This Morning: Dr Chris on how to boost the immune system
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The pandemic has caused us all to panic about the strength of our immune systems in a bid to protect ourselves from coronavirus and other illnesses. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to benefit your health, including this immune system boosting drink. Express.co.uk reveals everything YOU need to know about boosting your immune system.
There are at least 500,000 people in England who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, which means their immune system is impaired or cannot function as it should.
This isn’t a common problem, but your immune system is often compromised if you have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, lung disease, voltaren cream ingredients HIV, cancer, lupus, and so on.
Even if you’re disease-free, your immune system could probably do with a boost.
Your immune system protects your body from outside invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins, essentially defending your body against infection.
The immune system functions at its peak when you look after it as best you can, just like the body’s other systems such as the digestive system or respiratory system.
According to the NHS, the following will help to keep your immune system in tip-top shape:
- Not smoking
- Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables (a balanced diet)
- Restrict fat and sugar intake
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- If you drink alcohol, drinking only in moderation
- Getting a good night’s sleep
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly
- Get regular health checks
- Try to minimize stress where you can
Don’t believe everything you read – the NHS Leeds Teaching Hospital website warns.
The advice reads: “In today’s world, you can walk into almost any shop or browsing online and be greeted with numerous different types of supplements and health miracles.
“We are bombarded on a daily basis on what we should and shouldn’t be taking to keep us healthy.
“This is inclusive of supplements/herbs to boost our immune system, they claim to boost your immune system to stop you getting ill and thus far some have been found to alter some components of immune function, however, there is no evidence to suggest that they actually bolster immunity to the point you are better protected against infection and disease.”
That being said, the site also explains that multivitamins may bring health benefits if you are on a special diet or don’t like certain food types.
However, there is too much of a good thing and a hyperactive immune system can cause allergic reactions if you go overboard.
The NHS Leeds Teaching Hospital site adds: “If your body does not need the supplements then there is no evidence that extra would be of benefit to you, but this should always be discussed with a health professional.”
The cheap, warming drink to boost your immune system
While no single food or drink added to your diet will make a huge difference to your immune system, green tea is believed to contribute to boosting immunity.
Green tea contains B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium, caffeine and other antioxidants that could strengthen your immune system.
Kiran Tawadey, founder of Hampstead Tea, said: “There are many factors that contribute to having a healthy immune system, including consuming food rich in antioxidants.
“Green tea is a great addition to your daily intake as research has shown that its catechins can play a role in promoting a better immune system.”
Catechins are antioxidants that help to prevent cell damage and have protective effects on the body.
These antioxidants can also suppress the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which could lower your risk of infections.
For this reason, green tea can freshen your breath by keeping mouth bacteria at bay.
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