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Get Immune Supportive

GET IMMUNE SUPPORTIVE
ORGANS THAT WILL LOVE THIS DAY: IMMUNE CELLS FOUND THROUGHOUT THE BODY, IN THE LIVER AS WELL AS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM, THE BLOODSTREAM, AND THE GUT.
YOU MAY FEEL BENEFITS TO: YOUR ABILITY TO WITHSTAND INFECTIONS, AND TO BOUNCE BACK IF YOU DO FALL PREY TO ONE

Being sociable is a human trait, forming and consolidating helpful relationships and bonding communities together. Many of us who were stay-at-homes previous to the pandemic now contemplate the idea of a little social interaction with pleasure. The key to enjoying our return to feasts and frolics with friends is having good enough immune function to avoid falling prey to the bugs the friends may be bringing to the feast.

Our immune function responds to a plethora of factors, many of which are simple for us to influence. Learn
the tricks, and you can party with peace of mind!

SLEEPY PREP

Even an hour’s less sleep can more than treble your chances of getting a cold;1 so, bank some extra sleeping time whilst you can, and plan to catch a few earlier nights after the party too, if feasible. Don’t just sleep in later – the midnight hours are great to spend in slumber, so an early night can be better for you than a lie-in.

C YOUR WAY FORWARD

Vitamin C helps support our immune system, so put apples, kiwi fruit, raspberries, blueberries, red peppers and citrus fruit onto your menu, to bump up your C intake.

Stay naturally sweet – sugar competes with vitamin C in the body,2 so chuck out the sweeties and mainline sweet fresh and dried fruit for extra nutrients. C is good for your skin too, so you get a bonus reward by looking fresher faced and more naturally glowy.

FROWN ON FAT

Cut down fatty, fried food, which undermines immune function.3 Having high cholesterol is bad for your immune system too, so introduce more vegetables and wholegrains into your diet and include garlic and artichoke as prime ingredients for combating cholesterol.

STAY SMOKE-FREE

Smoking really depresses your immune system, and vaping isn’t much better.4 Don’t join your friends on the smokers’ pitch outside pubs and clubs – their second-hand smoke will increase your chances of a firsthand cold.

GET HAPPY!

Stress and unhappiness are very bad for immune function, and having a positive approach to life has been found to support better immune response.5 Even if you do get a cold, being a cheerier person means your symptoms may be less severe.6 Stressed and lonely people have an improvement in immune function, reducing a tendency to inflammation and upregulating genes involved in antiviral responses, if they become happier and calmer.7 Loneliness increases your perception of how ill you are, which in itself is a good reason to keep your social network humming.8

So, start factoring in things that make you happy (so long as they are not alcohol, chips and chocolate!).

In a 2006 study done on students receiving the hepatitis B vaccine, those who were high in positive emotion were nearly twice as likely to have a high antibody response to the vaccine.9

Heap on the herbs – put garlic, ginger, rosemary and thyme on the top of your shopping list, and include them in meals whenever you can. And, obviously, don’t forget your Echinacea – I always have mine to hand, just in case!

REAL LIFE

My partner regularly returned from late night gigs with a bug brewing. Late nights, alcohol, and rubbing cheery shoulders with a bunch of strangers who share your musical tastes has its appeal; but, so do clear nasal passages and an absence of sore throat! Post-Lockdown, he preps for gigs by paying his sleep debt, avoiding alcohol, drinking plenty of water, and taking Echinacea purpurea and vitamin C. So far, so uninfected!

1 Cohen S et al. Arch Intern Med 2009; 169: 62-67
2 Chen L et al. J Nephrol. 2005; 25 (5): 459-65
4 Scott A et al. Thorax 2018; 73: 1161-1169
5 Barak Y. Autoimmun Rev 2006; 5 (8): 523-7
6 Cohen S et al. Psychosom Med. 2003; 65( 4):652-7
7 Cole SW et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2011; 108 (7): 3080-3085
8 Leroy AS et al. Health Psychology 2017; 36 (5):512-520
9 Marsland AL et al. Brain, Behavior and Immunity 2006; 20 (3): 261-269

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