It is important that you treat your immune system well. Your immune system is your personal wellness plan; it protects your body against harmful viruses, bacteria and fungi. It also fights infections and many types of cancer. Not only is your immune system protecting you, but it keeps track of previous infections so that it can fight them off more easily the next time. Keeping your immune system healthy is your best defense against illness.
How to Boost Your Immune System
Keeping a healthy diet, doing exercise and managing your stress are just some of the ways that you can help improve and strengthen your immune system. Even healthy people can get sick on occasion; giving your immune system a boost will help it defend your body against all those bacteria, toxic chemicals, and viruses that can cause colds, flus and other health problems.
1. Keep a Healthy Diet
Eating a diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables will give you the antioxidants to fight off free radicals that damage DNA and prevent the immune system from functioning properly. Eating healthy fats such as omega-3’s, garlic and ginger will also help increase your body’s natural immunity. Also be sure to choose water over sugary drinks to help your immune system flush toxins and infections.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercising on regular basis will increase the number of white blood cells in your body to better fight infections. Exercising on a regular basis of at least 30 minutes a day also increases your longevity while decreasing other health issues.
3. Manage Your Stress
Managing your stress can be difficult, but is a must to improve your immune system. Chronic stress can have a negative impact on how your body responds to bacteria and viruses. On the other hand, having a small amount of stress helps your body function properly. It is important to manage and balance your stress with relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and tai chi.
4. Get Plenty of Sleep
Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep each night. Fatigue is actually known to lower your body’s immune functions. Your immune system build antibodies while you sleep, plus insomnia can lead to stress like symptoms with a rise in cortisol which inhibits your body’s ability to fight inflammation and other health issues.
5. Manage Your Weight
One of the best ways to boost your immune system is to create a lifestyle change that encourages a healthy body weight. Being overweight increases the likelihood of developing a chornic health problem, being obese increases those chances even more. Having a large number of fat cells in your body causes your body to release pro-inflammatory chemicals in the body which can cause tissue damage if not treated.
You can easily manage your weight with small lifestyle changes by eating more fruits and vegetables, avoiding processed foods, drinking more water, getting plenty of exercise and sleep.
6. Build a Support System & Get Out More
Studies have proven that building a support system of family and friends boosts your mental and physical health; both of which boost your immune system. When you are able to feel connected to family and friends your immune system will be much stronger. So, get out and experience life with your family and friends.
7. Be Happy
As they say, “laughter is the best medicine.” Laughing and smiling increases serotonin release which blocks the cortisol released by stress. This boosts your immune system by increasing your white blood cell count. Simply anticipating a funny event has been shown to improve one’s immune system.
8. Avoid Cigarettes and Alcohol
Cigarette smoke is known to increase the chances of incurring bronchitis and pneumonia in all people, and increasing the likelihood of developing inner ear infections in children. Both cigarette smoke and alcohol consumption impairs the immune system by increasing the chances of lung infections.
9. Take in the Sunlight
Vitamin D production is induced by sunlight. Simply 10-15 minutes of sun exposure is enough to increase your body’s ability to fight infections, especially respiratory infections. Between November and February, those who live above 42 degrees latitude may need to find other sources as the sun is further away.
10. Consider Supplements
If you feel you need to add supplements, always do so under the supervision of your doctor. Whether you are taking over-the-counter or prescription supplements you may experience side effects.
The three most commonly used supplements, either over-the-counter or by prescription, are vitamin D, Omega3 fatty acids and Vitamin A.
- Vitamin D – Most adults need between 5000 and 10000 IU’s daily for a safe and effective immune system. Although 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure can accomplish this for most, those who live further north may need to use supplements to reach their recommended amounts due to a lack of adequate sunlight.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – It is highly recommended that most adults consume around 4000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily to prevent heart disease and increase their immune system. Omega-3 also helps improve vitamin D absorption while fighting other ailments such as colds, flus, respiratory tract and lung infections.
- Vitamin A – On a daily basis the average adult should be consuming about 10,000 IU’s of vitamin A to build their white blood cell levels. Most vitamin supplements contain vitamin A, but if you are still finding that you have recurring infections of the bladder, chest, middle ear or other areas you may need to include more vitamin A.
Watch the video below to learn some more about how to boost your immune system by eating right from: