Our immune system is our personal weapon against viruses. It is divided into two main parts – the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.
There are many factors that affect the rate at which are immune systems works – stress being one of them. Too much stress can adversely affects the immune system as does poor diet and a lack of sleep. So lockdown is a KEY time to work on our stress levels, make good choices in the diet and ensure we are getting adequate sleep.
How to manage stress during lock down
DON”T BE GLUED TO THE NEWS. if it makes you feel more anxious. Consider just reading the news once in the morning for 30 minutes only rather than around the clock.
Take breaks. Make sure you factor in mini breaks throughout the day. Step outside. In the garden. Cup of tea. Connect with a loved one. Studies show you are more productive with more breaks.
Block out down time and fun time.
Phone a friend and have a house party. Its important to stay connected even though we have to be physically distant.
Get your sleep routine good. ! Sleep keeps the immune system strong. If you can’t sleep at night because your mind is going round and round try CBD oil, Reishi mushroom or 5 HTP.
Daily exercise. There are loads of fitness apps you can use to keep moving and maintain a healthy state of mind during these times. Try fit and Sweat. You can always step outside for a walk or run as long as your keep a fair distance from others.
Read. This is a great time to read all those books that have been piling up. Check out: How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson. Perfect for this moment in time! Or my book Burnouts a Bitch – How not to burnout out in this world crazy world we live in
What should I be eating at home during lockdown?
Cut back on sugars and refined carbohydrates! They have very little nutrients and cause inflammation in the body and disrupt a healthy immune response. THIS MEANS ALCOHOL TOO! Please drink in moderation.
Increase your essential fats – microbes can not live on fat. Servings of oily fish, nuts, seeds and avocados should be consumed daily.
Consume an anti inflammatory diet! Inflammation up regulates pro inflammatory cytokines and general inflammation in the body! Avoid foods that cause inflammation such as sugar, gluten and alcohol.
Make sure you are eating a source of protein at every meal and snack. When your immune system is under attack it needs more protein.
GET COLOUR IN YOUR DIET. Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables to 8 portions per day with the focus being on vegetables. The antioxidants protect cells from free radical damage and reduce system inflammation in the body
Increase foods high in Vitamin C – this is mostly fruits and vegetables which are powerhouse of nutrients and contain antioxidants such as vitamin C and beta-carotene. These nutrients are vital for fighting off infections.
Eat prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic and sauerkraut. Prebiotic helps to feed the friendly bacteria in our gut. Onions and garlic have natural antiviral and antibiotic properties which make them great for warding off germs..
Eat foods high in Vitamin D – every cell in the body has Vitamin D receptors and it’s crucial for immune regulation. Increase foods such as tuna, salmon, eggs or you can supplement 1000iu per day
Essential nutrients for the immune system
- Supplement with probiotics which are your first line of defence when it comes to the immune system. They also help to lower waking cortisol levels so good if you are worried about all the hysteria. I like ‘For daily immunity’ by OptiBac because they include the highly researched strain Lactobacillus paracasei CASEI-431®. They are very effective and not expensive.
- Take Vitamin C everyday to prevent any infections from getting in. Vitamin C helps resist infections. It’s water soluble so you can take 3-5 grams spread across the day. Ascorbic acid form is good and cost effective.
- Vitamin D. 1000iu per day. Vitamin D stops the need for antibiotics plus the lack of sunlight means we are all deficient right now! Vitamin D stops infections from being so harmful by repairing any viral damage.