5 Tips To Strengthen Your Immune System
The immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against infection. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. A strong immune system helps to keep a person healthy, it protects our body from harmful substances, germs and cell changes that could make us ill.
Incorporating several lifestyle and dietary changes may strengthen a person’s immune response. Read on to discover 5 tips to strengthen the immune system.
1. Maintain a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet will go a long way to make you feel better right now and keep you well into the future. A well-balanced and healthy diet includes a variety of whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes that are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. The antioxidants in these foods give you an upper hand against harmful pathogens and decrease inflammation.
Meanwhile, the fiber in plant foods feeds your gut microbiome, or the community of healthy bacteria in your gut. A robust gut microbiome can improve your immunity and help keep harmful pathogens from entering your body via your digestive tract. Furthermore, fruits and vegetables are rich in nutrients like vitamin C, which may reduce the duration of the common cold.
2. Exercise regularly
Studies have proven that exercise has many health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart diseases and supporting a healthy immune system.
Exercise benefits the immune system in many ways. It can boost your overall circulation, making it easier for immune cells and other infection-fighting molecules to travel more easily throughout your body. Strengthen antibodies to help fight infection, and reduce stress hormones.
In fact, studies have shown that engaging in as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day helps stimulate your immune system. This means it's important to focus on staying active and getting regular exercise.
3. Stay Hydrated
Having enough water throughout the day is essential for a good and healthy immune system. Staying well-hydrated doesn’t protect you from germs and viruses, but preventing dehydration is important to your overall health.
Dehydration can cause headaches and hinder your physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. These complications can increase your susceptibility to illness.
To prevent dehydration, you should drink enough fluid daily to make your urine pale yellow. Water is recommended because it’s free of calories, additives, and sugar.
Aim for 8 to 10 glasses of water daily. You may need more fluids if you exercise intensely, work outside, or live in hot weather.
4. Get enough sleep
Sleep provides essential support to the immune system. Getting sufficient hours of high-quality sleep enables a well-balanced immune defense that features strong innate and adaptive immunity, efficient response to vaccines, and less severe allergic reactions. Studies have found that people who sleep less than 6 hours a night are more prone to getting sick after exposure to viruses, such as those that cause the common cold.
Given the importance of sleep for immune function, making it a priority to get a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep every night can work to strengthen your immune system.
5. Minimize stress
High stress levels can cause depression and anxiety, which can also lead to higher levels of inflammation. During a period of stress, particularly chronic stress that's frequent and long-lasting, your body responds by initiating a stress response. This stress response, in turn, suppresses your immune system and increases your chance of infection or illness.
Reducing stress can improve your overall health. Being conscious and breathing in a particular way helps reduce stress, soothe your nervous system, and support your mental calm and clarity. Many people feel calmer and more centered afterwards, and it may help to reduce negative emotions.
It is important to remember that the immune system is complex. You can make several lifestyle and dietary changes today to strengthen your immune system. Eating a healthful, balanced diet is just one way to support immune health. It is also essential to be mindful of the other lifestyle factors that may affect immune system health, such as exercising and not smoking.
Start with these tips for eating healthy while working from home and then read these morning habits that will make you happy all day long.