How to keep your immune system healthy

In his latest podcast, Dr Chatterjee speaks to researcher and lecturer Dr Jenna Macciochi about how to keep your immune system healthy.

Jenna begins by explaining that despite common belief, keeping your immune system healthy is about a lot more than just what you eat. Jenna said, ‘I actually put the food chapter at the end of my book because I was sick of seeing food pushed in the media as the most important thing for our immune system. I wanted to emphasise that it’s not that simple and wanted people to look at the other aspects of lifestyle first.’

Jenna tells a story about a time when she developed pneumonia. She first contracted a normal cold but at the time was working late and not sleeping well. Despite eating well, Jenna fell very ill. She said, ‘it is evidence that despite eating all the right things, other things can erode away at your immune system and leave you open to infection. Stress is probably the one thing that we don’t take seriously, we think of it as being phycological, and the causes can be phycological, but they’re always biological because stress chemistry is real.’

Of course food can play a huge role in supporting our immune system, antioxidant rich foods such as blueberries, as well as omega 3 in oily fish and fibre to support our gut, are just a few of the foods discussed in this podcast.

In International Therapist Autumn 2020 (Issue 134), our guest columnist Dr Michael Dixon looks at how to keep the immune system healthy over the winter months. He writes, ‘Avoiding COVID-19 is a case of mitigating reasonable risk. Diet and lifestyle – quite apart from physical isolation – must have a role and it is surprising to me how silent the scientific community has been on this.’

The Autumn issue of International Therapist lands on Friday 16 October.

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