Strengthening immune system

Monday - back to work, back to routines and back to rebuilding our immune system! For all of you - no matter if you have been recently sick or if you have survived first weeks of spring and corona pandemic totally healthy.

Immune system is our very own body barrier that is protecting us from different diseases.

I guess you wonder what you can do to make sure your immune system is in excellent form. There are multiple things that play a role and it is not only what you eat that matters.

1. Good sleep

Lack of sleep can affect your immune system - There are studies proving that theory. An adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep, children up to 10, so please don’t feel guilty about not getting up at 5 am like ”all really succesfull people do” because you might not be productive anyway. We all are different, i always repeat that - some of us can get early and have less sleep because either they went to bed early or they just need less sleep. Why is sleep so important ? That’s when our body can recover and fix what needs to be fixed. That’s when it produces protective cytokines - little guys that help fight diseases. You see, when you don’t get enough of sleep, your body reduces some cells and infection fighting antibodies. Longer sleepless periods are leading to higher risks for obesity, diabetes and heart and blood vessel diseases. I guess i do not need to say anymore :)

photo: Kate Stone Matheson

2. Regular training

We are designed to be active. Our ancestors had to sweat quite a lot in order to survive. We have made our lives so so comfortable, that we no longer need to be very physical in order to survive. But are we sure about that? Because if we look closer at the statistics, it is estimated that more than 5 milion deaths would be avoided each year if all inactive people excercised… those numbers are just like the numbers that are concerning the deaths from smoking.

30 minutes a day is enough to keep our bodies healthy - only 30 minutes! That’s just too easy… Need some inspiration? Take stairs instead of a lift, go or bicycle to work instead of taking a bus ( actually that’s the only way nowadays), join training studio, take dancing classes, take online youtube classes …no excuses!

photo: Bruce Mars

3. No more stress

For some of you it means finding time during a day to read a book or meditate, whereas for others it can mean investing time and money in a long term therapy.

Stress is killing cells in our bodies and most of the times it is our own mind that causes the stress. It can be other factors too, as our work, toxic relations etc. Find your own way to avoid stress. It might be closing some relations or on contrary - spending more time with people who bring us joy. It can be investing more time in reading or different hobbies. It can be as i mentioned - a therapy.

photo: Ivana Cajina

4. Nutritious food

Our bodies need energy, vitamins, minerals and all the other nutrients. All the mechanisms but especially defending ones are dependent on what we feed ourselves. To make it easier, follow these steps when composing meals :)

- Keep right proportions between carbs, fats and protein, meaning - include products from each group on your plate. When choosing carbs - wild rice, buckweat, whole grain, millet, quinoa and vegetables are the ones that are best for you!

Fats - best sources you can find in nuts and seeds, avocado, fatty fish or fish oil supplements, walnuts, flaxseed, rapeseed oil and olive oil.

Protein - fish, soy, legumes and beans, meat ( avoid overconsuming red meat)

- Compose colourful meals.

- Include vegetables and fruits in each meal.

- Always add herbs and spices. Those with extra healthy properties are: turmeric ( together with black pepper and a little fat), cinnamon, cardamon, oregano, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper.

- Choose cooking method that is not destroying all the vitamins - the most sensitive to temperature and cooking is vitamin C. At the same time vit. C is one of the best antioxidants!

photo: Brooke Lark

5. Say - hello sunshine

Finally days are longer and brighter! The sun is a great source of vitamin D so make sure to spend some time outside. Protect your skin with UVA and UVB though!

Vitamin D has many benefits and one of them is supporting immune system. The other sources of that vitamin except of sunshine are: Fatty fish, egg yolks, cheeses, muchrooms, fortified milk, cereals and juices.

Spending some time in the sun isn’t only good because of vitamin D but it also regulates our sleeping cycle. You see… all the elements are depending on each other :)

photo: Amy Humphries

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