You need a healthy immune system to help protect you from microbes and developing diseases. If your immunity is compromised, you are more likely to get sick. So, what can you do to help ensure your immune system is in optimal condition? Here are 10 tips to boost your immunity against all kinds of pathogens and illnesses:
Cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow around your body. Increased blood flow means more immune cells flowing around the cells and organs of your body. When there are more immune cells, they are more likely to locate and eradicate any potentially harmful pathogens or microbes. Thus, making time for regular exercise will improve your immunity.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
If your BMI is less than 18.5, you are medically underweight. When you are underweight, your immune system does not function optimally, making you more susceptible to diseases and infections than you otherwise might be. Similarly, being heavier can be detrimental to immunity. Having a BMI of more than 30 indicates you are clinically obese. Obesity can damage your immune response and lower your leucocyte count. Leucocytes are protective white blood cells.
Get Enough Rest
Proteins called cytokines control the blood cells that help fight infection in your body. If you do not get between six and eight hours of sleep each night, your body might not produce as many cytokines. Nor will it synthesize as many antibodies as it could. Thus, regular and prolonged sleep deprivation can damage the health of your immune system. Always make getting enough sleep a priority in life. Your health depends on it.
Are foods that contain white carbohydrates such as flour or sugar regular staples of your diet? Too many of these foods can cause inflammation and contribute to oxidative stress in the cells. If you want to boost your immune system, try to avoid processed foods that contain sugar or flour. Instead, opt for a lower carbohydrate diet with plenty of whole ingredients such as low-fat protein, fruit, nuts, grains, and vegetables. Cook from scratch using healthy methods. If you must fry food, use olive oil.
Beat Your Addictions
There is no need to lecture on the dangers of consuming excesses of alcohol, illicit drugs, or cigarettes. The perils are already well documented. All addictions to substances you put in your body can reduce your immunity to infections. Try to beat any substance addictions you may have if staying healthy is a priority.
Zinc is a vital mineral when it comes to immune function because it is involved in the synthesis of several protective cells. These include natural killer cells, neutrophils, and macrophages. Additionally, zinc deficiency detrimentally impacts immune processes, such as cytokine production and intracellular killing.
If you are worried about zinc deficiency, there are ways of correcting the issue. You can purchase and take a quality zinc supplement. Zinc is also readily available in many foods, including red meat, poultry, oysters, cashew nuts, pine nuts, peanuts, tofu, yogurt, and oatmeal. Thus, eating plenty of such foods ought to improve your immune system health.
Vitamin C is vital for a healthy immune system because it supports several cell functions that protect your body from disease and infection. For instance, it helps neutrophils reach the site of an infection. Because vitamin C is an antioxidant nutrient, it also protects your body from the damage of free radicals and reduces inflammation.
You can take vitamin C in supplement form. It’s also readily available in several varieties of fruits and vegetables. For instance, bell peppers, broccoli, kiwifruit, and strawberries have high vitamin C content. Be sure to include them in your diet if you wish to improve the function of your immune system.
It is easy to get enough vitamin D in warm weather months because sunlight is a natural source. However, getting enough vitamin D during the fall and winter can be problematic. During cold weather, take either a quality vitamin D supplement or eat plenty of foods rich in this nutrient. Salmon, milk, eggs, yogurt, liver, cheese, trout, canned fish, tofu, beef, broccoli, and mushrooms all contain vitamin D.
How does vitamin D bolster your immune system? It slows the reproductive rate of a virus. It also reduces your risk of infection because it helps to control immune system cells.
Eating garlic bolsters your health and boosts your immune system. Garlic has both antiviral and antibacterial properties. For best results, eat garlic in its raw form or add it uncooked to a delicious Greek tzatziki sauce. Alternatively, make roasted garlic soup. Hundreds of medicinal recipes contain garlic, and most can be found online. All you need to do is find one you think you will like or be able to tolerate.
Citrus Fruit and Honey Beverage
If you feel symptoms of respiratory infection, you can help yourself by making a vitamin-C-packed drink using citrus fruits and manuka honey. Cut up some organic, wax-free lemons and grapefruits and add them to a pan of water. Boil the mixture for 20 minutes or so, then strain the fruit peels out of it. Add manuka honey to make the drink slightly less bitter so you can enjoy it a little more. You could add some ginger or cinnamon to give this medicinal beverage some spice.
Putting these tips into practice will make your immune system healthier. A healthier immune system means better overall health. When you are healthy, it is easier to feel happy and enjoy a better quality of life spent with the people you care about most.
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