• Top tips to keep our immune system fighting fit

    by  • March 23, 2020 • Health, Travel Nutrition, Travel Wellbeing • 0 Comments

    A well-functioning immune system is vital if we’re undertaking essential business travel.  Even as we attempt to minimise contact, essential business travel continues to involve being in close proximity to people, who are also likely to be moving between locations and in close proximity to other people.

    The COVID-19 virus has particularly focused our attention on ensuring that our immune system is working well.  The diet and lifestyle factors that help support our ability to fight infection are suddenly very important.

    Magic Potions

    There are many supplements with mega doses of nutrients or ‘botanicals’ promising to ‘boost’ the immune system, which isn’t scientifically possible.

    Our metabolism needs a balance of all the essential vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and fibre; an excess of one is no help.

    However, a poor quality diet is likely to be nutrient-poor.

    The Mediterranean Style Diet Is Still the Best

    A diet rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains, provides lots of antioxidant vitamins, minerals and fibre.  Raw nuts like Brazil or walnuts will add essential fatty acids, vitamins E and selenium, all necessary for our immune function.

    Fish such as salmon, mackerel or sardines contains vitamin D, which can be lacking during the winter months.  The UK NHS recommends supplements of 10ug/day if we are short of the summer sun and not regular oily fish eaters.

    Small amounts of red meat provide haem iron in the form readily available to our blood and muscles; vegetarians will need a diet particularly rich in whole grains and seeds and may need dietary supplements.

    Pulses and beans add to the rich mix of prebiotics necessary to sustain a healthy microbiome.

    Avoid Tiredness

    Avoiding being tired can be difficult during the present times of uncertainty, and if essential travel is a must, then tight travel schedules and travelling to different locations across different time zones can add to the stress and fatigue.

    Our immune system, along with our whole body works, less well if we feel ‘worn out’.  Allowing time to rest and recover is vital to staying healthy.  So, if you need to isolate upon reaching your destination then ensure you use the time wisely to catch up on your sleep.

    Keep To Healthy Habits

    This means avoiding giving our body extra sources of stress, such as smoking or consuming large amounts of alcohol.  It may be tempting but try to keep to the healthier coping behaviours which reduce extra strain on our bodies.

    Getting regular exercise is still important to maintain all body systems, including a good immune response.  This feeds into other systems such as stress reduction and maintaining a healthy body weight, all necessary to maintain a good immune response.

    Recognise Age as a Risk Factor

    As we get older our immune system works less well, so we are more likely to catch bugs and develop some cancers.  Although our response to vaccination is less strong as we age, vaccination against the flu virus or pathogens that we are likely to encounter on our travels becomes especially important.

    To avoid compounding the current situation, it’s important to keep our vaccinations up to date.

    Reduce Exposure Through Good Personal Hygiene

    Washing hands before eating should always be our regular routine.  While on the move, keeping our hands clean and away from our faces and avoiding physical contact with our acquaintances is the new normal.

    Mutual respect for our fellow travellers and colleagues will help protect us all.

    ©  2020 Executive Travel Vitality


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