11 Ways to Boost Your Immune System
By Alice Bell
Your body’s immune system is your body’s natural defense system. The immune system is a combination of cells, tissues and organs that come together to defend your body from all sorts of invaders. Examples of invaders that cause harm are parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungus; all of which can make you and me ill.
- Exercise can help!
There are things you and I can do to boost our immune systems such as getting some exercise. Exercise is a powerful weapon against disease because it improves the cardiovascular system and protects your body from certain diseases. Exercise may also help the cells of our body move better so that they do their jobs right. Walking or riding a bike in your neighborhood are two ways to exercise.
- Keep your diet in bright colors
Another way to boost your immune system is to eat a diet that is loaded with colors. Good nutrition helps to boost your immune system. Whenever possible, fill your diet with balanced portions that include protein, zinc and vitamins A, C. and E. Keep in mind; vitamin C is known to be a great immune helper and can be found in fruits and strawberries. Drinking green tea is another way to boost your immune system.
- Go nuts and bring out the beans and seafood!
To get good supplies of Vitamin E, enjoy some nuts and nut oil. Also, enjoy seafood, lean meats, beans and seeds. For additional energy, enjoy a morning smoothie. It also has plenty of vitamins and minerals—all of which do well for the immune system.
- Get a good night's sleep
Perhaps one of the best ways to boost your immune system is to get adequate sleep. Getting good sleep not only gives a boost to your immune system but it also reduces stress and gives your body the rest it needs to stay healthy.
In addition, poor sleep can make you more susceptible to illnesses and make it longer for you to get better when you become sick. Getting at least seven hours of sleep at night is recommended for optimal health. When you can, try to get eight hours of sleep.
- Get vaccinated
Most importantly, to boost your immune system, get the recommended vaccinations. It is recommended that you get the flu and pneumococcal vaccinations each year. However, if you have had a negative reaction to the flu or pneumococcal vaccinations, talk with your doctor first about other preventative ways to avoid viruses.
One of the best ways, if you can do it, is to stay away from sick people. When you are out and about and around people, avoid shaking hands, especially when you see that they have a cold. In addition, wash your hands often.
- Probiotics will boost your immune system
Other ways to boost your immune system is to consume probiotics. Probiotics can help regulate the immune system so that it can prevent and treat immune-response-related diseases such as allergies and viral infections.
Probiotics can be taken as supplements or with food such as yogurt. Another way to boost your immune system is to reduce stress. Certain stresses such as taking an exam can weaken the immune system.
- Take daily walks
Taking a daily walk in the sunshine is a great way to soak in Vitamin D and it gives a nice boost to your immune system. Research shows that vitamin D may be one of the most important nutrients for a healthy immune system.
- Find out about vitamin D supplements
In addition, studies also show that taking a vitamin D supplement could help reduce your chances of getting the flu by almost 50 percent. Drinking plenty of water also helps to boost the immune system.
- Herbs and spices, oh my!
Keep in mind; many herbs and spices offer wonderful immune-boosting benefits but Turmeric is one of the best by far. Garlic also is a very powerful natural immune booster.
- Positive emotions and a healthy lifestyle: keep you well
Most importantly, positive emotions and a healthy lifestyle may also boost your immunity. It seems that happiness and positive feelings spill over into eating right and being less stressed; all of which will help your immune system. In addition, being clean is an effective way to keep germs and viruses away; however, being too clean can inhibit your immune system from functioning properly. In other words, there can be too much of a good thing.
- Stay away from certain foods!
Just as certain foods like fresh foods and vegetables keep your immune system strong; there are other foods to stay away from that cause inflammation. Examples of these foods are sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, over eating, foods that cause food allergies and weight control.
Signs of a weakened immune system
Signs of a weakened immune system are feeling constantly stressed, feeling tired most of the time, always having a cold, being overweight, not getting enough sunlight, wounds that are slow to heal, chronic headaches and joint aches.
People who have a weakened immune system are those who have AIDS, seniors and others who have chronic illnesses such as chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, diabetes and those who suffer from heart disease and those who are homebound.
Visit your doctor for a checkup
Besides the above tips and suggestions on how to boost your immune system, make time to visit your doctor for a regular checkup. Preventive care can detect disease or prevent illness before they kick in. This should also include screenings for cancer and heart disease.
To conclude, your body’s immune system is your body’s natural defense system. The immune system is a combination of cells, tissues and organs that come together to defend your body from all sorts of invaders.
Follow the above tips and suggestions on how to boost your immune system and enjoy better health. Most importantly, visit your doctor at least once a year for a checkup or to share information with him or her on your health.