Our body system typically manages itself. However, we sometimes need a little immunity boost; stress, infections, lack of sleep, alcohol, and poor nutrition can weaken our immune system and leave us much more susceptible to colds, flu, and more. Making the following part of our everyday routine will go a long way towards staying healthy.
Get Enough Sound Sleep
Sleep and immunity are closely tied to one another. Inadequate amounts and poor sleep quality have been linked to causing a higher susceptibility to illness. The study shows that those that slept less than six hours every night were more likely to catch a cold than those who had six or more hours of sleep nightly. The less interrupted or disturbed our sleep is, the better.
Consume More Whole Plant Foods
Fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts are whole plant foods rich in antioxidants and nutrients. Adding these types of foods to our regular diet can give us the upper hand against harmful free radicals and pathogens.
Antioxidant-rich foods naturally decrease inflammation by combatting free radicals or unstable compounds. When free radicals build up in our bodies at high levels, they cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health conditions, including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Choose Healthy Fats
Olive oil and the oil from salmon can boost our body’s immune response to pathogens by cutting down on inflammation. Low-level inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or stress, while chronic inflammation can suppress our immune system. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in chia seeds and salmon; they’re known to fight inflammation too.
Probiotic Supplements or Fermented Foods
Our gut health and immunity are deeply entwined. Consuming fermented foods can benefit our immune system. Probiotic supplements are available if you don’t enjoy fermented foods or can’t eat them.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods. These bacteria are or should be naturally present in our digestive tract. Yogurt, natto, sauerkraut, and kimchi are a few fermented foods worth adding to our diet.
There are studies indicating that there are certain supplements with the ability to strengthen our body’s general immune response.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
I recommend adding foods containing the nutrients we need to our diet rather than supplements. However, not everyone has the same palate, and some of us must be mindful of any dietary restrictions.
There are a variety of herbs that naturally boost our immune system. Chamomile, mint, and thyme are a few of my favorites, partly because they’re delicious and partly for their unique benefits.
The solution to our health issues won’t be found packed into some pill. The real keys to wellness are the lifestyles we live and the diets we maintain. Little lifestyle and dietary changes can be implemented to strengthen our immune system on a larger, more long-term scale.
Limit your intake of refined sugar, stay hydrated, exercise regularly, sleep soundly, and manage your stress in healthy ways.