Improve your immune system this autumn

Eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in whole foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, and seeds; is fundamental for a healthy immune system. Now, as the weather starts to cool into autumn, is the perfect time to focus on building immunity and overall wellbeing so you’re ready for the inevitable flu season ahead.

Try these immune-boosting tips this autumn:

    1. Choose the right foods

Selecting fresh foods high in immune-boosting nutrients is key to your overall health at this time of year. Try to choose plant foods high in beta carotene, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, mangoes, broccoli, and tomatoes.

Eat plenty of protein to help strengthen your body, such as nuts, seeds, beans, lentils eggs, and dairy products.

Increasing your natural Vitamin C intake is important so include citrus fruits, berries, melons, tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli in your diet.

Zinc is another powerful immune booster, found in tofu, nuts, beans, and wheat germ.

Probiotics, found in cultured dairy products such as yogurt, and in fermented foods like kefir and kimchi promote gut health and general wellbeing.

Vitamin D primarily helps our bones, but it also facilitates normal immune system function so eggs, milk, and 100% juices fortified with vitamin D are good sources.

    2. Don’t forget fluids

Keeping your body hydrated is vital to building immunity. It enables your organs and digestive system to function as they should, it lubricates our joints and eyes and helps keep our skin healthy. The easiest way to keep your body hydrated is to have a jug nearby. Water is best, but herbal teas and freshly squeezed juices are also excellent ways to keep your fluid levels up.

If you’re dehydrated, the hydration heads to other organs in your body instead of your skin which causes your skin to dry out and age more rapidly.

    3. Exercise regularly

Epidemiological studies have shown that physically active individuals are healthier and live longer than sedentary ones. Scheduling even small amounts of exercise into your daily routine can have a big impact on your wellbeing and help build your immunity. This autumn, try to fit at least 20 minutes of physical activity – even if it’s just a short brisk walk – into your daily routine.

    4. Avoid spreading germs

Hand-washing and good hygiene help prevent the spread of germs. To reduce the spread and growth of bacteria take extra care to keep crockery, cutlery, glasses, and other cooking utensils clean. Remember to wash fresh produce before eating or using it in recipes.

    5. Sleep more and stress less

Getting good quality sleep and managing stress can be just as important as healthy eating when it comes to building our immune system and preventing the flu. Sleep is essential for survival and means your organs can do their job properly. For optimum health and a more beautiful you, aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night!

When you’re stressed, cortisol increases in your body causing dry skin and wrinkles. To reduce stress, try yoga and meditation at regular times during the week. Meditate or take a yoga class during your lunch breaks or start your day by bringing some Zen into your life.

Follow these links for Hopewood tips on better sleep and stress reduction.



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