The immune system is your body's defense against disease. It is responsible for recognizing and regulating your body's response to germs like bacteria and viruses. Before the coronavirus pandemic, you could imagine maintaining a strong immune system to stay healthy. After the corona virus has turned so many countries upside down, we can see how connected our individual immune system is.
In one study, Researchers examined twins to see if our immune system is genetically passed on to us or created by our environment, habits and exposure. They found that identical twins who share the same genome have very different immune systems based on things like diet and life experiences.
"We used to be unable to see the immediate public consequences of poor hygiene and personal health," said Connie Cheng, Gym Wellness Director at Gold. But now we know why it is so important to wash our hands. It's not just about keeping yourself clean. "The result is not only your own health, but also that of other people. So it is your duty not only to yourself but also to society to do these things now." In this way it helps others to improve your own immunity strengthen – and if they do the same, it will help you too.
So it's time to get back to basics. Wellness is not just something that you have to focus on, but also for your loved ones, your neighbors and your community. This includes developing healthy eating, sleeping and stress methods. Here are three habits that can become major immune system boosters.
1. Get your nutrients from food.
Researcher now call the gut "the second brain" because it produces hormones and biological responses. For example, certain cells in the lining of your gut make up some of the antibodies for your immune system, and antibodies respond to anything that is recognized as a foreign body in your body.
Good nutrition helps keep your gut healthy enough to produce an immediate antibody response that helps your immune system work at an optimal level. This requires you to ingest the nutrients you need through food. And it's like going to the gym: exercising really hard every now and then doesn't lead to the same results as consistent habits.
"If you only eat these nutrients when you are sick, they won't do much," says Cheng. "But if you treat this like a daily medication and eat a variety of these foods, the effects will increase over time."
Here are our recommendations for foods that boost the immune system:
Zinc and selenium: Nuts, seeds, tahini, beans, hummus, tofu, whole grains
Vitamin D: Salmon, mushrooms, tofu, fortified milk products or milk substitutes (see label)
Vitamin A: Carrots, mangoes, papaya, sweet potato, cooked tomatoes
Vitamin C: Strawberries, blackberries, kiwi, oranges, peppers, parsley, kale
Prebiotics / probiotics: high fiber foods such as vegetables, legumes and whole grains; Milk replacement with live cultures; and other fermented foods (yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, natto, tempeh)
"Try to include a few of these nutrient sources with every meal," says Cheng. "It's about variety." For example, throw some parsley on your chicken dish. Add sunflower seeds to your salad. If you get an enormous amount of these foods at once, it won't necessarily increase immunity. However, you can build them up over time by sprinkling them regularly in your meals throughout the week.
2. Get enough sleep.
We know about scientific studies These sleepless nights can reduce your cellular immune responses, which can increase your susceptibility to disease.
Some researchers find that sleep quality and chronic sleep deprivation can affect the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. Like a good diet, sleeping habits increase over time. A good night's sleep can even help your training performance.
"Tonight alone may not matter if I do not sleep well," says Cheng, "but if it is a gathering of sleepless nights, the negative consequences on the street will increase."
The recommendation: 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night.
There are many Ways to improve your sleepThis includes stretching beforehand and banishing your cell phone from the bedroom.
If a complete night's sleep is not possible, take a 30-minute nap twice a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon as a backup strategy. This will help reduce stress and stress Reduce the negative effects on the immune system.
3. Reduce your stress.
The science is clear: when you are stressed at work or by circumstances around you, your body increases its cortisol response, reducing the amount of white blood cells and reducing your ability to fight infections.
"What is challenging people right now is that they see all the chaos around them," says Cheng. "They see people die and suffer and don't know what to do about it."
The recommendation: create daily stress relief strategies and use them as if you were prescribed medication. These include:
When training, be sure to follow the rules for physical distance. Maintaining space around you will minimize exposure to pathogens and slow the spread of coronavirus in your community.
There are many digital options for strength and cardio workouts that enable social distancing: try it GOLD & # 39; S AMP™ our digital personal training app or Gold & # 39; s gym everywhere, our on-demand streaming workouts from Gold & # 39; s gym experts.
The key to your personal immunity, says Cheng, is to develop habits and maintain them over time. "What can we do to help our world now?" She asks. "These suggestions seem to be only for us. But keeping our immune system strong is what we can do. And not just for us. It's for the whole world."