10 Tips For Boosting Your Immune System
Your immune system is your body’s natural defense against invaders that lead to sickness. So, it makes sense that having a strong one will help you recover faster from illness or even prevent you from getting sick in the first place. From diet to lifestyle changes, boosting your immune system can easily be done. So, if you’re looking for ways to help fend off sickness and infections this cold and flu season, then read on.
How To Boost Your Immune System
Eat A Balanced Diet
Eating a healthy diet of whole, nutritious foods is good for your overall health. It’s also the easiest way to boost and maintain your immune system. Your body is able to more efficiently absorb vitamins and minerals from fruits and veggies as opposed to supplements. However, it’s still a good idea to check in with your doctor about any possible deficiencies. Some vitamins, like vitamin D, are hard to get strictly from food sources.
Foods To Include
- Citrus fruits
- Ginger and Tumeric
- Healthy fats (olive and avocado oil)
- Nuts and seeds
Foods To Avoid
- Processed meats
- Red meat
- Sugar and sweets
- Fast Food
- Fried food
- White bread
Maintain A Healthy Weight
There is strong evidence that being obese has a negative impact on one’s immune system. Although this doesn’t mean you’ll automatically catch every cold and flu out there, it is associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. Both will up the chances of falling ill.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting adequate sleep is absolutely essential to your health and your immune system. Studies show that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep at night are more likely to develop colds and other respiratory infections. Adults should aim to get 8 full hours of quality sleep each night. If falling asleep at night is a struggle for you, it may be helpful for you to read these 10 Tips for A Better Night’s Sleep.
Getting regular moderate-intensity exercise like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and weightlifting provides several health benefits. It can lower blood pressure, and blood sugar levels, reduce stress, and help to maintain a healthy weight. Aim for about 30 minutes a day five days a week.
Supplements like vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc can all help to boost your immune system as well as herbs like echinacea, elderberry, and garlic.
If you’re considering the use of any remedy, make sure to consult your physician first, as they can interact with certain medications.
Dehydration can make you more susceptible to illness, by decreasing digestion, as well as heart and kidney function. To prevent dehydration, aim to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. If you struggle with drinking enough water, try adding fresh lemon slices or mint leaves for flavor. Setting reminders throughout the day is also helpful.
Chronic stress can have a negative impact on immunity by causing imbalances in immune cell function. Although it can be difficult to reduce stress, incorporating lifestyle changes and practices can be very helpful in reducing and managing stress. Calming activities like yoga, journaling, exercise, and more sleep have all been shown to help.
Consuming alcohol can negatively affect your health and weaken the immune system in multiple ways, making you more susceptible to illness. It destroys the good bacteria that live in the gastrointestinal tracts that help our bodies fight off infection.
Smoking, including vaping, is another thing that actually damages the immune system leaving you more susceptible to infections. It is particularly damaging to the lungs which put smokers at a higher risk for contracting viruses that attack the respiratory system. If you are a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health.
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands regularly throughout the day especially when you’ve been outside of your home, is one of the best and easiest ways to prevent getting sick. Be sure to wash for a least 20 seconds using both soap and water.