A strong and healthy immune system reduces the chances of infection. Your first line of defense is to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the ways you can naturally support your immune system and protect yourself against sickness.
A healthy lifestyle has both short term and long term benefits. Eating right, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of various diseases and add years to your life. On top of that, maintaining a healthy lifestyle also helps give you energy and improves your overall mood.
The secret to reducing the risk of disease is making small changes to your lifestyle. Improving your lifestyle with small steps in the right direction will have a big impact on your wellbeing and your health at large. Here are some of the ways you can naturally support your immune system and protect yourself against sickness.
Embrace A Healthy Diet
What many don’t know is that the lion’s share of your immune system lies in the gut. A healthy immune system needs regular nourishment which is derived from the food we eat. Yufang Lin, M.D., of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, advises people to embrace a Mediterranean style of eating.
A Mediterranean diet is one that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. Such fats can be found in foods such as nuts, olive oil, and fish. This diet is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that help to reduce inflammation and fight infection.
Dr. Lin also advises people to limit meat intake as well as fried and processed foods which are more inflammatory. She advises people to include fermented foods in their diets such as yogurt. This helps introduce good bacteria in your gut, which, in turn, supports your immune system.
Staying active through regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. Exercise is a powerful way to boost your immune system and fight infection. It lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.
Regular exercise causes your body’s white blood cells and antibodies to circulate more rapidly, which means that they are able to detect pathogens and infections quicker. Being active also lowers stress hormones which in turn lowers your chances of contracting stress-induced illnesses.
There are also health benefits to sweating. Sweat not only acts as an antiseptic but the rise in body temperature kills bacteria in their tracks. The key to exercise, however, is to do it in moderation. Doing too much exercise can put stress on your body and depress your immune system.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is a natural immune system booster. Sleep is incredibly vital but is often neglected by many. Sleep is important because it enables the body to repair itself and prepare for the next day. Sleep is especially crucial for children because it is the time in which they grow.
When your body lacks sleep it produces stress hormones which can cause stress-induced diseases. In the long run, these suppress your immune system. Lack of adequate sleep also reduces the activity of T cells in the body. T cells are responsible for protecting the body against pathogens. A lack of T cells invites diseases and weakens the body’s response to vaccines.
Study shows that people who get 8 hours of sleep have higher levels of T cells than those who don’t get enough sleep. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep and avoid staying up all night. It’s important to cultivate a good sleeping pattern as it is beneficial to your immune system.
Get Enough Sunshine
Stepping out and getting some sunshine is one of the major sources of Vitamin D in our bodies. Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system as it helps the production of antibodies. Low levels of Vitamin D in the body has been sourced as one of the major reasons for respiratory problems. A leisurely walk outdoors in the sun for 10-15 minutes each day will ensure that your body is receiving enough Vitamin D. This will boost your immune system and improve your overall health.
A little effort goes a long way in ensuring a healthy immune system. A few small changes in your daily routine can make a world of difference in your overall health. A healthy body is not just about being healthy from the outside but on the inside as well. With a healthy lifestyle, not only will you boost your immune system but it will also help you age gracefully.