditation, re-organising your cupboards or even just resting. Do whatever works for you. If you’re unsure about what to do to de-stress, here are some ideas:

Get creative and indulge in some art, art is known for being very therapeutic for a lot of people.

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Image credit: Brush Stroke Art

You don’t have to create masterpieces either, just taking the time to be creative can be a huge release of stress. If you happen to have some paint around you could always head over to Brushstroke Art and follow a simple step by step tutorial to create a painting!

 

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A post shared by Donna ‘the Noble Yogi’ Noble (@donnanobleyoga) on

 

Yoga can be very relaxing it allows you to stretch out and focus on your breathing. This makes yoga ideal for releasing stress. There are plenty of yoga videos online but we would recommend checking out Donna Noble. Donna is a London based yogi, a body-positive advocate, founder of Curvesomeyoga and the co-founder of Noire Fit Fest.

 

Hygiene

It goes without saying that good cleanliness and hygiene can help to keep germs away! And of course, if you’re keeping the germs way your immune system doesn’t have to fight them away. The mind boggles when the public health campaign around the pandemic centres around how to wash our hands properly, but here we are! For those who need a reminder watch this video from @Aproko_doctor.

 

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A post shared by Aproko Doctor (@aproko_doctor) on

Washing your hands regularly, washing food produce correctly, covering your mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing or if you don’t have a tissue sneeze/cough into your elbow rather than your hand. Simple, but effective ways to practice good hygiene.

Hopefully, a reminder of these simple tips will help protect your health immunity. Stay home (if possible) and stay safe Queens!

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