Immunity levels often fall at this time of year but you can take some preventative steps:
1. Protect Your Gut
According to Brian St. Pierre, Director of Performance Nutrition at Precision Nutrition, "70% of your immune system resides in your digestive system, so if that's not working well, you get sick more often". Festive fayre doesn't always do us any favours — try foods rich in prebiotics like garlic and flax seeds or one or two servings per day of probiotic-rich foods such as yoghurt or kefir.
2. Chill Out
Stress levels can also compromise immunity (and who isn't stressed at this time of year?!). Healthy adrenal glands are better able to regulate the stress hormone cortisol, which plays a vital role in the immune system.
3. Skip Your Long Run
Regular exercise can aid your immune system, but if you're already stressed out, you run the risk of breaking your body down too much. Try something a little gentler.
4. Hold Off on Happy Hour
Yes, we all have to unwind but it does not always have to involve alcohol. While it may soothe your anxiety, it can interfere with hormones, digestion and a good night's sleep. Instead book a massage, take a yoga class or have an alcohol-free night.
5. Get a Hit of Vitamins
If you feel the start of a bug, turn to vitamin-rich foods. The three major anti-oxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E found in the more colouful fruits and vegetables, especially those with purple, red, orange and yellow hues.
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