Rather than waiting until we get ill, why not build our immune systems all-year-round?

You’d think the immune system would just look after itself and soldier on without special support. After all it is our body’s way of defending itself against germs and sickness.

No so. Pile on too many physical and emotional stressors like long working hours, always being on-the-go, anxiety, lack of sleep, smoking, infectious diseases, some medications, or even menstruation, and the immune system gets overloaded. And then it doesn’t fend off germs that lurk everywhere…

We all know someone who never seems to get ill, and on the other hand someone who always does. The trick is having a healthy lifestyle that supports the immune system.

Here are some tips:

1. Don’t pick up and spread infection.

Where there are lots of people, like work, school or transportsystems, surfaces are covered in germs and we pick them up on our hands. Unwashed hands then transfer them into our bodies via our noses or mouths. So, wash hands often for at least 20 seconds a time, using soap or sanitiser.

2. Keep active.

Evidence from researchers at Appalachian State University shows fewer sick days are taken by people who do regular aerobic exercise. All it takes is 20 minutes of brisk walking for five or more days a week. No strolling, mind. Pump those arms, work those legs!

3. Get enough sleep.

This is a case where if you don’t snooze you lose! Not getting enough zzzzzz’s has been shown to weaken the immune system. Apparently we shouldn’t watch TV or work on a tablet in the late evening if we want to sleep well and get those seven to nine hours of sleep that experts recommend.

4. Eat to support your immune system.

Our BFFs here are fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds because they contain immune supportive nutrients. Two fruits and four veggies a day are the goal, and they can be eaten raw or cooked, or juiced up in smoothies.

5. Supplement with protective antioxidants.

Antioxidants are molecules that can slow or prevent the body’s natural oxidation process. This is desirable because oxidation produces free radicals. If they get out of balance, they rampage through our bodies damaging healthy cells and tissues and forming even more free radicals which undermines our immune systems. Infections and chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, immune response problems and premature ageing follow.

Antioxidants from fruit, vegetables and nutritional supplements are needed on a long-term basis to counter free radical activity and to support the immune system.

6. Consider Nativa Immune Complex  from the trusted Nativa nutritional supplement range. It is a one-a-day, every day immune boosting nutritional supplement which has a powerful combination of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, herbals and the amino acid Lysine. As a result, it delivers a double punch:

* antioxidant protection;

* strengthening natural immune defenses.

Price: Nativa Immune Complex retails at around R126 for a month’s supply through selected pharmacies, Dis-Chem and Clicks.

Prize: Win 1 of  3 Nutribullet 900W Blender Pros worth R2000 each 

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