Sip mushroom lattes, take liquorice root, they say. This will keep your body strong, they say. But will these remedies boost your immunity? The truth is...not really.
While there's no one concoction or nutrient that will support your immunity, there are effective lifestyle changes that will help do the job.
First though, get vaccinated if you can. There are many diseases that are preventable by vaccination. And there are vaccines that can stop you from getting quite ill, or from getting sick at all, from viruses such as the flu and COVID-19.
Quick! Put on your germ-fighting superhero cape, and bish, bash, bosh. Or in non-superhero speak, try these health tips to feel well.
Nothing good ever comes from smoking. Its many negative health impacts include weakening your immunity. This means if you smoke tobacco, you're more likely to get bacterial and viral infections. Get support to quit smoking today.
Fill up on nutrients
There isn't a single nutrient or food that will boost your immunity on their own. Take up the fight to protect your immunity by eating foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and E, and copper, folate, iron, selenium and zinc.
How does immunity work? The immune system guards your body against germs, harmful substances and cell changes that can cause infection. Its main job is to act quickly to ensure invaders don't make you sick. When your immunity is weak or can't fight aggressive germs you may get ill.
Still having trouble warding off nasty germs? Boost your super-health powers by adding exercise to your daily habits. According to studies, moderate exercise can help to improve your immunity's defence.
Follow the Australian Government guidelines and aim to get active every day. You'll need to do up to 5 hours of moderate exercise or up to 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise each week to see the benefits.
Another way to make you less vulnerable to infections is quality sleep. If you're aged 18-65, you're recommended to have 7-9 hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and function at your best the next day.
Organise your bedroom and routine for a good night's sleep. There are many ways you can manage this, such as:
- go to bed and get up at the same time
- don't scroll on your phone at least one hour before you sleep
- avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes at night
- adjust your bedding so you're not too hot or cold
- remove any distractions or light sources
For more information
Need help to make better food choices? Try using the George Institute Food Switch app. Use the app to scan a product and learn about a healthier alternative.
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