Whilst the shelves are empty of toilet paper and canned goods, I notice that fresh produce is still readily available. In a panic people are stocking up on loo paper for a respiratory virus, hmmm. Calm down people, panicking is not helpful.
Besides the obvious, wash your hands and wash them well with soap; (there is a great video here on how to do this, most people would not be washing their hands properly).
The most important thing you can do is look after your health and support your immune system so you can hopefully avoid getting sick or be able to recover more easily if you do get sick.
The four most important things to focus on for healthy functioning immune system are:
- Good Nutrition
Highly processed and sugary foods can have a negative effect on the immune system. Eating plenty of fresh produce including meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts and seeds and fruit will help to boost your immune system. This will also ensure you have a healthy microbiome which is also part of the immune system.
- Good Sleep
Regularly sleeping less than 6 or 7 hours a night demolishes your immune system. The World Health Organisation and Natural Sleep Foundation both stipulate an average of 8 hours of sleep per night by adults and more for children. When you sleep, your body is able to detoxify, restore, regenerate and grow muscle tissue and so much more.
- Stress management
When you are stressed, the immune system’s ability to protect you is reduced, that is why you become more susceptible to infections. The stress hormones including cortisol reduce the numbers of your white blood cells (immune cells).
- Move your body
Regular physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the airways and lungs which may help to reduce your chance of getting sick with a cold or flu. The rise in temperature you experience during exercise may also be beneficial (helping the body to fight infection the same way that a fever does. Don’t overdo it, overexercising will have a negative effect on your immune system.
At our nutrition clinic we also use various supplements to support immunity during the flu season.
I choose to focus on what I can do and don’t stress about what I have no control over, I urge you to do the same!