The only thing that can keep you healthy throughout every season of your life is a strong immune system. This complex tract of organs and tissues includes the thymus, spleen, tonsils, liver, lymph vessels, lymph nodes, adenoids, skin, and bone marrow. Together, the individual parts of the immune system work in tandem to identify antigens (foreign substances in your body) and get rid of them.
More specifically, the immune system attacks bacteria and germs and fights infections by increasing the production of white blood cells. However, it requires conscious effort and healthy habits to maintain a robust immune system that produces the antibodies necessary to protect your body from infections.
Fortunately, a multitude of straight-forward lifestyle changes can help you naturally strengthen your immune system. Without going on medication or frequent visits to the doctor, you can work on the following wellness practices to improve your immune health. While immune health is especially important during cold and flu season, maintaining a healthy system requires year-round commitment.
Wash Your Hands the Right Way
Most of the bacteria and germs present in the environment around you enter your body through contact with your hands. Hence, developing a strong immune system starts with washing hands regularly and in the right way. Each time you wash, use mild hand soap, and scrub your hands for about 20 seconds before you rinse them thoroughly.
Keeping yourself physically active may help flush out the bacteria from your lungs and airways. It will also reduce your risks of getting catching a cold or the flu. Follow a simple exercise routine or do some walking every day to avoid falling sick. Regular exercise reduces stress and prevents the growth of bacteria by raising your body temperature.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Your diet plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy immune system because the food you eat is your body’s primary resource for vitamins and nutrients. Include protein-rich foods such as eggs, soy products, beans, peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, poultry, seafood, and lean meat. Also, be sure to consume lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and to drink plenty of water.
Supplement Vitamins and Minerals
Taking nutritional supplements is an easy solution for better immune health. While maintaining a healthy diet should ensure you get all the essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, healthy eating habits are difficult to form, and you may need to supplement while you work to improve your diet.
Available over the counter and online, nutritional supplements are easy to purchase and take daily. They can be very effective in correcting short-term deficiencies and preventing degenerating diseases. Before adding supplements to your daily regiment, talk to your doctor about the health effects and proper dosage.
Sleep 8 Hours a Day
Getting adequate sleep is a sign of a healthy lifestyle. Getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease and also helps you live a more productive and energy-filed life.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lack of sleep can decrease the immune system’s release of cytokines proteins, which help you fight off and recover from infections and inflammation. Also, the body produces fewer antibodies when it doesn’t get enough sleep.
While it isn’t necessary to abstain from alcohol entirely, you can support your immune health by practicing mindful and moderate drinking habits. Alcohol can damage essential cells within the immune system and cause gut inflammation.
Stress is one of the major factors that can impact your immune system. It increases inflammation by producing the stress hormone cortisol in high quantities. High levels of inflammation lead to an overworked and over-exhausted immune system that weakens its capacity to protect your body from infections. To keep stress levels at bay, you can try a few of the following stress-relief practices:
- Listening to music
- Going for a walk
- Talking to a friend or a counselor
- Drinking tea
- Taking deep breaths
Enjoy Better Health With a Strong Immune System
Maintaining a healthy immune system not only protects your body from disease-causing microorganisms, but it also promotes overall health and keeps you focused on your body’s needs. By implementing the practices described above into your daily life, you can rest assured that you’ve done all you can to protect yourself from sickness.