While boosting immunity is easier said than done, some diet and lifestyle changes can strengthen your body’s natural defences. This will help you fight off pathogens or bacteria and harmful pathogens. Read on to find out 10 natural ways to boost your immune system.
You can boost your immune system naturally with these 10 tips.
- Get enough sleep
Sleep and immunity are closely related. Not getting enough sleep can increase your risk of disease. Adults are advised to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. In fact, insufficient or poor sleep is associated with an increased risk of disease. In a study of 164 healthy adults, those who slept less than 6 hours a night were more likely to catch a cold than those who slept 6 or more hours each night. A good night’s sleep can boost your natural immunity. In addition, you can sleep more when you are sick so that your immune system can better fight the disease. Adults should aim for 7 or more hours of sleep each night, while teens need 8-10 hours, younger children, and infants up to 14 hours. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try limiting screen time to one hour before bedtime, as blue light from phones, TVs, and computers can disrupt your circadian rhythm, or natural sleep-wake cycle. The nature of your body. Other tips for sleep hygiene include sleeping in a completely dark room or using a sleep mask, sleeping at the same time each night, and exercising regularly.
- Eat more plant foods
Some whole plant foods contain antioxidants, fibre, and vitamin C, which may reduce your chances of disease. Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that can help you fight harmful pathogens. The antioxidants in these foods help reduce inflammation by fighting unstable compounds called free radicals, which can cause inflammation when they build up in the body in high levels. Chronic inflammation is linked to many health conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer. Meanwhile, the fibre in plant foods feeds the gut microbiome or a healthy community of bacteria in the gut. A healthy gut microbiome can improve your immunity and help prevent harmful pathogens from entering your body through your digestive system. Fruits and vegetables also contain nutrients such as vitamin C, which can help shorten the duration of colds.
- Eat more healthy fats
Healthy fats like olive oil and omega-3s are anti-inflammatory. Since chronic inflammation can suppress the immune system, these fats can naturally fight disease. Healthy fats, such as those found in olive oil and salmon, can boost the body’s defence response against pathogens by reducing inflammation. Inflammation at low levels is a normal reaction to stress or injury, but chronic inflammation suppresses the immune system. Highly anti-inflammatory, olive oil has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, its anti-inflammatory properties can help the body fight off harmful bacteria, bacteria, and viruses that cause disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also help fight inflammation. They can be found in foods like chia seeds and salmon.
- Take probiotic supplements or consume fermented foods
Gut health and immunity are closely related. Fermented foods and probiotics can boost your immune system by helping it identify and target harmful pathogens. Fermented foods are rich in beneficial bacteria called probiotics, which live in the digestive system. A few examples of these foods are yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and natto. Research shows that a thriving network of gut bacteria can help immune cells differentiate between normal, healthy cells and invasive lesions. In a 3-month study of 126 infants, those who drank 2.4 ounces (70 ml) of fermented milk daily had 20% fewer infantile infections than a control group. If you don’t eat fermented foods, probiotic supplements are another option. In a 28-day study in 152 people with rhinovirus infection, those who supplemented with Bifidobacterium animalis had a stronger immune response and lower levels of virus in their nasal mucus compared to a control group.
- Limit added sugars
New research suggests that added sugars and refined carbohydrates may contribute disproportionately to weight gain and obesity. A person who is obese is also at greater risk of developing chronic diseases. According to an observational study of nearly 1,000 people, obese people who received the flu shot were more than twice as likely to get the flu as non-obese people who received the vaccine. Reducing sugar intake can reduce inflammation and promote weight loss, thus reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Since obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease can weaken the immune system, limiting added sugars is an important part of an immune-boosting diet. You should try to limit your sugar intake to less than 5% of your daily calories. This equates to about 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar on a 2,000-calorie diet.
- Moderate exercise
Moderate exercise can reduce inflammation and promote healthy immune cell replacement. Jogging, biking, walking, swimming, and hiking are all great options. Although intense, prolonged exercise can suppress your immune system, moderate exercise can help strengthen your immune system. Studies show that even a moderate exercise session can increase the effectiveness of vaccines in people with weakened immune systems. Regular, moderate exercise can also reduce inflammation and aid in the regeneration of immune cells. Moderate exercise includes walking briskly, cycling, jogging, swimming, and hiking. It is recommended that most people exercise at least 150 minutes a week.
- Stay hydrated
Since dehydration can make you more likely to get sick, be sure to drink plenty of water each day. Keeping hydrated doesn’t necessarily prevent germs and viruses, but it is critical to your health to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can cause headaches and interfere with physical performance, focus, mood, digestion, and heart and kidney function. You have a higher chance of getting sick if you suffer from these complications. To prevent dehydration, you should drink enough water each day to make your urine light yellow. It is recommended to drink water since it is calorie-free, sugar-free, and additive-free. While tea and juices also have a moisturizing effect, it is best to limit the intake of fruit juices and sweetened tea due to their high sugar content. As a general guideline, you should drink when you feel thirsty and stop when you are no longer thirsty. You may need more fluids if you exercise heavily, work outdoors, or live in a hot climate. It is important to note that the elderly begin to lose their appetite for drinks, because their bodies do not signal thirst adequately. Older adults need to drink a lot even if they are not thirsty.
- Manage your stress levels
Reducing stress levels through meditation, yoga, exercise, and other practices can help keep your immune system working properly. In order to maintain good immune health, it is important to reduce stress and anxiety. Long-term stress leads to inflammation and immune cell dysfunction. The immune response in children can be suppressed by prolonged psychological stress. Among the activities that can help you manage stress are meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga, and other mindfulness practices. You may also benefit from seeing a licensed counsellor or therapist, both in person and in person.
- Nutritional supplements
For those who may find it difficult to get enough nutrients from their diet alone, supplements are a great alternative. Some research suggests that the following supplements can boost your body’s general immune response:
- Vitamin C. According to a review of 11,000 people, taking 1,000-2,000 mg of vitamin C daily reduced the duration of colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children. However, the supplement did not prevent a cold initially.
- Vitamin D Vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of disease, so nutritional supplements may counteract this effect. However, taking vitamin D supplements when you already have enough does not seem to provide additional benefits.
- Zinc. In a review of 575 people with the common cold, taking more than 75 mg of zinc per day reduced the duration of colds by 33%.
- Elderberries. A small review found that elderberry may reduce symptoms of viral upper respiratory infections, but more research is needed.
- Wild Daisies. One study in 700 people found that those who took echinacea recovered their colds slightly faster than those who received a placebo or no treatment, but the difference was not significant.
- Garlic. A high-quality 12-week study in 146 people found that garlic supplements reduced the incidence of colds by nearly 30%. However, more research is needed.
Supplements are prone to labelling errors because they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, you should only buy nutritional supplements that have been independently tested by third-party organizations such as United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International and Consumer Lab.
- Get recommended vaccinations
When a new virus or new bacteria enters the body, the immune system is not ready. By the time the body has developed the necessary tools to fight it, the body has already been damaged by the infection. Vaccines are the best immune boosters because they help the body build up its defence prior to exposure to a new harmful microorganism.
Vaccines are one of the best immune system boosters because they benefit the body.
Today, you can make a number of lifestyle and diet changes to strengthen your immune system. These include lowering sugar levels, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels. Apply these 10 natural ways to boost your immune system and enjoy a sickness-free life.