How to Strengthen Your Immune System with Four Easy Tips
School is just around the corner, so let the germs begin! And you don’t have to have kids to fall victim to them. The kids bring their cooties home to their parents, and then the parents bring them into the office…no one is safe. So, the best offense is a good defense.
We’ve all heard the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Wouldn’t it be great if that were true, and keeping ourselves healthy was as easy as eating apples? Unfortunately, maintaining good health can be more complicated than that…but we’ve got you covered!
Check out these four immunity-boosting tips that will help you build and strengthen your immune system, and they may even help you pass Health 101 with flying colors!
Tip #1: Get Plenty of Quality Sleep
One of the best things you can do to strengthen your immune system is to get a good night’s rest.1
Your internal clock oscillates between periods of light and dark, and when you fail to get enough sleep to keep your internal clock “running on time,” your body’s immune system can suffer as a result.
Sleep triggers your immune system to release special proteins called cytokines, which are vital for combating fatigue and illness. When you do not get enough sleep, your immune system does not have the optimal conditions it needs to release these proteins and support good health.
Failing to get enough good quality sleep can negatively impact your ability to recover from a bout of sickness, too.2 But before you try to strengthen immune system by sleeping in late, know that getting too much sleep is just as damaging to your body as failing to get enough sleep. Specifically, sleeping too much can hamper the overall quality of sleep you get over the long term and make it difficult for you to fall and stay asleep in the future.
It is best to aim for at least eight hours of sleep. To help you fall asleep, consider developing a bedtime routine to get your body into the habit of knowing when it is time to wind down for the night, which can go a long way toward helping you fall asleep faster and enjoying a more restful sleep. Check out more tips about how to get a great night’s sleep here.
Tip #2: Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
An important part of a diet that supports your physical, mental, and emotional health, is probiotics, which are healthy bacteria found in foods like yogurt, soy milk, kombucha tea, miso soup, and dark chocolate. Probiotics are excellent immune system helpers3 that help cleanse your intestinal tract of harmful germs.To keep your gastrointestinal system in tip top immune-boosting shape, consider adding oats, the occasional bowl of chicken soup, kale, garlic, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna to your diet.
– Oats support your immune system and have been known to promote healing.
– Collagen in the bone broth used to make chicken soup supports a healthy immune system.
– Kale contains Vitamin C, which is widely regarded as an immunity booster.
– Garlic contains what is known as Allicin, an active ingredient that stands guard against harmful bacteria and infections in your body.
– With salmon and other fatty fish, you get Omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for battling inflammation, which is actually a protective response from your immune system.
Try to make these foods, and the nutrients and vitamins they contain, part of your daily diet to strengthen your immune system.
Tip #3: Do Not Smoke
Refraining from smoking is another excellent way to build your immune system. When you smoke, you send your body into stress mode because your body considers the harmful additives in cigarettes as a threat to your health, and it works overtime to fight them off in order to keep you healthy.
If you already smoke, know that it is not too late to roll back some or even much of the damage that cigarettes do to the body. When you stop smoking, you send a signal to your body that it is okay for it to “let its guard down,” bringing it out of red alert status. Your once-sluggish blood flow will be much more responsive, allowing you to receive the proper amount of nutrients and minerals you need to properly heal from injuries. Even better is the fact that you will likely not be as vulnerable to sickness as you were while you smoked.
Tip #4: Choose Supplements with Specific Immunity-Boosting Ingredients
There are a number of supplements you can include that will help you build up your immune system. Such supplements include: Fulvic Acid; Andrographis; Olive Leaf; Larch Arabinogalactans, and Echinacea Augustifolia.
– Fulvic Acid is a nutrient that supports gastrointestinal health, much like probiotics. It helps you to ward off stress, and your immune system is undoubtedly better4 when you feel relaxed and at peace. It also allows your body to better absorb the healthy nutrients from the immune system-boosting foods mentioned earlier.
– The way Andrographis, also known as “Indian Echinacea,” keeps you from getting sick is by assisting your body in creating more macrophages and antibodies. It is particularly good to have on hand during cold and flu season.
– Olive Leaf is highly touted for its antiviral and antifungal properties, as well as its ability to fight off various infections.
– Clinical studies have shown that Larch Arabinogalactans is capable of beating common cold infections and boosting the immune system.
– A widely-known herb, Echinacea Augustifolia, is commonly used to combat colds. The supplement is most often found in tea, and it is recommended to enjoy several cups of Echinacea during cold and flu season to lessen the chances of you catching a cold. And you can drink it while you have a cold to reduce the cold’s overall duration.
There you have four (doable) tips on how to build your immune system and keep the doctor away. Do you have an immune-boosting practice that you’d like to share? Find us on Facebook to start a conversation, we’d love to hear from you!
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1. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/08/sleep-immune-system-body-clock_n_4235943.html
2. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757.
3. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/health-benefits-of-taking-probiotics
4. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-the-mind-heals-the-body/201411/how-stress-affects-the-immune-system