Boost your immunity

HEALTH:

There is no avoiding exposure to germs and viruses, but some people seem more susceptible to them than others. A strong, well-functioning immune system is the cornerstone of good health, fighting off disease and infections and allowing you to recover more quickly if you do get sick.

EXERCISE:

Research supports a link between regular, moderate exercise and a healthy immune system due to its effect on the production of white blood cells.

under-the-weather1Physical activity sends these immune cells through the body at a faster rate, enabling them to detect and fight bacteria and viruses more effectively. It can also slow down the release of stress-related hormones, which increase the chance of illness.

NUTRITION:

One of the best ways to boost your immunity is through the consumption of a healthy diet including plenty of whole grains, nuts, seeds and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables.

Fresh, unprocessed foods contain numerous immune-boosting antioxidants which help protect and repair our cells from damage on a daily basis.

© Sarah West Nutrition

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Winter blues

HEALTH:

During the cold, bleak winter months it can be tempting to let things go a bit and hide behind extra layers of clothing.

However, it’s especially important to make sure you fit in daily bouts of exercise over winter as we lose our natural inclination to go outside for a walk or play outdoor sport, making it a prime time to get out of shape.

f01bcd9c664c6e15d21549399cf1d2afEXERCISE:

If you think you’ll feel better over the next few months by closing the curtains and settling down in front of the TV, think again.

Research has repeatedly shown the ill-effects of not doing exercise, including an increased risk of viral infections, diabetes, heart disease and even premature death. In contrast, regular exercise boosts your immune system and increases your life expectancy.

NUTRITION:

When it’s cold and dark outside we tend to crave warming, filling food. Try adding lentils or beans to shop-bought soups to give them a boost of filling protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fibre.

Making your own hearty homemade vegetable soups means you can also control the salt and fat content, making them an even healthier choice.

© Sarah West Nutrition