How to boost your immune system with nutrition
By Tara Tangney from Activate Fitness
The immune system is precisely that — a system. To function well, it requires stability.
While there is no magic bullet for increasing immunity, there are ways to keep your immune system strong so that you are better prepared to fight off infections and heal quickly.
As long as your immune system is running smoothly, you don’t notice that it’s there, but if it stops working properly – because it’s weak or can't fight particularly aggressive germs – you get ill.
Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur inside our body. Here are five ways to ensure you support a good immune system coming into the wintery months:
1. Eat More Vegetables
While all vegetables have health benefits, some pack a more powerful immune-boosting punch than others. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in fibre, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A), which helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections.
2. Eat Balanced Meals
Include all macronutrients in your meals. Protein is particularly important for healing and recovery. Protein sources include leaner sources of meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, beans, soy, nuts and seeds. These foods are also good sources of zinc, a mineral that promotes healthy immune function and aids in wound healing. Healthy fats are also essential to support our immune health. Try to include a variety of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your daily diet. These are found in avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These foods provide good fats but are also rich in phytonutrients and fat-soluble vitamins. For example, a small handful of nuts such as almonds is a great source of vitamin E. Wild-caught salmon is one of the only foods naturally rich in vitamin D. Fatty fish are also rich in essential fats called omega-3s, which are known for their multiple health benefits.
3. Regular Exercise
Exercise is one of the main aspects that support a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise promotes cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and offers protection against a variety of diseases. And just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to a healthy immune system, improves blood circulation allowing immune system cells to move through the body more freely and do their job more effectively.
4. Good Quality Sleep
Getting enough sleep has many health benefits. The lack of sleep puts your body into ‘fight or flight' mode, releasing adrenaline and increased stress hormones into the body. Research shows that in general, adults need at least seven hours of sleep for optimal health and well-being. As we sleep our immune system works to heal and repair the body. A few tips for getting a good night’s sleep include avoiding caffeine in the evenings, turning off your screens (TV, laptop, phones, etc.) well before bedtime and sleeping in a cool, dark room.
5. Manage Your Stress
You may not often think about how stress affects your ability to fight off infection, but your state of mind can have a significant impact on your health. When you are experiencing more stress, your immunity is compromised, which puts you at a higher risk of getting sick. Managing stress may help you fight germs and infections. Stress management techniques include breath work, meditation, yoga, moderate exercise, walking etc. Having a support system of close friends and family can also help us feel connected and stay strong throughout stressful times.
Although there is no magical potion for immunity, you can take these five steps to boost your immune system which is very important as we enter the colder and darker mornings of winter. Don’t underestimate your lifestyle’s impact on your ability to help keep your immune system strong. Good nutrition, quality sleep, and managing stress can all have a significant impact on your health. If you need help with your nutrition, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to help you!
Strong connections made at tourism tradeshow
Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry. Held in the INEC, 450 Irish businesses pitched to over 230 international […]
Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry.
Held in the INEC, 450 Irish businesses pitched to over 230 international buyers from 17 countries at Fáilte Ireland’s flagship trade event.
Running since 1975, Meitheal is organised in partnership with Tourism Ireland to provide Irish tourism businesses with the opportunity to sell directly to top international buyers and tour operators.
The best of what is on offer across Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Ireland’s Ancient East, the Wild Atlantic Way and Dublin, were showcased with the aim of being scheduled on the itineraries of the global tour operators.
Key themes and trends emerging this year are sustainable travel options, immersive outdoor experiences and festivals.
Speaking about the importance of developing a future pipeline of tourism business, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said that “creating a strong pipeline of future business is key for the recovery of tourism”.
“Seeing the demand for the Irish tourism product with international buyers at Meitheal is fantastic. Each international buyer represents tens of thousands of possible visitors to Ireland, and their business will be hugely important for tourism and hospitality businesses, communities, and destination Ireland as we continue to work towards recovery,” he said.
Outdoor dining area officially opens in town
A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday). The project, which was supported with €605,000 in funding from Fáilte Ireland under the Local Authority Weatherproofing and […]
A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday).
The project, which was supported with €605,000 in funding from Fáilte Ireland under the Local Authority Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Infrastructure Scheme, provides an attractive outdoor dining option for locals and visitors to Killarney.
“This is a really wonderful addition to Killarney’s tourism infrastructure and will prove a great asset throughout the year and particularly during the forthcoming tourist season,” said Cllr Kelleher, Cathaoirleach of the Killarney Municipal District, who did the honours.
“One of the effects of the recent pandemic was the need to utilise and maximise outdoor dining options and this infrastructure shows what can be achieved in an imaginative way. It will greatly enhance Killarney’s reputation as a destination for top quality tourism experiences.”
The project has been operational since last October but the official opening was timed to coincide with the Meitheal 2023 tourism industry showcase that was organised by Fáilte Ireland at the INEC this week.
“It is fantastic to see Killarney’s outdoor dining infrastructure being so well received by trade and visitors alike,” Miriam Kennedy, Head of Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, said.
Councillors in the Killarney Municipal District approved planning permission for the infrastructure which was completed by Daniel Canty Construction.
Strong connections made at tourism tradeshow
Many significant business deals were signed at this year’s Meitheal – Ireland’s largest and most important trade event for the tourism industry. Held...
Outdoor dining area officially opens in town
A new outdoor dining space at Kenmare Place was officially opened today (Wednesday). The project, which was supported with €605,000 in...
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