We’ve always known that the immune system is key to good health. As we prepare to emerge from lockdown, it’s good to bear in mind that there are some easy steps we can take to strengthen our immune systems naturally.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is always a good first line of defence and centres around the three pillars of sleep, exercise and a healthy diet.
Sleep and immunity are closely linked – not getting enough sleep, or poor-quality sleep, leads to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Adults should aim for 7 or more hours of sleep per night, while children and infants need up to 14 hours.
Engaging in regular, moderate exercise gives the immune system a boost by reducing inflammation and promoting the healthy turnover of immune cells. It’s recommended that adults should engage in at least 150 minutes weekly of moderate exercise such as jogging, brisk walking and hiking.
A healthy diet provides the immune system with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. Several whole plant foods, including fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, contain antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals which may help lower susceptibility to illness. Fish, particularly oily fish like salmon and mackerel, contain omega-3 fatty acids which help to fight inflammation. Fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kefir are rich in beneficial bacteria called probiotics which may also support the immune system. Other nutrients to support immunity include iron, selenium and zinc.
Ideally, our diets should provide all the nutrients we need to support our immune system and overall general health. Due to a variety of reasons, this is not feasible for many of us which is why high-quality supplements are invaluable.
Vitamin C has long been the go-to supplement during cold and flu season, but this important vitamin has many other health benefits too, including being a natural energy booster and helping with iron absorption. It is also great for promoting collagen production which is why there are so many Vitamin C serums and creams on the market. Just as you wouldn’t apply any old cream on your skin, you should never ingest an inferior Vitamin C supplement because beauty begins from the inside out.
Vitamin D is one of the most important immune-supporting vitamins and evidence continues to grow showing that Vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased risk of COVID-19. Our diets are generally low in Vitamin D, with most of our Vitamin D coming from sunshine – our skin makes Vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun. In Ireland, our ability to make Vitamin D from sunshine is limited to the months of April to September (if we’re lucky!). Many Irish people are Vitamin D deficient and the risk of deficiency is further compounded over the past year as many of us have spent more time indoors. Taking a high-quality Vitamin D supplement all year around is highly advisable.
Omega-3 is often the forgotten supplement but is definitely one of the most important. Although it gets a bad rap for its taste, it is vital for a healthy brain, eyes and heart. The vast majority of people do not get enough oily fish in their diet so almost everyone should be taking an Omega-3 supplement for long term health.
With so many supplements available, it can be challenging to choose the best quality. Here are a few tips:
- Liquid supplements, including oral sprays and liquid drops are faster and easier for your body to absorb.
- Regular Vitamin C supplements are poorly absorbed. Liposomal Vitamin C is the best absorbed form of Vitamin C. Look for an alcohol-free Liposomal Vitamin C that can be used by all the family.
- Read the supplement labels and look closely at the dose of the nutrients. Check for the presence of other ingredients, such as sugar and artificial preservatives. Always aim to buy as pure and as natural as possible.
- Choose supplements that come in recyclable packaging.
- Finally, and ideally, choose to support an Irish brand.
All SOMEGA supplements are formulated to be as pure as possible with no added sugar, artificial colours and preservatives or alcohol. They are easily absorbed and tasty because good health shouldn’t be a chore.
If you have any questions about any of our products, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org