Laughter is the best medicine, after all
Professor David Russell in partnership with Charlotte Harbour BSc (mBANT, CNHC)
The average person gets two–four colds per year and takes four days off from work. As humans, we are susceptible to viral infections due to our proximity with one another and the different strains of the ‘common cold’ which our immune systems recognise as new threats each time. With new illnesses regularly occurring, most notably the recent coronavirus and the ever-present flu, how can we take steps to optimise our immunity and stay well throughout the year?
As food consultants, nutrition always comes first for us. Including a range of rainbow-coloured fruits and vegetables is the first step in optimising immunity. Including antioxidant-rich berries, vitamin C-packed red bell peppers and detoxifying broccoli is ideal. Furthermore, ensure added sugar is low, protein is adequate and hydration with water high.
Exercise is what you make it – whether you prefer to walk, hit the gym or hop, skip and jump! Research suggests that short bursts of high-intensity exercises are just as beneficial, if not more so than endurance sports.
In terms of immunity, exercise has been shown to cause changes in white blood cells and antibodies, part of our immune system, helping us fight-off infections.
Let’s break that down for a second! Psych (mind), neuro (nerve), immunology (immune system) is the study of the effect of the mind on health and resistance to disease. A relatively new field, the PNI research is fascinating and currently suggesting that our thoughts and feelings can modulate our immune response.
This means stress, grief and outlook may affect the intensity and duration of illness. So, laughter may be the best medicine, after all!
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