Each person wants to sustain optimal health throughout the year, especially during the times of coronavirus and coming cold and flu season. A strong immune system is vital to protect your body from nasty bacteria, infections, viruses, and disease-causing organisms.
The idea of improving your natural body response is a great start, but since your immune system is actually a system, it requires balance and harmony to function properly. Researchers are still exploring the science behind your immune system and its correlation to dietary and lifestyle changes. However, you can still be proactive and stick to different healthy-living strategies that can make you feel better in your daily life. Here are some general approaches to help give your immune response to the upper hand.
Maintain Healthy Eating & Stay Hydrated
There’s a popular saying that goes “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. Unfortunately, that’s not just a myth older people used to say to get children to eat their vegetables. That saying couldn’t be more true. Following general good-health guidelines is one of the best steps you can take toward naturally boosting your immune system. Every part of the body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental stress and supported by healthy lifestyle strategies. Studies also show that individuals that are malnourished are more vulnerable to infections and illnesses.
Therefore, having a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is a great start for supporting a healthy immune system. But it’s not just about a nutrition plan of meals rich in vitamins and minerals as the cooking method can also impact nutrient levels. Preparing food for too long at high temperatures can eliminate key nutrients. Instead, try steaming and stir-frying cooking to retain goodness.
Additionally, preventing dehydration is essential to your overall health. Dehydration can trigger headaches and hinder your physical performance, mood, concentration, digestion, heart and kidney function, which increase your susceptibility to illness. Opt for at least eight glasses of clean, fresh water during the day.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Modern medicine has recognised the close relationship between mind and body. Stress is known to cause various health issues like depression, high blood pressure, heart disease, and more. Stress activates a release of cortisol, which in turn boosts inflammation that is harmful to your body. Long-term stress can also suppress the ability of white blood cells to fight infections, putting you at risk of catching a disease.
To decrease stress and anxiety, you can incorporate activities into your day-to-day life like journaling, meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, and other mindfulness practices. Also, a good idea to try out CBD products to help reduce anxiety and stress levels and prevent depression and anxiety-related disorders. CBD interferes with the endocannabinoid system to ensure all functions are in balance. This system is involved in most processes, such as sleep, pain, appetite, immune response, inflammation, stress, concentration, etc. Intake of CBD oil can help to strengthen the immune system, soothe nerves, improve concentration and mood, increase energy, and regulate sleep.
Prioritise Quality Sleep
Make sure to prioritise quality night’s sleep and get at least 7-8 hours every day. Good night’s sleep not only helps to refresh your body and mind and restore energy, but it is as essential as a healthy diet and exercise for supporting a healthy immune system. At the same time, sleep deprivation can cause the inflammatory immune response, which diminishes the activity of T cells in the body resulting in a weakened immune system and the response to vaccines.
A consistent exercise regimen offers numerous benefits. Everything from improving cardiovascular health, reducing stress and blood pressure, to helping control body weight and fight infections. Physical activity can keep pathogens out of your lungs and airways, which might lower the chances of getting ill.
Although prolonged intense workout can suppress your immune system, moderate activity may give it a boost. Examples of moderate exercise include jogging, brisk walking, steady bicycling, light hiking, and swimming. Most individuals should aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Get Outdoor Time
Spending time outside can also help to boost the immune system. Being out in the sunlight energises T cells to help fight infection while breathing in phytoncides produced by plants, increases the levels of white blood cells which are needed to prevent infection and disease. Going for a brisk 30-minute walk will improve mood, lower inflammation, support immune system health, and stimulate better blood circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to transfer throughout the body freely and more efficiently.