Up Your Vit-D
Unless you spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s highly likely that you’re deficient in Vitamin D. The World Health Organisation says about a third of the world’s population is estimated to have low levels, which can lead to all sorts of health issues, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and osteoporosis. However, unlike other invaluable vitamins, your vitamin D quota is not easily met through diet alone.
Thankfully, supplements can make all the difference. A new study from Trinity College Dublin found that supplementing with vitamin D can significantly reduce your chance of getting chest infections. As for what to take and how much, experts suggest choosing vitamin D3 over D2, and taking 3,000 units of vitamin D daily.
Mind Your Gut
They don’t call it the “second brain” for nothing. The gut microbiome, which consists of no less than 100 trillion bacteria, affects everything from skin health and sex drive to energy levels and hormone balance. With more than 70% of the body’s immune cells located in the gut walls, the digestive system plays a huge role in metabolising the body’s toxins. This is why eating badly can cause major inflammation, which impacts the immune system.
The good news is some simple changes in diet can have almost instant benefits. Eat beetroot and radishes to cleanse the liver; garlic and onion to promote good bacteria; and beans and lentils to look after the bowel. And while food is a better way to deliver good bacteria to the belly, adding a supplement to your daily routine can be a bit of an ‘insurance’ policy to make sure you’re balancing the bacteria every day, no matter what.
Move Your Lymph
How much do you know about your lymphatic system? We’re guessing not a huge amount. A network of tissues and organs that help rid the body of toxins and waste, it’s one of the most important functions in our body. Tell-tale signs of a sluggish lymph include a puffy face, swollen limbs, cellulite and acne, which can then lead to more serious health problems, including inflammation and a weakened immune system.
The problem is, unlike blood, lymph fluid doesn’t move on its own – it moves when you move. So, if you sit at a desk all day, and on the couch for most of the night, it means your body is not able to eliminate harmful toxins. Get things moving with some gentle exercise like yoga. Body brushing and deep-breathing techniques can also help, as can gua sha – the practice that involves scraping a flat, rounded tool, usually made of jade, over the skin, which stimulates the immune system via connective tissue. And try laying with your legs up against the wall for 20 minutes every evening. This really helps circulation and even digestion.
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