Protect Others And Take Care Of You!
Whether it’s a normal flu season or we’re facing the COVID-19 pandemic, our immune system is constantly being exposed to harmful bacteria, new pathogens, and carcinogens from every direction. Protect yourself by learning how to boost your immune system.
A strong immune system is the first defense against colds, the flu, and other virals and bacterial germs. Since prevention is better than a cure, it pays to work on giving the immune system all the help it can get.
Especially this time.
So, let’s dive into immune health and how to boost your immune system so you can not only stay healthy, but also keep working towards your goals!
WHAT IS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM?
Immune means to be protected. So, a system in the body that helps fight off sickness is called the immune system (protective system).
Our immune system is essential for our survival and is made up of a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to protect the body.
The immune system is spread throughout the body and involves many types of cells, organs, proteins, and tissues. When our immune system is working properly, we don’t even notice it. This network of cells, organs, and tissues is always on the lookout for invaders, and when an outside invader is spotted, a complex attack is mounted.Without an immune system, our bodies would be open to attack from bacteria, viruses, parasites, and more. It is our immune system that keeps us healthy as we interact with the world and germs around us.
But when we have an under or overactive immune system, we are at a greater risk of developing infections, getting sick, and other health conditions.
Kids and aging adults are two main groups of people that need to be even more mindful of boosting their immune system as they are more likely to get sick, but right now it should be a focus for all of us.
One thing is constant for all groups of people, no one likes to get sick and that’s why we got you covered. These 9 tips can help you boost your immune system on a daily level and improve your health.
9 Tips to Boost Your Immune System
1) MAINTAIN A HEALTHY NUTRITION PLAN – CONSISTENTLY
Eating Clean – To maintain a healthy immune system, it needs plenty of micronutrients and essential nutrients to operate effectively.
Therefore, loading up on vitamin and mineral-rich foods is one of the best things you can do for your immune system!
Fruits, vegetables and other plants contain naturally-occurring substances known as phytochemicals and flavonoids. They are what give fruits and vegetables their color and flavor. Phytochemicals are essential to your immune health and protect your body from damage.
But just eating fruits and veggies won’t be enough. You can’t forget about protein because it is a building block for a healthy body and immune system.
You also need to make sure you are simply eating enough to prevent malnutrition. Malnutrition results when the body does not receive enough calories and/or nutrients to promote good health and sustain healthy functioning of your body’s systems.
And let’s face it, many people cut calories or try to “diet” to prevent weight gain because they know they will be less active than normal and they want to look good for summer. While you can certainly keep working to lose weight right now, you just don’t want to drastically reduce calories and food.
2) IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF YOUR SLEEP
Yes, getting more sleep helps… but what really matters is getting good, deep sleep.
By getting into deep REM sleep you allow your body to shut down, de-stress, and produce the proper hormones it needs. If your stress level, cortisol, is elevated for prolonged periods of time, it will suppress your immune function.
A few common and effective ways to improve sleep quality is to avoid the use of electronics like the TV, computer or phone before bed.
Refrain from drinking caffeine and pre-workouts too late into the evening. You can use a supplement like melatonin and magnesium, or other natural ingredients to help your mind and body unwind from the stressful day. Even taking a relaxing shower or bath is another option!
3) AVOID TOBACCO
Pretty straight forward. Smoking undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia.
Cut out smoking and you will instantly increase your immune health.
4) DRINK LESS ALCOHOL
Excessive consumption of alcohol impairs the immune system and increases your chances of getting sick.
I get it, right now a good drink sounds good… but sitting at home drinking because you’re bored, stressed, (or just because) won’t help your immune system.
Now, I’m not saying you can’t drink at all, or need to cut out all alcohol, but we are saying that the more you drink, the harder it is on your immune system.
5) IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH
Having a healthy gut, with the right balance of healthy bacteria, and a healthy digestive tract is the most crucial aspect to staying healthy.
A little fun fact that many people don’t know is that the majority of your immune system lives in your gut. Your gut wall houses 70- 80% of the cells that make up your immune system.
Therefore, to increase your immune health, as well as detoxify and nourish your body … your gut must be healthy. Getting your gut bacteria healthy is one of the most important things you can do to boost your immune system and stay healthy.
Probiotics are good bacteria that help you digest nutrients that boost the detoxification of your colon and support your immune system.
Consuming enough vegetables on a daily basis is also extremely important to keep your immune system working at its best. Eating a variety of vegetables gives your body the phytonutrients and antioxidants that help fight off free-radicals, and give your immune system an extra boost!
When your digestive tract is operating effectively with the proper balance of good bacteria, your immune system works at its best, and you will be able to better utilize the vitamins and minerals from your food and supplements.
6) INCREASE YOUR VITAMIN C
Vitamin C deficiencies are a lot more common than you would think. One major reason is that much of the Vitamin C you get from the foods you eat is not absorbed by the body.
Another reason is because Vitamin C is one of the first vitamins to be depleted in drinkers, smokers, athletes partaking in long, strenuous events, and overweight individuals.
The consequences of being low in Vitamin C are known and documented to bring about a host of unfavorable consequences, including a suppressed immune system, and increased vulnerability to infection.
By addressing this nutritional deficiency, you can boost your immune system.
7) BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE
Activity improves your immune system and your body’s ability to respond to attacks. At a baseline, you want to shoot for at least 30 minutes of activity a day to reap the benefits for your immune health.
This activity can be whatever you enjoy.
Just make sure that you have at least a moderate level of intensity. Slowly dragging along on the treadmill, putting forth little to no effort does work the same way.
8) SOAK UP SUNSHINE
This time of year it can be harder and harder to soak up the beneficial sun rays! Especially if we are going to have to spend more time at home and indoors.
Sunlight is one of the major contributors to the production of Vitamin D in our body.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy functioning of the immune system, as it helps the body to produce antibodies. Low levels of Vitamin D can also be a major reason for respiratory problems, and low energy levels.
Do you ever notice you seem to have less energy in the winter?
Because we are spending more time inside, and when we go outside we have less skin exposed to sunlight due to long sleeves and pants… Vitamin D production will go down.
Therefore, making a conscious effort to get outside and soak up some sunshine for 10-15 minutes a day, and proper supplementation of Vitamin D can help keep your immune system strong!
9) REDUCE STRESS
Control stress before it controls you – Living with high levels of stress can lower your immune system and make yourself sick. Stress of any kind—emotional, physical, or psychological—quickly damages the immune system.
Even negative emotions like worry and anger can lower your immune system. Therefore, one good way to boost your immune system, as well as to improve the general quality of your life, is to eliminate these negative thoughts and emotions.
FINAL ADVICE FOR INCREASING IMMUNE HEALTH
Right now, a lot of people are looking to boost their immune health… strengthen their immune system… and simply stay healthy. I know I am as it’s the responsible thing to do for yourself as well as for everyone else around you.
The good news is that we can work to strengthen your immune system in two ways.
One way to keep your immune system strong and healthy is to avoid behaviors that might weaken your immune system like smoking and excessive amounts of drinking.
The other way is to take daily actions to improve and support a healthy immune system. Actions such as fueling your body with essential nutrients every day, improving sleep quality, staying active, and managing stress better!
Simply put… start implementing these 9 easy ways to take care of your immune system and it will take care of you.
Phytochemical – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics