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Aug 23

The 21-day plan to boost your immune system and fight off infections –

Something that gave me an even greater incentive to write my book, The 21 Day Immunity Plan, was the premature deaths of two family members who suffered and died because of a compromised immune system.

My older brother, Amit, died of a virus that affected his heart at the age of 13. Born with Downs syndrome, his compromised immune system was genetic and there was little that could have been done to prevent his death from crashing heart failure when he caught a tummy bug that most people would have been able to fight off.

The second was my mother, who over the four-week period of her final admission to hospital endured indescribable pain from an infection that affected her spine. Her compromised immune system was almost entirely rooted in lifestyle choices. Because the NHS was already overstretched, a heart attack was missed, treatment was delayed and she gasped for breath as fluid engulfed her lungs. Eventually she slipped into a coma as the infection spread through her body, and she passed away aged only 68.

Beyond my observations as a medical scientist and my duties as a clinical doctor to share knowledge on the link between metabolic health and immunity, I wrote my book from the perspective and motivation of someone who has had to deal with all the emotion and sadness of seeing a close family member die well before their time and in the most horrible of circumstances. No one needs to suffer like she did and no family member should have to witness it.

What Covid-19 has also done is expose areas in our health systems and personal well-being that have long been neglected, and which in themselves have made us more vulnerable to such a particularly pernicious virus. But in spite of the tragedy, the disturbing statistics and heartbreaking stories that have collectively gripped the world, we can draw from the lessons the virus has taught us and look to a brighter future.

The 21-day immunity plan is one that involves nutritious food, helps to regulate and reduce inflammation, combats insulin resistance and improves overall metabolic health. It should be enjoyable and be in keeping with all cultures and personal preferences.

It will help you to:

Over the course of the three weeks, you will follow an eating plan, you will be required to move your body daily, carry out breathing exercises, monitor and improve your sleep habits and be seeking to reduce your stress and improve your mental well-being by making a concerted effort to nurture and celebrate time with friends and family.

Please note that if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease and more specifically are taking medications, you must consult your doctor before starting the 21-day plan, as medication is likely to need adjusting/reducing and may potentially need to be stopped altogether.

We know that prolonged sitting and being more sedentary in general increases the risk of heartdisease, high bloodpressure and type 2 diabetes.

Regular cardiovascular exercise has the strongest evidence base when it comes to reducing the risk of many diseases. It has even been shown to significantly reduce insulin resistance within three months for those who start off with a sedentary lifestyle, even without weight loss.

Throughout the three weeks of this plan, I want you to go for a brisk walk for at least 30 minutes on five days each week. Subjectively, this is where you feel a bit out of breath to the point youre able to have a conversation but youll find it difficult to sing.

If you want to be very precise, then measuring your heart rateprovides a more objective measure of activity intensity.

You want to aim to get your heart rate within a range of 50 to 70 per cent ofyour maximum, which isrelated to your age. Thereason for this heart-rate range is based on numerous studies which reveal beneficial physiological changes in thebody startto occur once you exerciseat this level, including reduced insulinresistance.

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The 21-day plan to boost your immune system and fight off infections -

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