5 Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System
Even the healthiest of people are bound to come down with a cold or a bug every now and again. But by improving your health routine by eating a healthy diet, managing stress well, and more, you can naturally boost your immune system and make it even stronger when it comes to defending against viruses, bacteria and other pathogens that lead to common health problems like the flu.
Improve Your Diet:
A diet that is filled with antioxidants is absolutely essential when it comes to providing your immune system with the right support. Ideally, you should eat a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables as these are foods that are very rich in antioxidants, which combat free radicals; chemical byproducts that damage DNA and weaken the immune system. You should also look to add more healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish. Adding ginger and garlic to your meals on a regular basis can provide an additional immune system boost.
Even moderate-intensity exercise can have several great benefits for your immune system when it is done on a regular basis. A study from last year found that moderate exercise mobilizes the cells in the immune system, making it easier for the body to defend itself against pathogens. People who tend to exercise moderately on a regular basis tend to have fewer illnesses. On the other hand, regular intense exercise can have the opposite effect by temporarily weakening your immune system. So, there’s no need to go hard at the gym – gentle exercise like walking, jogging, cycling or swimming works better.
Many of us have busy lives that can get very stressful at times, but if your stress has started to take over your life then it’s highly likely that it is impacting your immune system too. Chronic stress can seriously affect your immune system by wearing it down and increasing your risk of illness and infection. Thankfully, there are many steps that you can take to deal with stress and get back in control. Talking therapies can help if you’re feeling anxious, or you can take steps to invite more relaxation into your life, like a chair that you can use to enjoy a massage in the comfort of your home. Try to incorporate stress management techniques like yoga, deep breathing exercises and meditation into your daily life.
Getting Enough Sleep:
Getting enough sleep at night is a crucial habit to have when it comes to strengthening your immune system and fighting off sickness. Getting at least a full eight hours of sleep at night may help to regulate immune function, according to a study of over 20,000 people. The study found that people who slept for under six hours each night, and people who suffered from sleep disorders, were more likely to develop illnesses like the common cold.
Making sure that you keep your hands clean is one of the easiest ways to keep sicknesses at bay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Getting into the habit of washing your hands for at least twenty seconds using warm water and soap before preparing or eating food and after touching public surfaces, coughing, sneezing or using the bathroom will help reduce your risk of getting sick.
Your immune system plays a vital function in keeping you well and healthy by defending against pathogens, bacteria and viruses that cause disease. By improving your diet and exercise, managing your stress levels, enjoying more sleep and keeping your hands clean, you can give your immune system more support.