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Your guide to boosting your immune system

Our immune system is a complex network of interacting cells including white blood cells, antibodies, lymph nodes and bone marrow, which are all essential for fighting off bacterial and viral infections such as cold and flu. The strength of your immune system can determine how often you get sick and how long you’re sick. The only time we’re really aware of our immune system is when it’s not functioning properly. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can be great natural boosters for your immune system!

1. Avoid smoking

Nicotine and tobacco can damage the immune system, undermining its basic defences. Smoking damages and destroys antibodies and cells in our bloodstream which are essential for fighting off infections. As a result smoking makes people more prone to infections and illnesses.

2. Look after your mood

Did you know your mood and emotions can have an impact on your immune system? Negative feelings of stress and anxiety can put a physical strain on the body and impact its ability to grow cells and antibodies. In contrast, positive emotions of happiness and laughter can enhance cell growth which strengthens our immune system! 

3. Keep active

Keeping an active lifestyle is important for our overall health. Exercise is great for our circulation and helps us feel good. As little as 30 minutes of activity a day can be enough to boost your immune system. Try include some exercise outdoors too. Sunshine helps our bodies make vitamin D, which is great for improving overall immunity. 

4. Look after your diet

Fruit and veg are packed with a variety of essential nutrients which boost our immune system. On top of getting our 5 a day, eating a rainbow of different coloured fruit and veg ensures our bodies get a wide variety of nutrients. Different colours are high in different nutrients – yellow and orange are high in vitamin A and green are high in vitamin K. 

For more articles on family health, check out some more pieces on the Health Hub blog by clicking here.