Tips for strengthening your immune system

Posted on 1 April 2014

Dr Andre Nortje, a physician at Mediclinic Milnerton, gives us the lowdown on the immune system and how to strengthen yours.

What is the immune system?
The immune system is tasked with fighting any foreign proteins or organisms that are detected in the blood or in the tissue.  It is the basis of our defence against viral and bacterial infection and it is also the mechanism by which transplanted organs are rejected and how autoimmune disease arises.

How can I strengthen my immune system?
You’ll need to start with the basic principles for a healthy body. These include:
•    a healthy diet that contains all the essential nutrients and vitamins
•    moderation when it comes to alcohol intake
•    stop smoking (better yet, never start)
•    get enough sleep and exercise

If these things are in place addition vitamin supplements won’t be needed.
Basic hand hygiene is also advised and care should be taken to prevent if you are ill, not to pass it on to others.

Get your shots
It’s advised that all children should be immunised as this greatly reduces their chances of developing diseases during season changes.  As adults, it is recommended that if you have underlying chronic illnesses, you get the annual flu vaccination.

 

Published in Nutrition

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