1. laugh. Laughter is the best way to relieve stress and helps the body to lower tension and blood pressure. Firstly it distracts you from pain and worry. Secondly laughter increases the production of T-cells, antibodies and natural killer cells (defence cells that attack foreign material in our bodies), these cells increase the likelihood that infections will be attacked and removed from the body.
2. eat less carbs. Carbohydrates, oh how I love thee but once it’s converted to glucose, fructose (fruit sugar), maltose (grain sugar) and honey (a mixture of glucose, fructose, sucrose and dextrin) which causes blood glucose to spike and puts extra stress on the pancreas and immune system. Too much glucose is bad in that it reduces our white blood cells ability to ingest and kill off invading bacteria.
3. exercise regularly. Exercising releases endorphins, the feel good hormone. It also strengthens your heart and increases circulation, blood flow increases which promotes the process of expelling toxic waste out of your body.
4. have sex. Sex releases natural opiates – chemicals that help boost your levels of a vital protein needed to ward off illness. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobin A or IgA, which can protect against getting colds and other infections.
5. good quality sleep. Get at least 8 hours sleep per night. Sleep helps balance your hormone levels, improves your mood and keeps your skin healthy. Adequate sleep is crucial to brain function.
“insomniacs with the highest degree of sleep disturbance secreted the highest amount of cortisol , particularly in the evening and night time hours,” suggesting that chronic insomnia is a disorder of sustained hyper-arousal of the body’s stress response system” – The Human Brain – sleep and stress.
6. manage stress. Stress affects the body physically by increasing heart and blood pressure, disrupting the digestive system resulting in a plethora of problems including constipation, depression and ulcers, it also releases the hormone cortisol which suppresses and weakens the immune system increasing the risk of disease. Practice meditation and yoga consistently and feel the positive, long lasting results.
7. eat healthy fats. Omega-3 fats, such as those found in oily fish or add Flaxseed oil onto salads, smoothies and on top of baked potatoes. Omega 3 helps to fight off heart disease and reduce inflammation.
8. reduce caffeine. Caffeine dehydrates and robs the body of essential vitamins and minerals. When you take in consistently large doses of stimulants they produce a cortico-adrenal insufficiency lowering immunity.
9. eat super-foods and antioxidants. A diet high in antioxidants can help prevent many diseases including cancer. Good sources include tomatoes, red wine, pomegranates and onions
10. drink lots of water. A good level of hydration assists in eliminating by-products of any illness and helps the immune system to fight off infection. Dehydration is also one of the most common causes of headaches.