Our protective roof against viruses is our immune system. When it is fully functional, it will stop almost any virus and we are far less likely to get sick. This actually happens each day, as we are constantly exposed to viruses, and yet we are not permanently ill.
We become sick when a virus has gotten through the immune system (through the hole in the roof). At this point the immune system works double time to clear out the invader. Symptoms such as a fever and tiredness tell us the immune system is working.
So what can we do to bolster our immune systems?
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants. Some may want to use a supplement as well particularly antioxidants such as vitamins A, C and E. Zinc, and Folate supplements are also helpful. Get enough vitamin D either from the sun or a supplement. Get enough essential fatty acids such as fish, olives (or olive oil), linseed or nuts. Keep hydrated with 30-35ml/kg bodyweight per day.
- Get enough sleep, as this is the body’s recharge time. In winter you may need half an hour more than in summer.
- Manage your stress. Research is increasingly showing that stress impacts on immunity. Have some relaxation time. Chill out by listening to music or doing anything that you enjoy and which relaxes you.