Feeling a bit run down lately? Your immune system could be compromised. Luckily, there are a number of ways to feel great again.
It is vital to have a good, strong immune system to stay healthy in your 60s, but nutritional deficiencies as well as lack of physical exercise and too much stress can impair immune functions, increasing the risk and severity of infection.
The foods you eat have a great impact on your immune system so it’s important to eat certain foods with nutrients and disease-fighting properties to help keep your immune system strong.
Here’s 11 of our favourite natural ways to boost your immunity:
1. Take your vitamins
A lack of vitamins is linked to a reduced immunity, so it’s important to take a multivitamin supplement and eat a healthy diet to boost immune system. In particular, vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D and E play a key role in helping us avoid becoming ill.
You might know turmeric for its presence in exotic cuisines or for its anti-inflammatory properties, but this bright orange spice helps prevent illness too. Add some to your spicier dishes or mix in a ginger drink.
Certain types of mushrooms, particularly Japanese mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, and oyster mushrooms, have recently been shown to help support the production of immune cells. They’re also full of antioxidants.
It’s just common sense but regular exercise is a heal-all and if you have a healthy, fit body, you will have a fit immune system. Some forms of exercise, like tai chi and yoga, are also particularly suited for reducing stress and improving the strength, balance and flexibility that we often lose as we age.
5. Guavas, oranges and lemons
Guavas, oranges and lemons contain vitamin C which plays an important role as a natural antioxidant in our body. Vitamin C helps the white blood cells respond quickly to infections. Also, guavas contain a lot of fibre which has a protective role against high cholesterol and heart disease.
6. Carrots, red pumpkins and papayas
All orange, yellow and red coloured fruits and vegetables are rich sources of beta carotene that is known to have immune-protective action. By acting on different components of the immune system, beta carotene helps the body fend off infection fast.
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, garlic is a great immunity booster. Include a little crushed garlic in your cooking every day and the allicin in it will keep your immune system at its best.
Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acid among other important acids to provide extra support to the all immune system. You can add flaxseeds to salads or blend up in smoothies.
Yoghurt contains probiotics which are well known for improving immune function and protecting the body against common bacterial and viral infections.
10. Green tea
Green tea is a potent source of antioxidants and some studies have found that these have the ability to destroy the flu virus. Have a cup a day to draw on its bacteria fighting ability.
11. Gingko Biloba
Gingko biloba’s leaves contain antioxidant compounds that protect the body from damage caused by infection. Thus, the more you can ingest, the better you’ll be at fighting off disease.