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Boost your immune system with a balanced diet

The immune system is the body’s first line of defence in fighting illness; it’s a complex self-protection mechanism made up of cells, tissues and organs. These work together to protect the body from harmful bacteria, viruses, infections and toxins, which can lead to significant ailments and health conditions.

Our diet can play a major role in maintaining a robust immune system. It’s also one of the areas that we have the most control over in boosting our immunity, and reducing serious conditions like Type 2 diabetes.

There are many products that are promoted as being good for immunity, including superfoods and vitamins. It’s important to know that a varied, balanced diet will always be far more effective than any one particular food or supplement.

Our simple checklist will help you ensure you have the right nutritional balance to support your immune system:

  • Reduce your consumption of alcohol, highly processed foods, and products that are high in salt, fats and sugars
  • Eat a broad range of fresh fruit and vegetables, which can be incorporated into salads, soups and smoothies, or casseroles, curries and pasta sauces
  • Lean meat and fish, both fresh and tinned, will provide you with healthy proteins
  • Choose wholegrain bread, rice and pasta instead of the refined white varieties
  • Add beans and pulses, seeds and nuts into your diet as they are high in protein, vitamins and fibre
  • Reduce your salt intake and look at alternative ways of seasoning your food, such as herbs and spices
  • Limit the amount of full fat dairy products you consume, and consider healthier, low fat alternatives

A balanced diet gives your body the best chance to fight off illness, and gives you greater control over your general health and well-being. It can’t always stop you from falling ill, but a strengthened immune system will certainly improve your overall resilience and recovery.

It is very important to understand your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Our simple online health check takes just a few minutes. The Healthier You programme is free to join and you can sign up without visiting your GP.

It might be the most important thing you do today.

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