Your immune system is a complex army of cells which are there to identify and destroy any potentially dangerous invaders such as bacteria and viruses. But to do this effectively the army needs to be in the best possible condition for combat – make sure your staff are prepared.
The fight against harmful bacteria and viruses outside the body gets a lot attention but what about the inside? It’s time to focus on immune supporting habits and encourage these behaviours in the workplace. An immune boost in the colder months is important because it is when there are more viruses circulating. Plus, stress can impact the immune system and the way it fights invaders. The way your team manages stress could help maintain a healthy immune system and may lead to better focus and energy.
Immune supporting habits are small changes your staff can make to help protect the body from the inside. These habits are as simple as encouraging your staff to think differently about how they eat, exercise and manage their stress throughout winter.
Eat the Mediterranean way
A low-carb Mediterranean-style diet is one of the healthiest, most nutrient-rich ways to eat . How? Not only is a Mediterranean diet high in nutrients but its high fibre content is a great way to boost the gut microbiome of your staff. The “good” microbes convert the fibre into health promoting substances, which is good at reducing inflammation and helps maintain a healthy immune system. It also significantly helps keep blood sugars down in the normal range, which is important as having raised blood sugars reduces the body’s ability to fight infection.
Foods to stock up on include fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, spices as well as fish, cheese and full-fat Greek yoghurt.
Not sure where to start? Medibank offers cooking demonstrations, nutrition seminars and nutrition consultations designed to help educate you staff. To find out more, contact email@example.com
Sweet, Salty and Tangy
Encourage your staff to eat fermented foods, like kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, sourdough bread, live yogurt and even some cheese daily. These probiotic-rich foods, which are also rich in vitamin C, iron and zinc, are known to boost the immune system and are packed with tangy, sweet and salty flavours.
Let’s get physical
Exercise offers so many health benefits and it plays a big role in good blood circulation that helps the immune system do its job properly. Organise a team exercise session or encourage your staff to block out time in their workday to get active.
Is your team still working from home? No sweat! Medibank offers virtual exercise sessions. Check out these free monthly virtual dance classes.
A good night’s sleep may help your staff feel happier, focus on work, have more energy to exercise and feel less hungry. Sleep is also an important time for the immune system because it’s when the body releases special proteins that help fight infection or inflammation. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these proteins, which means it’s less prepared to fight nasty invaders. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells reduce during periods when you don't get enough sleep.
Stress can impact the immune system because it leads to an increase in the stress hormone, cortisol, and decreases the ability for our immune system to respond effectively to infections. It may be hard to avoid everyday stress, so it becomes a game of balance. Encourage your staff to develop good stress management habits.
To help, Medibank offers stress management seminars and we’ve partnered with Smiling Mind to educate your staff about mindfulness and meditation. To find out more about our workplace programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know Medibank has an extensive range of clinically validated wellbeing programs? Contact email@example.com to find out how Medibank can support your corporate wellbeing strategy.