The latest episode in our Resilience Unravelled series has now been released, Resilience Unravelled – It’s time to boost our immune system. Part 1.
In this episode, which is conjunction with Port Solent Wellness and Therapy Centre, Dr. Russell Thackeray talks about our immune system and the things we can do, and eat, to help it work as effectively as possible.
When things become problematic (Covid-19 is a good example) its important that we can access information, particularly around what we can and can’t do. We can reduce anxiety by having solutions to various problems so, although at the moment the media is just reinforcing how little control we have over the overall situation, one thing we can do is work on our immune system and what we can do to help it function well.
The immune system has two broad responses, the Innate Response and the Acquired Response. The Innate Response judges the friend from the foe, looks at viruses coming into the body and assesses if there are problem issues, things that its seen before such as fever and defends the body generally. The Acquired Response is the bodies SWOT team, so when specific invaders have got in, it sends its cells into battle. Often, when it’s working, it can make us feel very unwell and this is when we know our immune system has kicked in and is and dealing with the problem.
To work at its best the immune system needs to be boosted rather than overexcited so it doesn’t become overactive. We also need to ensure that when the body is dealing with a problem such as inflammation or damaged cells we don’t become upset or irritated about something else and add to the problem. We need to reduce stress and look after our gut properly and Dr Thackeray talks about how a varied diet with lots of high fibre foods, pulses and fermented foods can help keep the gut healthy. He also talks about the things we need to avoid like sugar, smoking, binge eating, fast food, trans fats and getting too little sleep. Dr Thackeray feels that a balanced diet will generally mean its not always necessary to take additional supplements but that some things such as echinea, selenium, green tea and wheat grass can have a beneficial effect on wellbeing and mood.
Dr Thackeray also talks about the importance of exercise and its role in reducing stress though reducing cortisol and activating the lymphatic system which can also improve sleep. He also discusses in detail how adding different fruit, vegetables and foodstuffs to our diet can help boost the immune system. He also advises on the different attributes they have and the best way to prepare them for maximum health benefits.
By widening the type of food we eat and returning to a more traditional and thoughtful way of choosing and preparing food – we know where it comes from, what we can use it for and how to cook it in the best way – our immune system will benefit as well as our general health.
It’s time to get into the kitchen and start cooking!
Dr Thackeray has recently opened the Port Solent Therapy and Wellness Centre in Portsmouth where one of the things he advises on is nutrition and its role in keeping the gut healthy, something that plays a key role in boosting the immune system.
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