Your immune system is your first port of call in the fight to stave off infection and disease. Keeping it in good condition is important both for individuals and the public at large to stay happy and healthy.
To help, we’ve put together a list of top tips on how you can keep your immune system fighting fresh.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes
- Adequate hydration
Water is one of the key sources of strength for the immune system. It is essential for the functioning of kidneys and removing toxins from the body. Adequate hydration ensures that the immune system regains its strength.
- Sufficient Sleeping Hours
Your body and brain need rest in order to function properly. It is important to take 6-8 hours of sleep every night, without which the immune system doesn’t get time to rebuild.
Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep or good quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus.
When we sleep, the body releases proteins called cytokines, while sleep deprivation decreases their production. Cytokines are paramount during times of infection or inflammation.
- Healthy Eating Habits
A complete and balanced diet plays a key role in improving immunity. Your diet must include fruits, vegetables, and cereals as they are rich in vitamins and fiber. Vegetables like broccoli and cabbage produce a chemical that prevents the growth of cancer cells and helps boost immunity. Stay away from tobacco and alcohol as they weaken the immune system.
- Regular exercise
Physical activity is a must to keep your body fit and active. Brisk walks, jogging, playing a sport are some ways to strengthen your immune system.
Exercise also improves blood circulation, allowing immune system cells to move through the body more freely and do their job more effectively.
- Reduce Stress
The headlines we’re bombarded with every day could easily have an impact on the nation’s mental health. In this time of stress, it’s useful to remember the impact stress hormones have on weakening the immune system.
In short supply, the stress hormone cortisol can boost immunity by limiting inflammation. But, once it crosses a certain threshold, too much cortisol in the blood opens the door for more inflammation.
Stress can also negatively impact the production of lymphocytes — the white blood cells that are the body’s first line of defense against infection — putting you at potential risk of viral disease. Consider limiting your daily screen time and take breaks when you feel burned out. Relaxation techniques like meditation and gentle exercise might also help.
- Don’t Smoke
Smoking tobacco has several negative effects on immune system health, such as:
- Greater susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia and influenza.
- More severe and longer-lasting illnesses.
- Lower levels of protective antioxidants (such as vitamin C), in the blood.
You are valuable to your family and friends. Please take care of yourselves very well.