The immune system is one of the most important functions of the human body. It protects us from infections that cause illness, and it helps us recover from illness more quickly. When we’re healthy, our immune system can do its job and keep us well.
However, many things can weaken the immune system: stress, too much sugar or simple carbs in your diet, lack of sleep, and some medications. Don’t get us wrong – getting sick doesn’t mean your body is weak. But when you have a strengthened immune system, your body will be better able to fight off those viruses and infections.
Here are seven ways you can strengthen your immune system naturally:
1. Eat well
You may have heard this one before, but it’s at the top of our list because it is so important! Many people are surprised to learn that what you eat can help strengthen your immune system or make your body more susceptible to illness.
So how do particular foods affect your health? It comes down to three things: protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
A diet high in protein is vital for building immune system cells. High-fiber foods are also vital to a strong immunity because they help the body expel toxins quickly.
And good sources of healthy fats support your nervous system function while keeping inflammation at bay – this will reduce illness caused by chronic stress on the body.
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2. Avoid sugars
We all love our sweet treats, but too much sugar can weaken the immune system. By now, you’ve probably heard about how refined sugar negatively affects your health in various ways – from affecting your mood to increased risk for diabetes and obesity. And that’s not even taking into account its adverse effects on the immune system.
It’s essential to keep your sugar consumption down, primarily since it can suppress the immune system for up to five hours.
Limit yourself to no more than one sugary drink per day and avoid processed foods with added sugars as much as possible. Instead, opt for naturally sweetened treats like fruit or stevia-sweetened desserts. And when you do eat sugar, try to combine it with a bit of protein and healthy fat.
3. Get enough sleep
Stress is one of the biggest challenges to having a healthy immune system, and it’s pretty common for people in modern society. The problem with stress is that it creates an inflammatory response throughout your body – which can lower immunity.
So making sure you get enough sleep (at least seven hours per night) can help reduce the amount of stress your body is under.
When you sleep, your body works to repair damage from everyday stress and also strengthens immunity. This is why getting enough quality sleep every night is a critical way to keep your immune system strong.
4. Get moving
It’s no secret that exercise is good for you, but did you know it can also help strengthen your immune system? When you work out regularly, the body responds by increasing white blood cells to combat any foreign invaders.
When foreign bodies like germs get into your lungs or nose, your white And when those germs are present in the lungs or nose, this increased number of white blood cells activates an inflammatory response to help fight it off.
In other words, your immune system becomes better at fending off illness when you exercise because the body is stronger and has a higher concentration of white blood cells to get rid of the infection.
5. Get some sunlight
Vitamin D is essential for strengthening your immune system and preventing chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or depression. And one of the best ways we can create Vitamin D is by spending time in the sun.
The problem with most of us these days, though, is that we spend far too much time indoors and away from sunlight – which means our body can’t make enough vitamin D to keep our immune system strong.
So try to get outside for at least a few minutes every day if possible (or supplement with vitamin D if you can’t).
Try taking a walk outside, enjoying some time in your backyard, or going for a hike. You’ll be giving your immune system the boost it needs by spending time out in nature.
6. Eat more fermented foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, or kefir contain healthy bacteria that help promote a strong immune system and support gut health (which means you’re less likely to get sick).
These good bacteria can even fight off yeast infections and prevent respiratory illness.
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7. Vitamins and minerals
Several vitamins and minerals can strengthen your immune system, including vitamin C, zinc, selenium, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, etc. A balanced diet of whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and organic meats contains most vitamins and minerals that our body needs.
But if you’re not getting enough of certain vitamins and minerals through your diet, a good quality multivitamin can be a beneficial supplement. Ask your doctor to recommend a good supplement for you if you’re not sure which one(s) are best.
Strengthening the body’s natural response to foreign invaders is one of the best ways to boost your immunity and prevent illness.
By following these seven tips, you can create a healthy immune system that will help keep you strong all year long – and reduce your risk of getting sick during cold and flu season.