WOMAN'S WEEKLY|January 21, 2020
Have you dodged the worst of the lurgies this winter? Or do you pick up every bug going? You can give your immune system a chance to fight back with simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.
One of the simplest is getting enough sleep. Aim for seven to eight hours a night, says Woman’s Weekly GP Dr Gill Jenkins. ‘Sleep deprivation decreases production of protective immune proteins called cytokines and infection fighting antibodies and cells, making you more prone to inflammation, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.’
Another is eating breakfast within an hour of waking. Avoiding blood sugar highs and lows helps fight inflammation, says nutritional therapist Yvonne Bishop-Weston (optimumnutritionists.com). ‘Eat every four hours if you can and have protein with every meal.’
Time to love your gut
‘Your gut contains a richer diversity of life than a rainforest,’ says TV doctor Michael Mosley, author of The Clever Guts Diet (£8.99, Short Books). And your gut’s microbiome (the 2kg of bacteria, fungi and viruses living in it) is crucial in regulating your immune system – 70% of which resides in your gut.
It’s not known yet exactly what makes up the perfect microbiome, but the belief is that the more diverse your range of bugs, the better.
Help it flourish by eating a wide range of foods, including plenty of fibre (wholegrains, fruit, veg). Foods high in fibre act as ‘manure’, which helps ‘good’ gut bugs grow.
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January 21, 2020