Our immune system is what helps keep us healthy. When we take care of it, we can avoid pesky illnesses like the cold and flu, but having a well-functioning immune system can also prolong our life by preventing us from getting potentially dangerous illnesses that could endanger our lives.
In some ways, your immune system is determined by your genetics, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do to make your immune system better! Here are seven ways you can boost your immune system and reduce your chances of getting sick all year long.
Know What to Eat
One of the best things you can do if you want to boost your immunity is to eat the right foods. Gomez Trial Attorneys share that, “Research shows that what you eat — or don’t — can play an important role in your immune system’s ability to do battle with incoming germs.”
One of the best things about this tip is that it’s one of the easiest to follow! We can all add and remove a few things from our diets to take better care of our immunity.
A few of the best things to eat to boost your immunity include:
- Oranges and orange juice
- Fish and shellfish
- Chicken soup
- Black tea
Things you should limit in your diet include:
- French fries
- Potato chips
- White bread
Exercise can be great for your health, as long as you do it right. The good news is that doing it right means not engaging in overly strenuous exercise. Prolonged, intense exercise can actually suppress your immune system!
Instead, engage in more moderate types of exercise, like swimming, steady bicycling, and lifting light weights. Walking is an especially good way to get the kind of exercise that can boost your immune system.
Aim to get about 30 minutes of exercise most days each week. When you do, you can reduce inflammation in the body and help your immune cells regenerate, which can help you fight off germs before they make you sick.
Having a hard time fitting in 30 minutes of exercise most days? Look for easy ways to get a little more exercise. Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park the car at the back of the parking lot to get in a few extra steps every day.
Life is busy. If you’re looking to add a little extra time to do important things every day, sleep is often the first thing to go. Although missing a few hours of sleep here and there isn’t going to affect your health too much, not getting seven or eight hours of sleep on a regular basis can greatly affect your health.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re doing your immune system a huge disservice. Studies show that those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. That’s because sleep deprivation decreases the production of important infection-fighting antibodies.
Prioritize your sleep by going to bed earlier and you’ll notice a difference in how often you get sick.
A little bit of stress isn’t a bad thing. It can actually motivate you to do something important, whether that’s running from a bear while hiking in the woods or studying for that big test.
However, experiencing long-term or intense bouts of stress can affect your health. It can result in headaches, sleeplessness, and depression, as well as affecting important systems in the body. It can affect your digestive system, make you more prone to heart disease, and it can affect your immune system.
Limit stress whenever you can. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get rid of all your stress, so it’s equally important to find
healthy ways to cope with the stress in your life. How the stress in your life affects you is more important than how much stress or what kind of stress you’re experiencing.
Limit or Eliminate Alcohol and Drugs
It’s obvious that you should eliminate heavy drugs from your life, but other drugs can affect your immune system too. They include tobacco products, marijuana, and alcohol.
Alcohol disrupts the upper airways and weakens important barriers in the lower airways, making it easier for germs to make their way into your system. Tobacco products, like cigarettes, lower levels of protective antioxidants in the blood.
It’s a good idea to quit smoking, but if you enjoy having a drink every once in a while, you’re probably okay. Just don’t make drinking alcohol part of your daily routine.
Take a Supplement
It’s always best to get important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from the food you eat, but it can be difficult to get everything you need from your diet. That’s where supplements come in!
There are a lot of great supplements you can take if you want to boost your immune system. A few you may want to consider include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
Taking a daily vitamin is a good option too. They often include many of these vitamins, in addition to other vitamins and minerals that can boost your health.
Develop a Positive Attitude
There is a strong mind-body connection. If you have negative thoughts regularly or struggle with a mental illness, like depression, you’re more likely to suffer from other health problems as well. That includes a decrease in your immunity.
Researchers in one study found that when patients had negative emotions, they had a weaker response to their flu vaccine, while other researchers found that those who were more optimistic about certain areas of their lives had a stronger immune response to germs than those with negative views. Practice gratitude and you’ll notice a difference in how often you get sick.
You aren’t stuck getting colds and the flu over and over again! Try the tips on this list to boost your immune system and you can reduce how often you get sick.