5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Eating healthily, getting adequate rest, and engaging in regular physical activity are all proven strategies to enhance immunity and keep you healthier in general, helping prevent colds and flu from ever occurring.
A healthy diet filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins provides your body with all of the vital nutrients it needs for proper functioning. Such food also contains antioxidants and phytochemicals which have been known to boost immunity.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating healthily can be one of the best ways to keep your immune system operating at peak performance, since such foods contain essential nutrients for overall body wellness.
Atkins recommends eating food from each of the 5 major food groups – vegetables, fruit, grains, protein and dairy – because each contains important nutrients which promote your overall wellbeing and can contribute to better health.
A healthy diet also means avoiding too much salt, sugar and industrially produced trans-fats – such as junk food, ice cream, sweets and soda.
Foods that can help boost your immunity include yogurt with minimal added sugar and live cultures, sourdough bread, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, tempeh (fermented soybeans) and certain types of cheese containing probiotics to increase good bacteria in your digestive system and support improved immune response.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential to overall health, and your immune system relies heavily on adequate rest for proper functioning. Though individual needs differ, adults should aim to get at least seven or nine hours of restful slumber each night.
Sleep helps release proteins known as cytokines which play an essential role in protecting you against infection and inflammation. Lack of restful slumber can lower production of these protective cytokines, potentially diminishing immunity.
Staying on a regular sleep routine is essential to supporting the immune system, increasing energy and alertness during the day, as well as increasing brain function and cognitive performance. Regular rest helps boost your immunity as well as cognitive performance.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise can strengthen your immune system by increasing circulation of disease-fighting cells. Furthermore, regular physical activity reduces stress hormones and inflammation.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, split across at least five workout sessions that work within your schedule.
Exercise regularly to protect yourself against many long-term conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke. Furthermore, it can improve your self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy.
Exercise can help strengthen your immune system by increasing blood flow to immune cells and raising levels of TNF cytokine which has anti-inflammatory effects. Just be sure to get sufficient rest between workouts.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the key ways to strengthen your immune system and overall wellbeing.
Water plays a key role in helping your body maintain the right fluid balance, helping it function more effectively while supporting other important bodily processes such as digestion and cell regeneration.
Flush out toxins and harmful substances from your system to improve skin texture and keep you feeling your very best! It’s the ideal way to maintain optimal health for both body and mind!
Staying hydrated is also beneficial in treating various ailments and illnesses, from headaches and kidney stones to colds and flus. Drinking lots of liquids when sick can help your body fight off germs more quickly so you can recover faster with less damage to your system.
5. Reduce Stress
Stressful events or changes can have devastating results for our bodies, impacting heart rate, mood and sleep quality.
Long-term stress can have serious repercussions for the immune system, including suppressing its response and leading to inflammation as well as decreased white blood cells that help fight infection.
Short-term stress can actually play a positive role in stimulating immunity in an overall positive manner. A recent study shows how hormones released as a result of short-term stress actually strengthen immunity.