10 Steps to Boost your Immune System

10 Steps to Boost your Immune System

Keep your immune system strong

Keeping your immune system healthy is important especially in the middle of a pandemic. Doing so will keep harmful bacterial infections and certain viruses at bay.  Being your first line of defense against illnesses, you need to find ways to boost your immune system.

Here are some simple yet effective tips for building your immune system:

  1. Stay Active – Physical Activity like exercising can give your immune system a great boost. According to studies, regular exercise increases your body’s production of antibodies and causes them to circulate fast. For starters, you can try some brisk walking, running, bicycling, dancing, and stretching.
  1. Eat Right – To keep your immune system healthy, you need to nourish it by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables regularly. You want to get enough zinc, Vitamin D, and other important vitamins and minerals. Doctors recommend eating a lot of dark green, leafy vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds. Additionally, you should limit if not avoid foods with sugar and trans fats.
  1. Get Enough Sleep – Sleep reboots your mind and body, so it is no surprise that it also reboots your immune system. Recent studies found that lack of sleep causes your body to increase its production of stress hormones. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night can make you 4 times less likely to catch a cold. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep for young adults and adults (18-64 years), and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults (≥ 65 years).
  1. Minimize stress – Increase the activities in your life that help you handle stress. These include connecting with loved ones; going outside; meditating; or engaging in art. A report from the American Psychological Association said that long-term stress weakens the immune system. Moreover, too much stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes or white blood cells that help fight infection.
  1. Limit added sugars – Emerging research suggests that some added sugars and refined carbs may contribute to overweight and obesity. Furthermore, they may increase your risk of getting sick. Thus, try to limit your sugar intake to less than 5% of your daily calories.
  1. Stay Hydrated – Water plays an important role in our body, including our immune system. The fluid in our circulatory system called lymph is made largely of water. It carries important infection-fighting immune cells. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink about 3.7 liters of fluids per day and that women enjoy about 2.7 liters of fluids, daily.
  1. Quit Smoking – Cigarette smoking can also affect your immune system. The carbon monoxide, nicotine, nitrogen oxides, and cadmium in cigarettes can interfere with the growth and function of immune cells, according to a November 2016 review in Oncotarget. Hence, if you’re smoking, stop it. And if you’re looking to give the habit a try, forget about it.
  1. Drink alcohol in moderation – Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. According to a review published in the journal Alcohol Research in 2015, high levels of alcohol consumption can weaken your body’s ability to fight infection and slow down your recovery time. As recommended by the NIH, women should limit their alcohol consumption to one drink (equivalent to a 4-ounce glass of wine) per day and two drinks for men.
  1. Taking steps to prevent infection – This includes following health protocols like washing your hands frequently and keeping your home and environment clean and healthy. Also, practice bringing your alcohol everywhere you go. Sanitize your things after every use to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. Preventive measures are the keys to maintaining health and well-being.
  1. Right supplements – Last but not least, take the right nutritional supplements. According to the Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, taking the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants through supplements is essential in boosting the immune system.

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