Five immune boosting tips for Autumn

By Health 2000 and adapted for the Gluten Free Shop

Autumn is now here and with it come the ills and chills. The below are five immune-boosting tips you can employ to keep them away.

1. Exercise

Exercise is good for you and the short days and cold weather make it tempting to stay inside ignoring your workout, but if you do, your immune system will suffer. That's because during exercise and for three hours afterward, your body steps up the production of important germ-fighting cells called neutrophils. However, it's all about balance and moderation, so don't overdo it and run yourself into the ground. If your body starts to perceive your exercise as a stress, your immune system won't function well.

2. Stress

Stress creates biochemical changes in the body that cause the immune system to function less efficiently. If you're stressed out at work then use some of your lunchtime to go for a nice brisk walk.  Listen to some of your favourite music and truly listen, giving the music your complete focus.  Building a meditation habit will create instant rewards but at the very least focus on breathing through the nose with long slow breaths throughout the day.

3. Vitamin D

Day light savings has ended and the days are not only colder, but shorter. This means we don't see the sun as often especially if we’re stuck at our desks in constant zoom meetings. We need sunshine because our bodies convert the sun’s rays into vitamin D, and without adequate levels of this vitamin, our immune cells produce fewer antibacterial proteins. This means they are less efficient at killing viruses and bacteria. Try eating more vitamin D-rich foods, such as fatty fish, (salmon, mackerel, etc) or try taking a daily supplement like Lighthouse Vitamin D3 1000iu. 

4. Veges, veges and more veges

The colder days often lead to us eating more comfort foods so try making comfort foods that are loaded with veges. Without enough nutrients from fruit and veges, the immune system becomes ill-equipped to prevent viruses from replicating, making you sick. Green vegetables like spinach, kale, bok choy, brussel sprouts and broccoli should be incorporated into two meals a day.  If you’re struggling to buy fresh veges or struggling with their high prices then top up with either Matakana Supergreens or Nuzest Good Green Vitality.


5. Don't hibernate

Curling up on the couch may seem like a good way to shield yourself from illness, but going out with friends and family may actually keep you healthier. Socialisation and physical activity are both good for our mental health and our immunity so get out as much as you’re comfortable while being conscious of good hygiene and social distancing. People with more friends, work pals and exercise buddies, are less likely to get sick than homebodies. Part of the reason may be that the super social people tend to take better care of themselves, eat healthier and exercise more. So, this autumn make a point in replying “yes" to as many invitations as you can while remembering good hygiene practices and social distancing.