The immune system is our body’s first line of defense against viruses and bacteria that cause disease. Without it, we’d be constantly sick. When your immune system is working properly, you rarely get sick, and you recover quickly from illnesses. But if you often feel ill and it takes several visits to the doctor to heal, your immunity is probably weak.
1. Eat A Balanced Diet
When it comes to maintaining a strong immune system, diet plays a huge role. A diet full of whole foods is the best way to give your body the right nutrients it needs to function properly and stay healthy. A balanced diet includes a variety of foods from the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein. It also limits saturated fats, processed foods and added sugars. Vitamin A, B6, B12 and folate help produce immune cells and protect against infection. Green vegetables, fish, meat, and eggs are good sources of these vitamins. Fruits and vegetables should make up about one-third of your daily diet. Choose a range of different seasonal fruit and vegetables to ensure you get all the nutrients your body needs.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is important for all aspects of your health, including your immune system. It helps you stay mentally alert, perform well at work, and maintain a healthy weight. It also provides you with the time and rest to recover from illness and germs that have already invaded your body. Ultimately, it helps support your immune system so you are prepared for future infections. Insufficient sleep is linked to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It can also raise your stress hormone levels and inflammation, which are both harmful to your heart.
3. Exercise Regularly
One of the most effective ways to boost your immune system is through regular exercise. It’s also a great way to boost your energy, improve your mood and reduce stress. To reap the full benefits of exercise, you need to get started by building up a routine that you can stick with. Start out slowly and increase the intensity of your workouts over time. Exercising regularly can help keep you healthy by preventing many chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke. It can also boost your self-esteem, mood, and sleep quality.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to maintain a strong immune system. The amount of fluid you need to drink varies depending on your weight, activity level, temperature, and other factors. Some of these hydration needs can be met from the foods you eat, but it is still crucial to make sure you are drinking enough water. The best way to keep yourself hydrated is to always carry a water bottle. Having it with you can help motivate you to drink more throughout the day. You can also add a healthy slice of lemon, cucumber, or berries to your water for extra flavor and nutrients.
5. Avoid Stress
While it’s natural to be stressed from time to time, chronic stress can lead to many health problems. Long-term stress can lead to increased levels of hormones in your body, which can interfere with your immune system. This leads to inflammation and reduced levels of white blood cells that make you more susceptible to disease. Fortunately, you can reduce the harmful effects of chronic stress. There are a variety of ways to do this, including practicing relaxation techniques and changing your mindset about stressful events.