9 Tips To Naturally Boost Your Immune System
The immune system is your body’s personal security system that wards off invaders, kills intruders and keeps the body safe and healthy. Every day you encounter germs and bacteria that your immune system deals with so you don’t get sick. When your body’s immune system is healthy it will be able to do this with ease. It even kills off cancer cells, which are mutated unhealthy cells that the body makes all the time. A healthy immune system equals a healthy and vibrant you.
When you are under stress of any kind, emotional, physical or mental, it causes your immune system to work harder and it can get depleted leaving your body open to infection and illness. Something as seemingly minor as not getting enough sleep can deplete your immune system. Eating unhealthy foods can have a very detrimental effect as well. With all the things in day to day life that can knock our immune systems down, it’s good to have some ideas on how to lift it up and keep it healthy.
Cut out the sugar: Studies show that ingesting 75-100 grams of sugar, the amount found in two 12 oz. cans of soda, suppresses your immune response for up to five hours. If you drink or eat sugar all through the day you are putting a constant strain on your immunity. Sugar also feeds the bad bacteria in your gut. Much of your immune system is located in your gut so making sure you keep it balanced and healthy is a must.
- Fruits and Vegetables: Replace sugary drinks and snacks with fruits and vegetables that also contain nutrients like Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Beta-carotene and zinc. You really can never go wrong with natural, colorful, healthy foods.
- Probiotics: Taken daily, they have been shown to boost gut health and immune response. The good bacteria they provide help keep the unhealthy bacteria in check as well has improving digestion and elimination.
- Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential. Adults need from 7-9 hours of sleep nightly. When you are low on sleep it increases inflammation in your body as well as increasing stress hormones. Both of which deplete your immune response.
- Exercise: Mild to moderate exercise not only increases your immunity but your “feel good” hormones and neurotransmitters in your body. As little as 30 minutes of walking a day has positive effects.
- Manage your stress: Stress can wreak havoc on your whole body. It’s important to recognize what level of stress you have in your life and where it is coming from. Make changes in your life to reduce it if you can. However, stress is a part of life. It can’t be eliminated entirely so it’s important to find ways to deal with it. Learning to meditate or spending time win prayer has been shown in numerous studies to have a positive effect on stress levels which boosts the immune system. Working out, connecting with others and even counseling can help you manage the daily stress and keep you healthy.
- Connecting with others: Having a strong social network (in person ideally instead of just on line) is good for your health. Being around other people, talking, having fun and hugging all have strengthening effect on your immune system.
- Laugh!: Laughing has been shown to boost white blood cell levels in the body which are responsible for fighting infection. It reduces stress hormones. Watching comedies, playing games with your kids or friends, or playing with animals can all boost your immune response. Studies have shown even anticipating a fun event where you will laugh and enjoy yourself can drop your stress hormones.
- Nutritional Supplements: There are vitamins and herbs that help your immune system function better and can be taken as a preventative or when you do get sick to help speed recovery time. Vitamins such as C and D are extremely important for a healthy immune response. Minerals like zinc and magnesium also play an important role. Echinacea, Goldenseal and Olive leaf extract are herbs that have been used as immune boosters and can be found individually or in combination in immune support supplements. Colloidal Silver is another supplement that is often used to fight infections and viruses.
As with all things concerning your health, making sure you eat right, sleep right, think right, eliminate right and move right has the biggest effect on how you feel.