7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immune System
How to Boost Your Immune System
Having a strong, and powerful immune system is important for anyone who wants to live a long, healthy life. So, how does one boost their immune system? How can your body be prepared to fight off viruses, ranging from the common cold all the way to the flu? There are multiple ways a person can boost their immune system, and it can even be done from the comfort of your own home. Get ready to learn how with these 7 effective tips.
Eat a healthy diet
Food is your first stop for a healthy immune system. According to an article from Insider, vitamins A,C,E,B6, and D go a long way in supporting and boosting your immune system. Minerals such as Zinc, Iron, and Selenium also contribute to a healthy system. A diet high in fruits and vegetables will provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body in fighting shape. Some other important superstar compounds we can get from food are isoflavones, protease inhibitors, saponins, phytosterols, and phytic acid. What are these? Luckily these are inflammation-fighting, immune system aiding compounds that are found in fruits and vegetables! Your health starts with what you eat. So always remember to eat a balanced and varied diet rich in whole foods. Food is powerful!
Exercise is another excellent way to boost your immune system, and it’s something you can easily do from home. Exercising regularly provides many benefits to the human body, including, improving cardiovascular health, lowering blood pressure, and maintaining healthy body weight. All of these help to boost your immune system. Exercising at home can be something as simple as taking walks around your neighborhood, this will help to keep your cardiovascular health strong which in turn supports and boosts your immune system. According to a study on Sciencedirect.com, “Acute exercise is an immune system adjuvant that improves defense activity and metabolic health.” Exercising means a healthier body which in turn means a natural way to boost your immune system.
Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight goes hand in hand with exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet. While these are not the only two factors that contribute to a healthy weight, they are two important pieces. Astudy from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Maintaining a healthy weight can also benefit the immune system. Obesity has been linked to increased risk for influenza and other infections such as pneumonia.” Maintaining a healthy weight may be more of a challenge for some, but it is possible, and in combination with diet and exercise, it is something that can be done at home.
Get a good night’s sleep
The recommended amount of sleep is 7 to 8 hours a night. This may seem like an impossible feat for some, but the health advantages to a good night’s sleep are insurmountable. According to SleepFoundation.org, insufficient sleep results in your body producing fewer cytokines, a protein that targets infection and inflammation. What helps fight infection? The immune system. So, it makes sense that a lack of sleep reduces the chance your immune system has to fight off infection. It has been shown that two thirty-minute naps a day help decrease stress and reduce the effect sleep deprivation has on your body. That’s excellent news for those of us who like naps. Sleep is definitely something one can easily do in the comfort of their own home.
Don’t smoke, and drink in moderation
Another way one can boost and support their immune system is to not smoke tobacco products and to drink alcohol in moderation. Smoking is widely known to have a negative impact on the human body, but how does it specifically affect the immune system? The Better Health Channel states that smoking leads to greater vulnerability to infections, more severe and longer-lasting illnesses, and lower levels of productive antioxidants in the blood. These factors will hurt the immune system vastly. Drinking alcohol in moderation may seem like another one of those more difficult undertakings, but it’s an important one. Addictioncampuses.com reports, “Alcohol interferes with the chemical signals from white blood cells called cytokines, which can cause an autoimmune response if produced in larger than normal quantities, or an immune system deficiency in cases when these levels are decreased. Alcohol consumption also disrupts normal T-cell function, leaving someone at greater risk of bacterial and viral infection.” As we’ve learned, cytokines are crucial in supporting and boosting the immune system, and drinking decreases the production of these important cells. Staying away from tobacco products, and drinking alcohol in moderation, are two things you can do from home and can help to boost your immune system.
Manage your stress
Our world is incredibly stressful. There’s no denying that. But did you know that stress has more than just a negative mental impact on us? Stress has also been shown to lower our immune system and make it more difficult for our bodies to fight off illness and disease. Stress can be both big and small - from pandemics to sitting in traffic. They both have lasting effects on our health and so management is crucial for a thriving immune system. According to Harvard Health Publishing, one can try deep breathing techniques, breath focus, and creating a routine. Find out more about these practices here. Tactics like meditation, long walks, listening to music and therapy and teletherapy can help us manage the stress in our lives in order to keep our immune system as strong as possible.
Wash your hands
Last but not least, wash your hands! It may seem silly to include this on our list, but you’d be surprised how many people do not follow this basic rule for staying healthy. Think about everything you touch in a day, and the people you touch and what they’re touching. There is no way to know how many germs may be living on your hands, and washing them effectively is one of the best things you can do to ward off infections and viruses. Read more about just how important washing your hands is from the CDC.