Looking After Your Immune System with your 5 a day

Our immune system is an important function in our body to keep us healthy and protects us against diseases.

Now more than ever you might be looking at ways to boost your immune system.

Here’s a few ways you can help keep your immune system at it’s best.

1. Get plenty of sleep

According to the NHS, prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system. Try to get eight hours of sleep a night, this also helps protect against other health issues including heart disease.

If you’re having trouble sleeping, here’s a few top tips:

  • Stick to a routine. To train your brain to switch off at night try getting into a routine, this could include a warm bubble bath to relax your whole body, playing some gentle music to help you drift off and getting up and going to bed around the same time each day.
  • Avoid eating too close to bed time. Try to leave about two hours between your evening meal and the time you go to bed.
  • Make your bedroom somewhere you find restful. Whether that’s fresh sheets, a cosy blanket or opening a window.

Want more tips on improving your sleep, here’s our advice.

2. Try to reduce stress in your life

Stress doesn’t just affect us emotionally, but it can have a physical response too. Ongoing stress can make us more susceptible to illness and disease*. It may not be easy to reduce your stress levels, particularly with what’s going on currently. But here are a few ways you can try:

  • Try to keep work to just working hours. With many of us now working from home, this can be easy to find ourselves working additional hours. You might find it helpful to also have a way to separate home from work life by setting up a home office in a place you can close the door on when you’re done.
  • Get active. Exercise can help to reduce stress, as your body releases mood boosting chemicals. YouTube has plenty of at home exercises videos you can try.
3. Make sure to get your 5 a day

Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet which can help you stay well. They’re good sources of vitamins and minerals such as folate, vitamin C and potassium as well as being an excellent source of dietary fibre.

Here’s some easy way to incorporate fruit and vegetables into your day:

  • Add fruit to cereal or porridge for breakfast
  • Sticks of cucumber, peppers and carrot can make a good addition to your lunches
  • Add fruit and veg to your favourite dinners. Try adding carrot to a Bolognese sauce, mix veg into mashed potatoes or add tomatoes to your omelette

You could also try taking a multivitamin, vitamin C, vitamin B12 and Zinc can be helpful.

*nhs.uk/oneyou/for-your-body/stress-less/