It’s so good to be in the middle of the monsoon season after experiencing many months of scorching heat. But it looks like the weather is beginning to heat up, bringing with it certain health risks. As the temperature changes due to the monsoon, the efficacy of the human immune system will significantly reduce. As a result, our bodies are more susceptible to bacteria, germs and viruses that cause diseases. It also doesn’t help that we’ve just come out of a festive season of potential unhealthy eating (for some!).
In short, our immune system is the balance of relationship between cells and organs that work together to protect us from disease. These defence cells are found in organs such as the tonsils, spleen, lymph nodes and bone marrow. Our immune system produces antibodies on a daily basis that track and destroy foreign substances that cause disease.
With the ever changing weather, here are FOUR(4) tips to help improve your body’s immune system:
- Eating right and a well-balanced diet
That’s right! This is one of the key things you can do that would immediately make a big difference to the immune system. Having the right balanced diet, eating regularly and consuming the right types of nutrition is key. For example, consuming too much sugar and highly processed foods (e.g. instant noodles, margarine, processed meats etc.) can suppress the immune system. It is especially imperative to avoid food containing high levels of both sugar and saturated fats if you feel you are beginning to fall ill.
Foods rich in Vitamin C (e.g. guava, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, kiwifruit, berries, citrus fruits etc.) should be included as part of the diet during this season, as Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps boost the immune system. A superfood you can include in your diet is garlic. Surprisingly, it is found that garlic is antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal!
- Enough rest and proper sleep
There is a firm belief that the body requires at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily*. When there is a lack of sleep, the body is more susceptible to sickness and lowers the body’s ability to fight disease. Just like a newborn baby, the more they sleep, the better their growth. Unfortunately, there may be some of us who have rather busy schedules or who work in shifts. For individuals in these situations, they would need to be intentional with their rest. It is still good to get a good amount of sleep when you can so that the body can rest, heal and build its immunity.
* Reference: National Sleep Foundation
- Exercising and staying active
Regular exercise can beat various health conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, and boost the immune system. By exercising, it increases the body’s blood flow and circulation throughout the body. When there is good blood circulation throughout the immune system cells, it increases the immune system’s efficacy in finding an illness before it has a chance to spread.
If there’s no time to exercise, stay active by taking the stairs up to your office. Or, if you work in a multi-storey building, get off a few floors below and take the stairs up. Instead of messaging or emailing a colleague, walk over to their desk and physically interact with them. Prolonged sitting at the same position for long periods of time could cause more harm, especially for those who have existing low-back issues.
However, for those who are already active daily but are down with either a terrible flu, cough or sore throat, it’s ok to take a step back and let the body rest and heal before diving back into the regular exercise routine.
- Regular chiropractic adjustments
There is more to chiropractic than just treating the musculoskeletal aspect of the human body. Regular chiropractic care focuses on ensuring the nervous system is functioning optimally and it also helps to regulate it. The nervous system controls the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system in your body; which includes the immune system.
In a 1989 chiropractic journal, New York researchers from New York University (NYU) found that patients undergoing chiropractic treatments had (up to) 200% greater immune competence than those not receiving treatment (Reference: Pero R. Medical Researcher Excited By CBSRF Project Results. The Chiropractic Journal. 1989; 32). When a patient gets adjusted, the nervous system communicates with endocrine and immune tissue to modulate chemical reactions that keep you healthy.
As a result, having your spine regularly checked and adjusted ensures that the stress on your immune system is kept to the bare minimum, enabling you to have a better quality of life.
So, keep to these four tips to ensure that you’re staying healthy over this monsoon season. With the upcoming hot months around the corner, remember to stay hydrated, eat, sleep/rest well and keep moving! If you’d like more clarification on how regular chiropractic adjustments will help with your pre-existing conditions, make an appointment with our team today. We look forward to journeying with you on your road to recovery!