How to strengthen your immunity? Tips for both adults and kids
Healthy intestinal microflora
The most important part of our immunity actually comes from our bowel. If your diet is balanced and healthy, your intestines will be more resistant and in overall balance. Your own intestinal bacteria either creates antibacteria or just by being in your intestines they help to avoid settling other potentially dangerous bacteria.
Food that supports your immune system
When we talk about healthy diet we mean a balanced combination of food. Don't worry, there is no need to be “on a diet”, but rather to include optimal ratio of nutrients - proteins, healthy fats, fiber, and to add more seasonal and local fruits and vegetable. Also include more natural food and lower the intake of processed food. You can also find some specific food that supports our immunity more than the other, for example citrus, garlic, ginger, olives or avocado.
Sufficient drinking regime belongs to healthy diet. Make sure you drink about 2 litres of fluids. If you don’t like the taste of water you can add some fruits to the water, mint or other herbs, ginger, include mineral water or add herbal and fruit tea. Try to minimise drinking of sweet juices that contain high proportion of processed sugar, and of course you probably know this one - lower alcoholic beverages.
Vitamins and minerals
For our immune system to function well, it needs to have an additional fuel in the form of vitamins and minerals. Normally we receive vitamins and minerals from a balanced diet, but if you want to be sure of proper intake, you can include the basic supplements combo of vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin K or multivitamins. Recommended minerals are zinc, selenium, magnesium, and as an additional support you can add omega 3 fatty acids.
Scientific studies confirm that quality sleep affects human health and the immunity. The general recommendation is to have between 6-8 h of sleep, in a dark, soundproofed room. High quality of mattress and pillow is also very important. If you tend to have a non disturbed sleep, you can try sleep-mask over your eyes and sound-proof earplugs.
Fresh air and activity
Body activity has a big role when strengthening the immunity. Current covid situation doesn’t allow us to do indoor activities, however we can still go out for a long walk. Fresh air not only cleanse our lungs, but also our mind. Make sure you allow enough of fresh air to your house or apartment on a regular basis.
You have probably heard before that body and mind are closely related. If our mind remains under pressure, primarily we mean the longterm stress, it has a negative effect on our body. Avoiding stress can be difficult, but we can try to prevent it, at least. Try to review your work-life balance, add some sport activity indoor at home or outdoor, try yoga or meditation, some like to go for a massage, others like to spend quality time with friends or to enjoy good food. Find your activity that brings you joy and keep doing it regularly to keep you sane.
Washing hands and wearing face-masks
Washing hands itself does not strengthen our immunity as such, but by doing so it helps to prevent pathogenic germs. These can be effectively destroyed by the soap and washing hands.
Wearing face-masks is now compulsory in the Czech Republic during the covid pandemic. But you can consider wearing face-mask even in the future, especially during autumn damp time that is so ample for virus infections. For example, wearing facemarks became a standard in some asian countries, so people not only protect themselves but also protect others from transmission of infectious viral diseases.
Conditioning and sauna
Hardening became pretty popular and beloved activity recently. Do not worry, you don't need to spend a long time in a cold shower, you can start with having a regular hot shower first and end it up with cold water. If this feels too uncomfortable for you, the best idea would be to start with nice lukewarm temperature and continually slowly adding cold water. Your body will adapt better to cold temperatures and will learn how to fight infections even in the cold.
Saunas are closed during lockdown, but in general sauna is great way for detoxing your body, conditioning your cardiovascular system and helps to release endorphines, the hormone of happiness. Proper sauna follows specific rules and it is recommended to keep this order of warmup - cool down - rest and repeat two to three rounds. For the best effect, it is ideal if you combine sauna followed by an ice-cold cooling tub or ice-cold small swimming pool. Sauna is suitable for kids from age of 3, but in general for kids its best to start with the less warm sauna rooms, starting with 65 °C
So as you can see, here we have few ways how to work on your immunity. Remember, you don’t need to follow them all, maybe try one and then you can add more, depending how you feel. Stay healthy and keep your immunity up!