Your immune system is arguably the most important part of your body. It’s the system that prevents sickness and keeps you healthy. When you have a robust immune system, you’ll be less likely to get ill all the time. On the other hand, people with weak immune systems or immune system problems are highly likely to pick up viruses or get sick.
Basically, a strong immune system can fight against viruses and bacteria to prevent you from feeling ill. This is why some people won’t have a cold all year, while others get two or three. Your immune system is essential all the time, but it’s particularly important right now. Let’s not beat around the bush; you probably clicked on this article because you had COVID-19 in the back of your mind!
Yes, a strong immune system can make it harder for you to catch this virus, and it will make it easier for you to fight it if you do get it. The good thing about immune systems is that they can be improved. Yours can get a nice little boost if you try some of the ideas listed down below:
Vitamins are vital for improving and maintaining your immune system. Generally, most scientists agree that the four main immune-boosting vitamins are:
Most people only think about vitamin C, but these other three also play an important role. Naturally, there are two main ways you can improve your vitamin intake. Eating a healthy diet with foods rich in vitamins is the best approach to take. If you eat a selection of fruit and veg, you are likely to get a lot of vitamins C and B6. Vitamin E is mainly found in nuts and seeds, so a good way to get this is through peanut butter.
Vitamin D is harder to get from your diet as it’s only available in small amounts. Instead, most people get their vitamin D from sunlight. Of course, the second option for all your vitamins is a supplement. The two main tips for taking supplements are that you should only buy from trusted brands and only take supplements you need. A brand like Thorne Supplements is a good one to trust as there’s lots of research backing the products, and they’re all tested. As far as the supplements you need, it will depend on what you lack. Vitamin D supplements are highly popular as they are the easiest way to get this vitamin. However, you may want to consider a vitamin C supplement as well, just for an extra boost.
I just spoke about the importance of a healthy diet concerning vitamin intake. Still, it’s crucial in terms of your overall immune system health. Truthfully, the healthiest diet includes lots of whole foods and a good selection of fruit & veg. You don’t need to eat meat, you don’t need to be vegan, and you don’t need to follow a crazy diet. Just make balanced meals that are predominately whole foods, and your diet will be healthy.
This type of diet will naturally boost your immune system. But, it’s good to understand what foods to avoid as they can damage your immunity. Typically, you should avoid processed foods, foods high in sugar, and alcohol. All three of these things are shown to have a negative effect on the immune system. You can enjoy them now and then, but don’t make them a mainstay in your diet.
The easiest way to think about it is that your immune system helps you stay healthy. So, how do you ensure your body is healthy? It’s simple; you don’t eat a load of crap!
Exercise is a natural superpower for your immune system. There are plenty of studies that demonstrate a positive link between regular exercise and your immune system. In short, people that exercise all the time are much less likely to get sick. Why is this the case? Well, there are some very interesting theories floating about.
One of the most frequently agreed upon ideas is that exercise increases white blood cells and antibodies in your body. These are the two things that fight against disease and work to kill bacteria and prevent infections. When you exercise, it’s shown that your body produces more of both, and they work more efficiently. Without getting too technical, the white blood cells and antibodies are quicker at snuffing out bacteria when you exercise. Thus, you’re less likely to get sick and will be sick for less time.
It’s also suggested that exercising causes your lungs to blow out bacteria and other harmful things. This is because your breathing increases, and you also might expel droplets of saliva. Overall, you should definitely start exercising at least three times per week. This won’t just improve your immune system, but it will also make you feel a lot better about yourself!
It probably comes as no surprise that sleep is on this list! If you search for anything health-related, sleep will always come up. It’s the solution to a lot of problems, including poor immunity. When you think about it…this makes loads of sense. What are you told to do if you get sick? Sleep it off! Everyone always tells you to get loads of sleep as that’s when your body recovers. Your immune system works harder when you’re relaxed and snoozing away. Therefore, a lack of sleep means your immune system can’t work as hard as it needs to. As a result, you’re more likely to get sick, and your sickness will last longer.
What is the right amount of sleep to get every night? People debate this all the time, but the safe number is 8 hours. If you aim for 8 hours a night, your immune system will get a much-needed boost. Don’t worry if you can’t achieve the full 8 hours every day – 7 hours now and then will be fine. Ideally, you want to avoid sleeping less than 6 hours a night. This tends to be when the problems start.
Improving your digestive system will work wonders for your all-round health and wellbeing. It’s much more than simply digesting food. So much bacteria is found in the gut, some of which is good for you. In fact, good gut bacteria is proven to help regulate your immune system. The question is, how do you ensure you get a lot of good bacteria in your body?
Well, it’s not as difficult as you think. Again, eating a healthy and balanced diet will help. But, to give yourself a boost, consider eating foods containing probiotics. The most obvious example of this is yogurt – loads of yogurts contain probiotics, which are good gut bacteria. Some fruits contain it as well, but yogurt or kefir are the best food options.
You also get special drinks – like Yakult – that you can take once a day. It’s basically a liquid supplement, or you can take another type of supplement instead. Probiotics are available in capsule-form if that’s how you’d prefer to take them. In truth, this is a good idea if you’re vegan and don’t eat dairy products. The majority of foods containing probiotics are dairy-based.
The last tip is one that we should all pay attention to. Now, there’s an intriguing theory that our immune systems are weaker than they used to be. Largely, this theory is aimed at the kids of the current generation. They seem to get sick more often than kids did a few decades ago. There could be many reasons for this, but one suggestion is that kids don’t go outside to play anymore. I mean, they do, but nowhere near as often as they used to.
Back in the day, children would play outside for hours; they’d mess around in the dirt and basically cover themselves in germs. As a result, their immune systems had to work harder to fight off infections and diseases. They may have gotten sick initially, but their immune system was a lot stronger in the long run. The key theory for today’s generation is that their immune systems are never exposed to germs because they’re inside more and more. As of yet, there aren’t any studies to prove this theory, but it’s an interesting idea.
To be honest, it kind of makes sense. It’s good to go outside and expose yourself to everything out there. I don’t mean that you have to go crazy and be unhygienic! It’s just better to be outside enjoying the fresh air than stuck indoors all the time. So, whenever you can, try to be active and go out and about.
On that note, you’ve come to the end of this guide. There are six ideas here that can help your immune system get stronger. Honestly, there’s no excuse not to do everything on this list. It won’t just help your immune system; it will help your overall health & wellbeing.
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