In the past couple of years, many of us have become more aware of our immune systems. That tends to happen during a global pandemic, after all. COVID-19 got many of us wondering how we can bolster our immune systems to avoid infectious diseases. It’s something that we should be working on at all times, but if you’re new to the party, it’s not hard to get started. Here are five very easy ways in which you can boost your immune system and stop feeling under the weather a few times every year.
5. Take Your Vitamins
When we think of vitamins that are beneficial for the immune system, the first one that tends to come to mind is vitamin C. When you get sick, you often hear people telling you to take as much vitamin C as possible, typically through the magic of orange juice. While you do want to get vitamin C into your diet (oranges aren’t the only thing with it, either), there are other essential vitamins that help boost your immune system. Some of the more beneficial vitamins include vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin D and folic acid.
4. Stay Hydrated
It seems that more people are becoming aware of their hydration, which is a welcome change from about 10-20 years ago when it felt like all people drank was soda. The list of benefits that you get from staying hydrated on a daily basis is seemingly endless, and you can add an improved immune system to that list. Staying hydrated increases the efficiency of your bloodstream, and blood plasma is almost completely made of water. We think that you can put two and two together there.
Like staying hydrated, exercise will do you a world of good. While you may feel worn down immediately after exercise, the long term benefits for your immune system are tremendous. Harmful bacteria is flushed out of your airways when you exercise and prevents new growth for this bacteria. Increased circulation is another bonus, as well as the stress reducing hormones that lead to lowered inflammation.
2. Just Say No
It doesn’t matter what it is, if you have to be a certain age to consume something, you probably don’t want it in your body for a better immune system. Drugs, alcohol, energy drinks, you name it. Alcohol especially is something that should be avoided for a better immune system. According to the World Health Organization, alcohol opens you up to both physical and mental illnesses, compromising “the body’s immune system and increases the risk of adverse health outcomes.” So if you’re drinking and smoking, you might want to quit now before serious illness sets in.
1. Keep Sleeping
Like hydration and exercise, every doctor will tell you that you need to be getting enough sleep to help your overall health. While you’re sleeping, your immune system is creating cytokines which help to fight off inflammation or any potential infections. This is why when you’re sick, you tend to sleep a lot more. Studies have shown that people who get less than eight hours of sleep per night have a much higher viral infection rate.