The immune system is your defence system. It protects against “stressors” that challenge your resiliency. It is spread throughout the body and involves many types of cells, proteins and tissues. Stressors are any challenges placed upon out system.
Acute or Anticipated
A certain levels of stress is necessary as it produces a hormonal response which is essential for promoting change. However, too much stress can have a negative effect and can lead to suppressed immune system function and sensitivity.
The 4 pillars for managing stress are:
Sleep, Physical (exercise), Mood and Nutrition (food).
Below we will look at exercise and food.
Physical activity is a “stressor” and will influence your immune system. Too little exercise can have a negative effect on the immune system just as too much exercise with too little recovery can. This is why we advise our members to have at least a day’s rest between training session and design them to make sure that members are not exposed to constant high intensity workouts every time they’re in the gym. An extremely important thing to consider, certainly as we get older. Making sure we stay fit and healthy by doing the correct amount of exercise, getting the correct amount of recovery and making sure we have a healthy balanced diet will mean our immune system in in a better position to do its job.
Nutrition has a vital part in keeping your immune system at its best. Here on some immunity building foods, alternatives and how to access to them to help keep you as strong as possible.
Immune boosting foods
Oranges: These beautifully coloured fruits are full of vitamin C. This micronutrient is known for its immune boosting abilities are thought too due to the development of white blood cells. There are some great alternatives such as: grapefruit, tangerines, lemons, limes and clementine.
Almonds: Fancy a quick and easy snack? Almonds are a fantastic source of Vitamin E, they are great due to their aid in repairing damaged tissue, maintaining structurally integrity of hair, skin and nails. Amazingly, they help with the ageing process. Mirror, mirror on the wall, anyone? What’s more, is that they are fat soluble an are high in fat too! You can get these in most supermarkets, but if you want to save a penny or two. Go to a local market. Great alternatives are Sunflower Seeds, Maize, Peanuts and Spinach.
Green Tea: Keep calm and stick the kettle on! There is a powerful antioxidant in Green and Black Tea called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG for short - try say that 5 times in front of a mirror! This antioxidant has been shown to help enhancing the immune system by activating T cells within the body. EGCG can also be found in foods such as cranberries, strawberries, blackberries and cherries. These can all be found fresh in the fruit aisle, however, if you want something more long lasting, then head for green tea.
For more information on immunity building foods and ways to help your immune system, please do not hesitate to contact us. Together we inspire.
The Fitness Collective Team