What is your immune system?
Your immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defend your body against infection. It keeps a record of every germ it has ever defeated so it can recognise and destroy the germ quickly if it re-enters your body. The healthier your immune system, the less severely cold and flu symptoms will affect you, and the faster your symptoms will disappear.
Viruses, by their very nature, are quite insidious and can be very difficult for your body to protect against or prevent. That being said, a healthy, well-resourced immune system can respond much more quickly than an unhealthy, poorly-resourced immune system.
Eight top tips to support a strong immune system
There are lots of things that you can do to support a healthy immune system year-round.
- Avoid sharing personal items Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, towels, pillows, jumpers or jerseys or other personal items with others in your home. After using these items, wash them in a washing machine or dishwasher, using soap or detergent to ensure they are cleaned thoroughly.
- Keep your home or accommodation clean and well-ventilated In general, you should ensure that your place of abode is clean and well-ventilated, especially if you share the area with other people. This includes best-practise cleanliness such as disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces and cleaning your clothing, linen and towels regularly (and separately to other household items).
- Reduce your stress levels High levels or prolonged periods of stress can negatively impact your health and wellbeing in many ways. Reducing your stress levels has many positive impacts for your wellbeing, including its influence on your immune system.
- Get at least eight hours of sleep each night Lack of sleep can affect your health negatively in many ways and, as with most health-depreciating things, it has a particular influence over your immune system health. Sleep is beneficial as a preventative measure, as well is when you are recovering or your body needs extra support.
- Wash your hands Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure you dry them thoroughly to follow. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. You can also use hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available or your hands are visibly dirty. When using hand sanitiser, cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Exercise regularly Physical activity is beneficial in supporting your overall health and wellbeing. However, be sure to focus on light exercises well suited to your fitness level as too much exercise or workouts that are too hard can actually put additional stress on your immune system and have the opposite effect.
- Top up your immune system with the right nutrients Immune-supporting nutrients include vitamin C, zinc, garlic, olive leaf extract, echinacea, manuka honey and probiotics, just to name a few. These can be consumed through your diet or, where you feel you need a top-up of specific nutrients you feel your diet may be lacking in, we recommend supplementation.
- Seek prompt medical attention if your illness worsens If you are feeling unwell or your state of health worsens, please follow the instructions that you have received from your public health unit, healthcare provider or hospital. If you are concerned about your health or the health of someone you care for given recent events, please follow the Ministry of Health guidelines and phone Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 088 358 5453 or contact your GP, phoning ahead of your visit.
While Health 2000 carries a range of products that can support your immune health, we make no claims that these products can prevent any person from catching, nor stop the spread of any illnesses or viruses, including the coronavirus. Products aim to provide nutritional support to support a healthy immune response when your system faces a threat and help to reduce recovery time.