1. Up the Fruits & Veggies
We know diet is crucial to maintaining our health, but by increasing our balance of fruits and veggies, we can actually give our immune system a much-needed boost. Adding fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes can give you a boost for beating harmful pathogens.
Whole plant foods are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can actually boost your immune system. Nutrient deficiencies have been shown to alter immune responses in animals, but the link to human immune response has yet to be assessed.
2. Get Moving
Exercise is a crucial part of strengthening our immune systems. Not only does regular physical activity help to boost our mood and reduce stress, but it can also help to reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly.
Regular exercise also improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases.
3. Adequate Sleep
Sleep is so important in every aspect of our lives, and our immune system is no exception. Poor sleep quality is linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Adults should aim to get 7 or more hours of quality sleep per night, while teens should get 8-10 hours, and younger children require 11-14 hours of sleep (including naps).
Adequate sleep also plays a pivotal role in our mental wellbeing, which can help our natural response to stress. Good sleep can increase stress resilience, which has amazing benefits on our overall health.
4. Quality Supplements
The typical American diet leaves much to be desired. It’s fine to not get everything we need from our diet alone, but we need to make up for it somewhere. This is where investing in some quality supplements and probiotics can come into play.
Research suggests that a balanced gut microbiome (the good and bad bacteria in our guts) can help your immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and harmful invader organisms. Gut health and immunity are deeply interconnected. Therefore, taking care of your gut could also play a role to boost your immune system.
We also need key micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, & E to maintain a healthy immune system, according to Harvard Medical School.
5. Minimize Stress
Modern medicine is really starting to recognize the link between our minds and bodies. We know that stress can wreak havoc on our health, but it can also tremendously weaken our immune systems. It’s no surprise that people are often diagnosed with autoimmune disorders during high-stress times in their lives.
Generally, normal stress responses don’t play a huge role in our overall health. It is when these stress responses become constant, such as chronic stress, that we start to notice an impact on our health. By minimizing the stress levels we experience, it can hopefully boost your immune system.
6. Take Steps to Avoid Infection
Small changes in our everyday lives can have a huge impact on how often we get sick. Hand washing is one of the #1 steps we can take to protect ourselves from all types of sickness, including COVID-19. Proper handwashing techniques (washing your hands for at least 20 seconds in warm water) is important for ridding germs.
It can also be helpful to routinely disinfect the surfaces in our home. Doorknobs, toilets, countertops, cabinet handles, sink knobs, trash can lids, and many other surfaces in our homes can be literal magnets for all kinds of germs and yuck. By regularly disinfecting these surfaces, we can do some major damage to viruses waiting to attack our immune systems.
Bonus: Check out my post about Detoxing your home. You can learn how to take care of your environment without all the harsh chemicals most cleaning products contain!
None of these things that I’ve listed will guarantee that you won’t get sick, but by adding some of these common practices to our lifestyles, we can help stop the spread of germs and strengthen our immune systems. A strong immune system doesn’t mean that you won’t catch the common cold, but it may help shorten the duration and increase your likelihood of a positive outcome!
Stay healthy, my friends!
Want to learn more about creating a stronger immune system and healthier lifestyle? Shoot me a message!