We all know that a well-working immune system is a key to good health. Your immune system does an excellent job of warding off pathogens and keeping you healthy. But, sometimes, the germs can invade successfully and cause illnesses. Can you strengthen your immune system by stopping this from happening? How about if you start eating better? Try some new supplements or natural remedies? Alter your habits in other ways to boost your immune system and decrease your risk of illness? While it does so much for us, what can we do to keep our immune system strong and healthy?
It turns out there are quite a few things! Here are some of the best ways to improve your immunity:
Include Supplements & Herbs in Your Diet
Several different supplements and herbs have been shown to boost immunity. Tulsi, an herb known as “holy basil,” is one of the most widely studied and is thought to increase the production of antibodies, which help the body fight off infections. Vitamin C is another immunity booster that’s found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in supplements. You can also try IV vitamin therapy if you’re looking for a quicker and easier way to boost your immunity. Several clinics around the country are providing it. Just go online and search for a clinic near you. For example, if you are in Chicago, you can search “IV vitamin therapy in Chicago,” and you’ll find multiple options at your disposal.
Get Enough Sleep
You’ve probably heard a billion times that sleeping eight hours a night is important, but that’s because it is! Getting adequate sleep aids your body in repairing itself and fighting off infections. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body is under a lot of stress, making you more susceptible to getting sick. In addition, some common, recurring illnesses like colds and the flu are caused by viruses that take advantage of our weakened immune systems when we’re tired. So do yourself a favor and get some rest!
Besides our muscles, our immune system benefits from exercise too. When we work out, we increase our blood flow and the circulation of immune cells throughout our bodies. Exercise also helps minimize stress, which can further weaken our immunity. You don’t have to engage in prolonged cardio sessions or lift heavy dumbbells to get the benefits – even moderate exercise like going for a brisk walk can make a difference. Of course, the best time to exercise is in the morning in fresh air when you can also get vitamin D from the sun.
Feed Your Body Essential Nutrients
Your body is an engine, and the immune system is its air filter. To function correctly, it needs the right fuel. A healthy diet with plenty of lean protein, fruits, and vegetables will give your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong. Some specific vitamins and minerals necessary for immunity include vitamin A, C, D, zinc, and selenium. You can get these through foods like sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, fish, eggs, and nuts. Include these in your meals to reap the benefits.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Chronic stress can severely impact our immune system. When stressed, our bodies produce cortisol, which suppresses the immune system. As a result, it increases our susceptibility to getting sick. Before you can start managing your stress level, try and find the root cause of your stress. Once you know what’s causing it, you can develop coping mechanisms to deal with it. Some common stress-relievers include exercise, meditation, and time management.
While we can’t eliminate all of the stressors in our lives, by taking steps to reduce our stress levels, we can help to keep our immune system strong. Making time for yourself each day can also make a big difference in how your body responds to stress.
Smoking is one of the most terrible things you can do for your health and affects your immune system. Cigarette smoke contains over 7000 chemicals, many of which are toxic to our bodies. These chemicals damage our cells and make it harder for our immune system to fight off infections. If you smoke, cutting down (if not quitting) is the best you can do for yourself. Many resources are available to help you quit, so there’s no excuse not to try. You can try counseling or nicotine replacement therapy if you’re looking for options.
Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which makes it harder for our bodies to fight off infection. It also impairs the function of our white blood cells, which are essential for fighting disease. Because of this, heavy drinkers are more susceptible to developing illnesses like pneumonia and tuberculosis. Therefore, if you drink alcohol, it’s essential to do so in moderation. For men, that makes no more than two drinks per day, and for women, it means no more than one. If you’re struggling with alcohol addiction, plenty of resources are available to help you quit. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs can give you the tools you need to recover. You can also try attending support groups or therapy.
Stay Updated with Vaccination
One of the simplest and most effective ways to boost your immunity is to vaccinate against common illnesses. The flu vaccine, for example, can reduce your risk of developing influenza by up to 60%. Vaccines work by protecting us from diseases before we’re exposed to them. They help our bodies build immunity, making us less likely to get sick. Vaccines are safe, so there’s no reason not to get them. Consult your doctor if you’re unsure about which vaccines you need. They can help you determine the right ones based on age, health, and lifestyle.
There are several ways to prepare your body for the immunity challenge. We expose ourselves to many different types of bacteria and viruses every day. Whether it’s the seasonal flu or a common cold, our immune system is constantly working to protect us. Therefore, we must care for ourselves to keep our immune system strong. If you can’t do most of the above-listed, at least hydrate, rest, and eat healthily. A strong immune system is the best defense against illness. So, take care of yourself and stay healthy!