In these crazy times we’re more aware of it than ever: our health. Sleeping, snoozing, power napping, trying to eat bunches of veggies, getting some fresh air on a daily base. Oh, and social distancing and LOTS of hand washing, of course. But what’s the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 and other viruses, besides the ‘wash your hands’ and ‘1,5 metres’ shebang. In this three-minute read you know the rules how to increase your immune system.
If your way of protecting against diseases always has been to get enough vitamin C, you’re – sorry to say – quite wrong. There’s so much more. Although it’s frequently claimed as the #1 vitamin you absolutely have to take, it has never been scientifically proven. It’s just a word of mouth kind of thing. The ‘joke’ is that this rumour has its origins in a mega successful American advertising campaign. Let’s say the power of ads. So, vitamin C is a really essential vitamin to get on a daily base, but it isn’t the one and only magic bullet. Boost your immune system with these fivesome tips:
Tip # 1: Vitamin ‘sunlight’
We are so lucky with the abundance of sun rays that Mother Nature has been sprinkling with lately. It isn’t only a nice boost for your mood and tan, it’s also a big plus for your health. Did you know sunlight is the most important source of vitamin D? Exactly therefore it’s a huge immune booster. Go outside and get it!
Tip # 2: Brrr cold shower
Bye bye warm crispy covers…hello cold shower. Say whut?! At first you won’t be eager to really implement this idea in your daily routine. But wait for it. If you read the research of the AMC doctor Buijze, you start to think differently. What this good guy has to say? Jumping under a cold shower has quite a lot health benefits for your immune system. For example, his research showed that absenteeism decreased by no less than 29%. Furthermore, team ‘cold shower’ were filled with energy. Whether you build a cold 30-, 60- or 90-second wake-me-up-shower-session into your daily wakey-wakey routine, it doesn’t matter. The health benefits are virtually the same. Boosting your immune system with a brrr shower tomorrow morning, are you in?
Tip # 3: You are what you eat
Veggies and fruit in all colors of the rainbow are really immune-supportive foods. They’re full of vitamins, minerals and…antioxidants. And especially this last one is a powerhouse for your immune system. Antioxidants are the fighters against free radicals. Harmful, aggressive substances which – in unfavourable cases – can cause damage to your cells and tissue. So, get your dose of antioxidants day in day out.
How? By eating these healthy champs:
• Turmeric – Within Indian Ayurveda, turmeric has been praised for thousands of years because of its enormous powerrr. The benefits of this herb? It has a powerful antioxidant effect – here he’s again -, stimulates the blood circulation to remove waste, and has anti-inflammatory specs. Take a shot of turmeric which you can buy at, for example, the Ekoplaza. Be prepared: It won’t be a nice 15 seconds, so keep the health benefits in mind.
• Ginger – If we may believe the pros, this is the world’s healthiest Asian spice. Better safe than sorry. That’s why we frequently drink some fresh ginger tea or put some ginger in an Oriental dish. Don’t exaggerate, just a little bit is more than enough. Go, go, go for it!
• Garlic – a do-gooder when it comes to fighting infections. Add a little zip to everything you cook, and you can check this one off your immune-supportive list.
• Broccoli – This green basterd is packed with loads of antioxidants and a source of essential vitamins A, C and E. A smart choice to eat regularly to boost your immune system health.
• Spinach – How about having some spinach on the menu? Count ‘m in! It prefers the mix of many crucial antioxidants and nutrients, like vitamin C, E, beta-carotenes and flavonoids. Let’s say, good stuff only.
• Blueberries – Although they’re small in size, they’re filled with lots of antioxidants (flavonoids). According to a study, these ones play a crucial role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system.
• Almonds – Nuts about nuts? This is your good news gong. Almonds are a rich source of vitamin E, magnesium and fiber. Eating a handful of nuts per day benefits the immune system. When is your healthy snack o’clock today?
• Red bell peppers – Did you know red bell peppers actually contain twice the amount of vitamin C compared to citrus fruits like grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime. Although they’re bombs full of vitamin C, red bell peppers surpass them. Thereby it’s an excellent alternative if you want to avoid fruit sugars as much as possible.
• Dark chocolate – As you may have noticed, we saved the best for last. And if we’re talking about dark chocolate, we mean the ones with a high percentage of cacao – preferably the ones above the 85%. It’s full of antioxidants, the so-called theobromine – which helps protect your body cells from free radicals. Little side note: dark chocolate is high in calories and saturated fat, so eat it in moderation is the device.
• Celery (juice) – Unfortunately, this superfood is totally underrated and people often forget it’s more than just a low calorie stick. In fact, celery is seen as a miracle juice that can benefit your health in so many ways. It’s proven to be especially good for people with chronic diseases. Eating celery stalks, while very healthy and important, is not the same as drinking pure celery juice. “When celery is juiced, the pulp (fiber) is removed, and I believe its healing benefits become much more powerful, especially for someone with chronic illness. You’ll also be able to consume far more celery as juice than you would by eating it”. Source: Goop
See workouts as one of the immune system boosters
Tip # 4: Sweat, sweat baby
Tune out from your Netflix series, work or phone. Get up off that couch and show those muscles. Putting yourself up for a sweat session in the open air is a good thing for your immune system, according to a few smart minds. Get that heart rate up and let the endorphins flow through your veins. It’s the very best way to get rid of your body waste. Build up your sports routine and listen to your body. Don’t push yourself too hard. Your body knows better than anyone when it’s enough. That being said, recent show that walking at a normal pace can be more healthier than as full sweaty workout. If you live near nature, try and walk for an hour every day.
Tip # 5: Gut bacteria, let’s flourish
Last but not least, your gut bacteria. They’re very important for your immune system. Most of it is settled there. How to keep your bowels as calm and satisfied as possible? Eat enough fiber. Fiber, fiber, fiber is the motto. You can find them in whole grain products, fruits and vegetables. And also drink a lot of water during the day. That’s it.
Stay safe (and healthy)!