Even though our immune system does a tremendous job of protecting us from diseases, sometimes it fails, and we eventually get sick. However, did you know that making a few changes to your lifestyle and diet could help you boost your immune system?
Just like with anything else, when it comes to a robust immune system, balance is the key. Read on to discover what you can do to strengthen your body’s natural barrier and protect yourself from bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.
Your Immune System
Your immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. When an alien microorganism enters your body, your immune system acts as a first responder. It fights hard to protect you from getting infected. However, if your immune system isn’t strong enough, it might lose the battle and let harmful bacteria have a feast in your body.
The healthier your immune system, the better it works. That’s why it’s so essential to keep it that way for as long as possible.
If you did end up getting Flu or any other common cold, you’re most likely to experience fever. Of course, it’s not a pleasant feeling at all, yet it means that your immune system is working and trying to get rid of that infection.
Since the immune system is so critical for the prevention of various illnesses, you should take any chance you get to keep it strong.
5 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Here’s how you can improve your diet and lifestyle to help boost your immune system as well as your overall well-being.
No matter what, keep calm and try solving any problems without putting yourself into this terrible condition. Of course, sometimes, it’s hard to avoid stress, especially with all negative events happening in the world every day. Yet, stress has a powerful effect on your immune system, making it weaker and more vulnerable.
So, if you want to stay healthy and have your immune system as your best friend, try to lower your stress levels. Meditate, try yoga, read, listen to music; in other words, do anything that could make you feel relaxed.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping for at least 7-9 hours per day might be one of the best things you can do to regulate your immune system. Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways to do it, because all you need to do is lay and relax.
Not getting enough sleep might cause stress, and consequently, lower your body’s immune function. A study has shown that people who sleep less than six hours a night are more prone to catching colds and other respiratory infections. So, make sure you always get your well-deserved eight hours of sleep.
Increase Vitamin Intake
The more vitamins there are in your diet, the stronger your immune system will be. You can find vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E in both fruits and vegetables. For example, try including such foods into your diet as kale, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, turmeric, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, salmon, tuna, elderberry, blueberry, and all the citrus fruits. They are full of nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and some of them (e.g., turmeric) even have anti-inflammatory effects.
Although it’s better to consume all the vitamins directly from their source, there are also a lot of supplements that can help you get all the essential nutrients and your daily dose of vitamins.
Improve Your Lifestyle
There are a few things you can do to become healthier:
- Exercise: Moderate exercise strengthens your immune system, keeps you more energetic, happy, and lowers the risk of getting sick.
- Quit smoking: Even though it might be hard for long-term smokers, you should do your best to get rid of this bad habit (better slower than never.)
- Moderate your alcohol consumption: Alcohol can also lower your immune system defense function, so try balancing its intake or eliminate it at all.
Practice Better Hygiene
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds is one of the best ways to keep bacteria away. That’s why you should develop a habit of doing it every time you cough, sneeze, use the bathroom, or come back from outside. You can also take advantage of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory products to help you fight germs.
The Bottom Line
Your immune system is complex; that’s why it takes some time and effort to keep it healthy. However, if you manage to eat a lot of vitamins, get enough sleep, exercise, and eliminate bad habits, you’re already one step closer to boosting your immune system.
If you tend to get sick very often and worry about your immune system, you should always consult your doctor first and avoid self-medication by all means.