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The best tips and tricks to boost your immunity

The best tips and tricks to boost immunity

Boost immunity and keep your health in tip top condition this winter with this useful advice from nutritional biochemist Julie Lamble.

Around this time of year, all manners of bugs and illnesses are spreading far and wide. It’s inevitable that you may feel a bit under the weather at times. It’s impossible to avoid everyone sneezing and coughing forever! Luckily, nutritionist Julie Lamble from lifeplan.co.uk has come up with some handy advice to keep your immunity in check this winter.

Sleep

It sounds obvious, but sleep honestly is such an important part of your daily routine. ‘Research shows there is a direct link between sleep and the immune system.’ explains Julie. ‘Not only can a lack of sleep compromise your immunity (and zap energy levels, of course), but recent studies have shown that it can also increase the amount of time in which it takes for your body to recover after a cold or flu.’ You need to try to aim for 8 hours of sleep a night for optimum health.

Food

Eating the right foods around this time of year can have a huge impact on the state of your immune system. ‘Most people assume summer fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruits contain the highest levels of vitamins known for boosting immunity. However, winter vegetables can often contain as many, if not more vitamins, than fruit.’ says Julie. ‘Try and increase the amount of potatoes, spinach, red peppers, broccoli in your diet at this time of year, as all of these are known for containing high levels of vitamin C.’

Cut the caffeine

We’re not seeing you need to completely stop drinking coffee. However, if you catch yourself enjoying a cup too many on a daily basis, it may be a good idea to cut down. ‘While most of us are guilty of using caffeine to turbo-charge our energy levels each morning, the lows your body experiences after the caffeine has work off can leave you feeling tired and sometimes agitated.’ explains Julie. ‘Try and avoid chemical boost and regulate your energy levels by cutting out caffeine all together. While the first few days might be tough, your body will soon adjust and will thank you.’

Go with your gut

Trusting your gut is something you should do both metaphorically and literally. ‘Intestinal bacteria is so important for your overall health, but in particular for your immunity.’ says Julie. ‘It’s estimated that 80 per cent of your immune activity happens in your gut. Choosing the right probiotic is key.’ If you suffer from a funny tummy every now and then, opt for more fermented foods and cultured dairy products in your diet. These would include foods such as carrots, green beans and yoghurt.

Enjoy the sun

Winter can be really grey and bleak at times. With that in mind, you have to make sure that you’re getting enough vitamin D from the sun as possible. ‘Expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible.’ says Julie. ‘Just 30 minutes a day can help improve your mood and boost energy levels, even in the winter months. However, after September the dwindling sun makes it more of a challenge.’ If the sun is hard to come by, it may be worth taking a vitamin D supplement during the colder months. ‘Try and supplement your Vitamin D levels to ensure your energy levels aren’t compromised.’ advises Julie. ‘Taking Lifeplan’s Vitamin D 1000iu tablets once a day will provide you with the active form of this important vitamin.’

For more…

Give your body the tools it needs to fight infection with 5 of the best immune system boosters.

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Nutrition for everything you need to know about making healthy choices every day.