Your immune system is responsible for protecting your body from foreign substances or toxins that can cause your body harm. This can include infections, diseases or a variety of other illnesses that can put you down and out for a long time to come. While your immune system is made up of cells and organs that already exist, there are ways you can strengthen it. This can result in getting sick fewer times throughout the year and simply feeling better as well! Below you’ll find 10 ways you can improve your immune system and make it healthier.
10. Vitamin D
Vitamin D can boost your immune system, so make sure you’re getting enough of it! This can come from the sun or foods, so take advantage of it. All you need is 50 nmol/L to enjoy all the benefits that it has to offer.
9. Reduce Alcohol Intake
One or two drinks is fine on an occasional basis, but more than that can result in your immune system being suppressed. Excessive alcohol introduces your body to a lot of toxins and those will invade your immune system. When that happens, the cells in your immune system won’t be able to destroy the bacteria or illnesses that are coming in, and that can lead to anything from a simple cold or even something more serious, like an infection. Next time you drink to try to keep it at one, that way your body will be able to battle colds!
8. Using Oils
Canola and olive oils are great for you because they contain fats that are healthy instead of harmful. When you get more of these oils in your body, they will help increase flexibility and communication between the cells in your body, and that can increase the functions of your immune system. Oregano oil is also something you might want to consider trying because it kills bad bacteria in your digestive system and helps boost your immune system at the same time! Just make sure you avoid bad oils, like soybean.
7. Eat Lean Protein
Lean protein is great for your body because it has nutrients in it that protect your body from viruses, bacteria, and germs that can make you feel sick. It also has antibodies in it that fight protein-rich diseases. Protein doesn’t stop there, as it also has minerals in it that will increase your immune system’s white blood cells so that you can fight infections and reduce chances of getting sick. Lean proteins you can enjoy include lean cuts of beef, seafood, soy, and pork. Try and eat small portions with each of your meals for the most effective immune system boost!
6. Reduce Stress
Stress alters your immune system and can cause it to suppress. This is because the white blood cells because less responsive to inflammation, which can cause illness and increase your risk of getting sick. So, instead of being stressed out all the time, relax! Spend time doing something where you don’t have to think about your problems. This could be going for a walk, reading or just playing with your dog. A lot of people also find that meditation helps them to relax because it clears their mind so they aren’t thinking about anything that can trigger a stress response.
Exercise is great for your body for a number of different reasons, including weight loss and strengthening your immune system! When you exercise your body releases certain chemicals that help you sleep better at night and feel good, and both of those are important for your immune system. All you have to do is 30 minutes of exercise per day, and this can be something as simple as walking or even cleaning your house.
4. Become Social
Too many people spend time by themselves, either because they work alone or just don’t have a strong network of friends. By hanging out with people more often, you are likely to have a stronger immune system! There was even a study was done that showed college freshman who was lonely had a weaker immune response to flu vaccines than a freshman who was socially connected and not lonely. Good friends can also make you feel more complete, so don’t shy away from social events where you can talk and connect with other people.
3. Get More Sleep
If you’re low on sleep then your body is likely to not be able to defend against illnesses as it should. In fact, there was a study done by the University of Chicago that found students who were only getting 4-6 hours of sleep at night were only releasing half the antibodies they were supposed to when introduced to a flu vaccine. In addition to this, sleep will help reduce the stress hormones that you produce, and that can decrease inflammation in the body. A general rule of thumb is to get from 7-9 hours of sleep at night to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
2. Eating Healthier
If you’re not eating a diet that is full of vitamins and nutrients, then your immune system could be suffering. For example, sugar can actually reduce the cells in your immune system that attack bacteria. When you eat foods like fruits and vegetables, you will be getting more vitamins and nutrients that supply your immune system with the strength that it needs. Vitamin C, vitamin e and z are just a few of the nutrients you can get from food that will strengthen your immune system so you fight the bad bacteria. Best foods to eat: broccoli, nuts, sweet potatoes and kale.
1. Eat Mushrooms
Mushrooms taste great in a number of different recipes, but did you know that some of them are medicinal? Maitake, tremella and reishi mushrooms are a few examples of mushrooms that can support the health of your immune system. These have beta-glucans in them, which support immune cells and provide them with fuel. In addition to increasing the health of your immune system, they can also help train your immune system to operate at the correct levels. Mushrooms are easy to find and are affordable, so eat more of them and you’ll be doing something great for your body and immune system.