Help Your Immune System

17 October 2021
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In this blog we will cover ways to help your diet and understand what nutritional benefit some foods can play in helping you build a stronger immune system. 

So here are some important areas of your diet to focus on and potentially increase:

Vitamin D:  Over the past few years, the information around Vitamin D has greatly increased. Vitamin D has been shown to protect against respiratory diseases, flu development, depression and cardiac disease markers. But how can we increase our intake? Sun exposure is the best source of Vitamin D, but you can also find it in salmon, egg yolks, milk and cereals. But as we’re in Ireland it can be useful to supplement your diet with Vitamin D because of the weak strength of the sun and now winter is closing in. So a simple Vitamin D supplement from your local health store can be greatly beneficial to your health.

Protein: Protein can help your body build lean tissue and also help build antibodies. Protein is arguably the most important macronutrient for your immune system. Whether animal or plant-based, aim for the best quality available to you that you can afford. Recommended amounts are different for everyone due to body weight and the amount of activity you are doing.

Zinc: Zinc is very important to the immune system by effectively activating T-Cells. T-cells job is to attack infected cells and will help regulate your immune response. Ways to increase the amount of Zinc in your diet is to eat foods such as scallops and oysters. Also, high-quality whole grains are good food sources for Zinc. 

Vitamin C: If you want a great micronutrient for an immune boost, Vitamin C will do that job for you. It’s a powerful antioxidant that can help your body produce lymphocytes and phagocytes. These are vital for your immune system to help protect you against infections. Where can you find Vitamin C? Citrus fruits, broccoli and bell peppers are great for this. But similar to the other Vitamins mentioned above it can be useful to supplement these in your diet as well.

Sleep: Sleep is one of the most important good habits you can develop. This is because it affects everything we do and how our body functions the next day. What do you do with your phone at night? Charge it. Otherwise, you are not going to be using it at its full capacity the next day. It is the same with your body. Give it the recharge it needs. To help increase your sleep try these tips:

  • Aim to get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted time in bed. Put your phone away before bed as this will help reduce distractions.  
  • Stick to a consistent bedtime so your body gets used to going to bed at a certain time. 
  • Precede bedtime with some deep breathing work to engage the parasympathetic nervous system which is the relaxing part of your nervous system.

These habits and diet tips might be basic, but that does not make it easy. Your day can change without you expecting it and throw a spanner in your new routine. But building good habits can provide you with some flexibility when your day gets out of control. So give these tips a go this week and see how you feel.

If you have any questions and want to improve your health from diet advice to decreasing aches and pains you may have contact the clinic today on 0578678904, direct message us on Facebook or book now.

Yours in Health

The Lawlor Clinic: Spine & Sport, Portlaoise, Laois

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