With information regarding our health hitting us left, right and centre at the moment, it’s very understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed! During this time, it is important to let go of those things that we cannot control, and equally important to acknowledge the things we can. The best way we can keep ourselves, our families and our community safe right now is to be healthy – here are some simple ways to boost your natural immunity.
Eat more whole plant foods.
Whole plant foods are things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods are naturally rich in nutrients and antioxidants that could give your body the upper hand in protecting yourself against harmful pathogens. With the weather cooling down, soup is a really great way to ensure you get your vegies in! Give this recipe a go, it looks delicious!
Eat more healthy fats.
Healthy & fat are not words that are traditionally used together – and we’re sorry, this is not your permission to eat more delicious fried things! Healthy fats are found in things like olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and salmon. These fats can aid your body in fighting inflammation, and may help your body fight off harmful disease-causing bacteria and viruses. It’s lucky salmon and avocado are such a winning combination – yum!
Limit added sugars.
There is absolutely no doubt that a little extra time at home has encouraged some of us to become amateur bakers, which has surely increased the availability of sweets in our lives! Unfortunately, refined or added sugars contribute significantly to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. All of these conditions can suppress your immune system. Aim to keep your sugar intake to about 5% of your daily calories – for those on an average adult diet, that’s about 2 tablespoons.
Get enough sleep.
Sleep and immunity are closely linked – the less you allow your body to rest, the more susceptible to sickness you become! Adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep a night. If you struggle to fall asleep, try eliminating screen use for an hour before bed. The blue light from your computer, phone or TV is linked to interruptions to your circadian rhythm. Try a good book to wind down – nothing too enthralling though, you won’t be able to close your eyes!
Water, water, water. It’s simple but sometimes not so simple. Drinking water doesn’t necessarily protect you from germs and viruses, it’s not that easy! However, preventing dehydration is important to your overall health, and complications from dehydration can leave you more susceptible to illness. Try to aim for 2 litres a day (for adults), but if that’s too much of a leap, just commit to increasing your intake gradually! If you get sick of the nothingness of water, try herbal tea. Be sure to check the ingredients for any sneaky added sugars. You could also try adding some lemon or lime, cucumber, mint, or even a bit of apple cider vinegar!
Move your body.
Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It also promotes good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Fresh air and vitamin D also contribute to a good state of mind, which is vital for staying well!
Take care of your mental health.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your mental health! Our body is not likely to fight off any attack well if we aren’t feeling positive, cared for and happy. If you are feeling down or not yourself, reach out to a friend, family member or neighbor for a chat! We are all in this together. Ensure you take care of yourself; for example, spend a little time outside each day, even if it’s just a walk around the block. Other activities that may help you manage your stress or anxiety include meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga, and other mindfulness practices.
If all the health information gets a little much, these 7 things are all within our control. They are positive, important things to focus on. Remember to try and stay connected while we are in a state of social distancing – there are so many ways you can connect on-line, or if you’re comfortable, we would love to welcome you back into The Westport Club from Monday, the 1st of June. Our capacity is limited – book your table in Aqua here to avoid disappointment!