Are you looking to improve your immune system and stay healthier? The body already does a fantastic job of defending against disease, but sometimes the body still catches a germ or comes down with an illness. Many factors seem to affect the immune system. Read on to find some suggestions of ways to boost the immune system and keep the body healthy.
Take Probiotics/Eat Fermented Foods
Good gut bacteria can help your immune cells fight harmful organisms. It is possible to increase this good bacteria by looking for a probiotic supplement, or by eating fermented foods. Some examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and kefir. Studies have shown that people eating more fermented foods, or taking probiotic supplements had a stronger immune system and fewer germs in their mucus.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Research shows that sleep and immunity are closely related. Not getting enough, or not getting quality sleep is linked to higher susceptibility to sickness. Getting rest strengthens natural immunity. Adults should try to get 7 or more hours of sleep per night, teenagers 8-10 hours per night, and young children and infants should aim for 14 or more hours each night.
Some healthy sleep tips include not using screens for an hour before going to bed and sleeping in a dark room or using an eye mask. It can also help to exercise daily and go to bed at the same time each night.
While hydration doesn’t necessarily keep you from getting sick, it is important to your overall health. Dehydration can cause severe headaches and hinder performance, mood, digestion, and organ function. These complications increase the possibility of getting sick. To prevent dehydration, drink enough fluid so that urine is pale yellow. Water is the best thing to drink since it is calorie-free, sugar-free, and additive-free.
Adults need to drink when they are thirsty and even when they aren’t thirsty. More fluids may be necessary when exercising intensely, working outside, or doing any activity which makes one hot.
A Healthy Diet
Eating whole foods can also boost an immune system. Fruits, vegetables, seeds, legumes, and nuts contain many nutrients and antioxidants that may help against germs. The fiber in plant foods also feeds your gut microbiome, which can help the digestive tract fight pathogens. Fruits and vegetables also contain nutrients such as Vitamin C, which may reduce the duration of illness, such as the flu or the common cold.
Watch the Sugars
Added sugars and refined carbohydrates may cause obesity and increase the risk of getting sick. Try to limit sugar intake to decrease inflammation and aid weight loss, therefore reducing the chance of chronic health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Sugar should be less than 5% of daily calories. This means about 2 tablespoons per 2,000-calorie diet.
Moderate exercise can boost an immune system, reduce inflammation, and help immune cells regenerate. Simple exercises such as brisk walking, bicycling, jogging, swimming, and hiking can meet this goal. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
There are many ways to strengthen the immune system. Although none of these suggestions can guarantee that you won’t get sick, they will lead to a generally healthier lifestyle, and increase your chances of staying well.