As many scientists expect that the virus will become endemic and prevalent in our community, it’s even more important to keep your immune system functioning at optimal capacity. If you find yourself falling ill easily, feeling sluggish, or have constant gastrointestinal issues, your immune system could be compromised.
Keeping your immune system in good shape is key to maintaining good health — which is especially crucial during this pandemic — and this starts from making adjustments to lifestyle habits that might be affecting it negatively. So, take charge of your health with these simple steps:
Boost your diet
Getting sufficient nutrients as part of a varied diet and reducing the amount of highly processed products is important for the overall healthy functioning of your body, and in turn, the immune system.
The Nutrition Source, published by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, says that examples of nutrients that have been identified as critical for the growth and function of immune cells include vitamin C and D, zinc, selenium, iron and protein, which are all found in a variety of plant and animal foods.
Not sure how to eat a balanced meal? The Health Promotion Board recommends following these simple guidelines: Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains like brown rice and wholemeal noodles, another quarter with good sources of protein like lean meats and low-fat dairy products, and the remaining half with fruits and vegetables.
For a start, you can try New Moon's Organic SupeRice, which contains black, brown, red and white rice. Black rice is known for its high concentration of anthocyanin – the same antioxidant responsible for the colour of blueberries, acai berries and purple cauliflower.
Reinforce your diet
If you are still unsure whether you’re getting sufficient vitamins and nutrients from your regular diet, add a booster in the form of supplements.
For example, Borsch Med’s 100% Lingzhi Cracked Spores Powder Capsule Twin Pack, which is produced in Singapore, features the fine powdery seeds of Lingzhi mushrooms, which are said to support the immune system, and help improve blood circulation, sleep quality, concentration and overall well-being. Using advanced patented technology for harvesting and cracking, this powder is said to be 75 times more potent than uncracked spores powder, which means it’s absorbed more easily by the body.
The recommended dosage is two capsules a day for the maintenance of health. Those who are recovering from an illness or need more energy can up the dosage to four capsules a day. As with all supplements, these need to accompany healthy lifestyle habits for the best effect.
Manage stress levels
A manageable amount of stress can help you build mental resilience, but long-term, prolonged levels of stress can wreak havoc on your immune system. According to a report by the American Psychological Association, stress decreases the number of white blood cells in the body which help fight off infection, making you more susceptible to viruses.
While it is difficult to control external stressors such as work deadlines or an upcoming big presentation, you can learn to manage them. Meditation has long been a popular stress-management tool, especially among elite athletes like Lebron James and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey.
Make exercise a priority
Work-from-home arrangements have made many of us more sedentary than usual, which could lead to a host of health problems down the road.
It is no secret that when it comes to building a resilient immune system, any amount of exercise is better than no exercise at all. Besides the physical benefits that come with exercise, there is also the bonus of mood-boosting effects that can help to keep stress at bay.
If you have recently fallen off the fitness bandwagon, restart by making it a point to get some form of movement – whether it is a jog around your estate, a bike ride along East Coast Park or a feel-good yoga session – for at least 30 minutes every day. Aim to clock at least 10,000 steps a day. Your immune system (and mood) will thank you for it.
Sleep your way to better health
Suffering a lack of sleep because of a packed social and work schedule is no longer something to be proud of. According to the Sleep Foundation in the US, getting sufficient high-quality sleep enables a balanced immune defence that can react to pathogens in an efficient manner.
If getting the recommended eight hours of sleep is hard to achieve, first aim to maximise the quality of your sleep. This means avoiding alcohol and minimising the use of electronics before you sleep, and establishing a wind-down routine that incorporates light stretches or meditation that helps prepare your body for deep slumber.
Keep vices to a minimum
Ultimately, the immunity-boosting effects of having a balanced diet, sufficient rest and exercise could all be easily undone if you drink in excess or smoke. Experts recommend replacing the ritual of pouring a drink after work or lighting up after dinner with other pleasant activities that you enjoy, such as going for a walk or reading a favourite book, so as to develop a new conditioned response.
If going cold turkey is too difficult, being mindful about how much you drink and smoke, and making a conscious decision to reduce the amount, even by a little each time, can help to shift the needle in reducing the harmful effects of these habits in the long run.
For the month of August, purchase Borsch Med 100% Lingzhi Cracked Spores Powder Capsule Twin Pack at $93 (U.P. $149). Available islandwide at leading NTUC FairPrice, Unity, Guardian, Watsons, NHG, Shopee, Lazada, Qoo10 and www.borschmed.com.
*This article provides general information only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Consumers with medical conditions, pregnant women, and children should consult a physician or medical professional before use.