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4 tips to support your immune system and feel great

Our health is our wealth and this year more than ever people may be wondering how to boost their immune system. However, with so much talk of what lifestyle changes you need to make and supplements you should be taking it can be hard to know what can actually help with our health and well-being and what’s a fad.

These simple immune-boosting daily steps from the LloydsPharmacy Superintendent Pharmacist, Denis O’Driscoll, will help people get their health in check for 2021. With 90 pharmacies open throughout the country, the teams at LloydsPharmacy are here to help with your essential health and wellbeing needs.

Plenty of sleep

The impact that sleep can have on our mental and physical health is often sorely underrated. We should be aiming for 7-8 hours, more for younger children.

You should be going to bed at the same time each evening and sleeping in a cool dark room. To help the body ease into sleep, drinking a warm drink before bed or having a warm bath with some lavender oil can be really useful. These steps help raise the body temperature, and then in turn when it drops your body is in a state which makes falling asleep easier.

Eat well

We have been told this from a young age, so it won’t come as any surprise, but eating a well-balanced diet is so important.

We should be aiming for 7 portions a day of fruit and vegetables, focusing on more vegetables than fruit as too many fruit sugars are not good for our systems. Making sure that you get a range of whole grains, pulses, lean meats and fishes that are high in omegas oils are also important elements in helping to boost your immune system.

Get exercise

Although your usual form of exercise might be out of the question at the moment, there are plenty of alternatives to keep you active. Anything that increases the pulse rate and helps to keep you supple and flexible.

There are a range of online classes to help keep you and the family active, no matter what your fitness level. These classes can be great to help motivate you to stay active and also can help with loneliness and will feel like you’re part of a community.

If classes aren’t your thing, then challenging friends and family to see who get rack up as many steps in week or month can be a fun way to stay fit, while staying connected. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fitness watch, most smartphones track your steps.

Taking vitamins & supplements

During these winter months, our bodies need some support to help us function to the best of our ability. You should speak to your pharmacist, who will be best able to advise you on the vitamins and supplement to support you and your family. The most popular requirements are usually Vitamin C, Vitamin D & Probiotics.

Vitamin C

Did you know? Vitamin C is not well stored by our body’s, so it must be taken daily.

Benefits*

  • Vitamin C is vital to the body’s healing process, including the fight against infections and healing wounds
  • The body needs Vitamin C to make collagen, a major component of connective tissues.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which play a role in heart disease and cancer.

Vitamin D

Did you know? The body produces Vitamin D in response to sun exposure, which in Ireland we get very little of. So, it’s important to source Vitamin D through foods or supplements.

Benefits

  • Vitamin D can support the immune system and help fight inflammation.
  • It strengthens your bones.
  • It can help strengthen your muscles.

Probiotics

Did you know? The gut contains millions of living organisms, with up to 500 different species of bacteria in the human digestive tract. The gut can contain bacteria that is either beneficial or harmful to our health. Problems arise when there is an imbalance, with not enough good bacteria. This can be a result of poor diet, illness, etc. Taking a probiotic can help restore the balance.

Recent research has shown that there are some benefits:

  • Probiotics can aid digestion.
  • They can help improve the condition of your skin.
  • Antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria in the body but the good bacteria in your gut too, leaving your body open to symptoms such as diarrhoea and thrush. Probiotics can help prevent these unwanted symptoms.

If you think you might need advice on strengthening your immune system, then speak to your LloydsPharmacy pharmacist, they will be happy to help.

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