SHAPING UP: Seven natural ways to boost your immune system in time for winter
And, we’re seeing a spike in Covid-19 cases in the North East at the moment.
So, it’s important to give your immune system a boost to stay healthy and avoid being ill over the Autumn and Winter months.
Sure, the flu jab can help, but here are some natural ways to boost your immune system over the next few months:
Plenty of Exercise
Exercise is one of the most effective ways of preventing a cold. When you work out there is an increase of white blood cells circulating around your body which can improve your body’s ability to fight infection.
If you already have a cold, taking part in some light exercise can help you along on the road to recovery. However, you must take note of your body’s response to the activity. If you feel like you’re straining yourself too much, then it may be a good idea to stop.
When you’re stressed there is an increase in the hormone cortisol. High cortisol levels over a long period of time can lead to a less effective immune system.
Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can be a key contributor to colds and flu because there is a reduction of infection-fighting antibodies and cells when you’re tired.
So, if you’re feeling a little run down opt for an early night over a Netflix binge.
Drink More Water
Supermarkets are full of health-boosting drinks, but one of the most powerful drinks you can have is water.
Staying hydrated is really important for your immune system, because it helps your kidneys flush toxins out of the body.
Drink Less Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can damage the cells in the body that help the immune system. So, too much alcohol over time can increase the risk of bacterial and viral infections.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to a weak immune system.
Foods like egg yolks, mushrooms, salmon and tuna contain vitamin D, so make sure you include these in your diet. If you don’t eat those foods you could also consider a vitamin D supplement. Choose a supplement that contains D3 (cholecalciferol), because it’s better at raising your blood levels of vitamin D.
Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains a high level of antioxidants, called flavonoids, which have many health benefits, including boosting your immune system.
Strawberry Cheesecake Bread
TOTAL TIME: 70 minutes
CALORIES PER PORTION: 324
125g cream cheese
2 tbsp caster sugar
300g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
200g strawberries, finely sliced
2 bananas, mashed (overly ripe)
125g butter, melted
2 tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 190°C/375oF/Gas 5. Grease a 10cm x 24cm loaf tin with a little butter and line with baking paper.
Next, beat together the cream cheese and caster sugar until smooth.
In a separate large bowl, mix together the self-raising flour and baking powder. Add the strawberries and gently toss to combine.
Whisk together the banana, eggs, butter, honey and milk and pour it into the bowl of dry ingredients. Very gently mix to combine (try not to overmix).
Pour half the mixture into the pan, followed by a layer of the cream cheese. Pour the remaining banana bread mixture on top.
Smooth the surface and top with an extra strawberry or banana slices.
Cook for 45-50 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
10-MIUNTE BEGINNERS LEG WORKOUT
This beginners leg workout is low impact so it’s quite easy on your joints and you can take everything at your own pace.Before you start the workout go to the East Coast Fitness Facebook Page to watch the short demo video to make sure you get the correct technique.20 seconds SQUATS
20 seconds SQUATS WITH CALF RAISE
20 seconds SQUATS WITH KNEE DRIVE
20 seconds SQUAT PULSES
20 seconds BRIDGES
20 seconds rest