Double vaccinated? Enjoying the freedom that comes with it? Of course, many of us are. But even though most UK adults have now had both jabs (and some of us have had our booster jabs too) as nights draw in and the weather turns colder, we still need strong immune systems to keep us well this winter.
Current NHS guidelines advise us that the vaccine does not mean we cannot catch or transmit the virus, so it’s important that we take the appropriate lifestyle steps which could improve vaccine effectiveness and help to guard against many conditions that predispose to severe Covid. Factors such as age and unhealthy lifestyle choices can compromise the effectiveness of our immune system.
So, what key factors should we consider to strengthen our immune system this winter? We asked our team of nutritionists for their advice here at The Pure Package.
A healthy balanced diet plays a vital role in staying well, some foods to consider including in your diet are:
Blueberries – Blueberries have been hailed as a superfood hero for a years, and with good reason. They contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanin, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost a person’s immune system. Many studies have shown that flavonoids play an essential role in the respiratory tract’s immune defense system. Consuming foods rich in flavonoids can help to prevent against respiratory tract infections as well as things such as the common cold.
Green Leafy Vegetables – Green Leafy Vegetables like spinach, kale and cabbage, are brimming with vitamins, minerals and fibre. They also provide essential fibre and iron. Iron is involved in the turnover of immune cells, especially lymphocytes, and these are associated with the generation of a specific response to infection. Foods such as spinach contain Vitamins C and E which can help to protect the immune system.
Broccoli – Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C. It also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. For these reasons, it is a good choice of vegetable to eat regularly to support immune system health.
Herbs such as Turmeric, Ginger and Garlic – Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects this can be very beneficial for a person’s immune response. Ginger is widely renowned for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. It can be incorporated into the diet in a variety of dishes, as well as in teas. Garlic is a common home remedy for the prevention of colds and other illness, it contains allicin which is believed to reduce the risk of getting a cold and other common illnesses.
Take Vitamin D supplements:
Vitamin D is the only micronutrient we cannot get in adequate amounts from diet, as it’s synthesized in the skin by sunlight, it can be beneficial to take supplements over the winter months. Several studies have been conducted by various scientific bodies linking the low vitamin D levels with Covid infection risk and severity.
Small amounts of vitamin D can also be absorbed through foods such as oil-rich fish, fortified foods such as breakfast cereal, eggs and mushrooms grown under UV light
Getting more sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your immune system. When you are sleeping, your body repairs itself and it’s an optimal time for your body to heal and repair your immune system.
Keep an eye on your alcohol intake:
With the Christmas party season fast approaching, it can be easy to consume more alcohol that we would usually. But, unfortunately alcohol can interrupt immunity enhancing sleep as it causes dehydration so it can cause us to wake through the night to rehydrate. As it’s also a diuretic it can also mean more trips to the bathroom during the night.
Take time to de-stress:
Stress has been dubbed the ‘health epidemic of the 21st century’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO). When we are stressed our body releases Cortisol (a key stress hormone) which can supress the immune system. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial to prioritise our mental health and adopt simple ways of coping with stress. From journaling, practising mindfulness or connecting with nature it’s important to find the time to do things that help us to unwind.
At The Pure Package, we understand how stressful the daily juggle of a busy life can be. But it’s important to prioritise your nutrition because when you eat well, you’re better equipped to face the demands of modern life. Our team of nutritionists are dedicated to helping you to achieve your health goals, Whether that’s boosting your immunity, brain power, nourishing your skin and hair or achieving your weight-loss goals, why not book a consultation today and discover a tailored meal plan prepared and delivered just for you.