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How to boost your immune system

With the world currently battling a global pandemic, it pays to stay as healthy as possible

We’re in a period where wellness is taking centre stage, and along with lowering your stress levels, getting quality sleep, washing your hands diligently and paying attention to your diet, it’s now more important than ever to look at strengthening your immune system.

Joie Risk, Managing Director of Sunlighten saunas, recommends the following five steps to boost your immunity:

Lower stress
News reports of the COVID-19 virus are stressful for everyone, but reducing your stress can lower your risk for illness and improve the immune system’s ability to fight off infections.

Proven stress reducers include exercise such as walking, jogging and yoga; meditation and deep breathing, and massage, amongst others.

Get some shut-eye
Get plenty of sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep or what you do get is poor quality, your immune system is weakened.

To promote healthy sleep, avoid eating or exercising close to bedtime, keep your bedroom well-ventilated, and go to bed around the same time every day.

If you suffer from a sleep disorder, be sure to talk to your health care provider about diagnosis and treatment.

Eat well
A healthy diet is one of your best defences against illness. Avoid snack foods and sugary drinks. They are typically filled with fat and calories and have little nutritional value.

Instead, choose fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats (like olive oil), and beverages such as water and green tea.

Supplement your diet
While a healthy diet usually provides all the necessary immune-boosting vitamins and minerals your body needs, certain health conditions can hinder the body’s ability to fully absorb these nutrients.

Talk to your doctor to determine if dietary supplements can help you ward off infections. Common supplements include echinacea, goldenseal, ginger, zinc and vitamin C.

Infrared saunas
Infrared therapy aims to stimulate the circulatory system, causing the heart to beat more vigorously and blood vessels to dilate, which can help cleanse the circulatory system and more fully oxygenate the body’s cells.

Better blood circulation can mean more toxins flow from the cellular level to the skin’s surface to help improve cell health, aid in muscle recovery and could even strengthen the immune system by raising core body temperature, which in turn can help increase white blood cells and T-cell production to ward off viruses.

In the clinic
Dr Rita Rakus clinic in London is now offering NAD+ IV drips—nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is an important co-enzyme found in all living cells which helps them to work, and reduced levels can impact on cellular repair processes which could result in the development of disease.

From boosting overall health and restoring cell growth, the drip replenishes cellular levels of NAD+ in the body to repair DNA, protects brain cells from damage and reduces inflammation. Boosting your cellular NAD+levels can also be a good way to boost your immune system and protect yourself from viral infections.

When a virus infects your body, it must enter your cells in order to survive—viruses cannot replicate on their own, instead they must hijack your cellular machinery and use it to make copies of themselves.

Once enough copies have been made, infected cells burst open and new copies of the virus are released and free to infect neighbouring cells – once a virus is inside a cell it is harder for your immune system to remove it, although our cells have evolved to overcome this problem by displaying fragments of the virus on their surface, which alerts the body that they are infected.