How to Keep Immune System Healthy
The immune system is your body’s defense against foreign microorganisms that make you sick. Keeping your immune system healthy is the one way to make sure that your body has a fighting chance. Luckily, there are many things that you can do to help keep your immune system fighting for you.
20 Ways to Keep the Immune System Healthy
The immune system relies on several factors to stay strong and healthy. Here’s a look at 20 different things that you can do to improve the health of your immune system.
Make Healthy Habits
Healthy habits and building a healthy immune system go hand in hand. Making good choices and living a healthy lifestyle by forming healthy habits can help you keep your immune system healthy for a lifetime.
Eat Your Vegetables
Growing up we always hear our parents telling us to eat our fruits and vegetables. Turns out, they are incredibly important in staying healthy and avoiding illness. Getting a nutritious, balanced diet is essential for the immune system to get the nutritious vitamins and minerals it needs to be strong.
Get Enough Probiotics
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that line your digestive tract and help break down food. The more good bacteria that are in your digestive tract, the more that bad bacteria has to push through to enter the bloodstream and make us sick.
The chemicals in cigarettes are incredibly damaging to the cells in your body, and the immune system constantly has to fight off these chemicals in order to repair those cells. Putting this added pressure on your immune system means that your body is less likely to ward off infection. Even secondhand smoke has the potential to cause damage and inflammation.
Drink Alcohol Only In Moderation
Alcohol effects the natural rhythms in your body, and can slow down immune function. For a strong and healthy immune system, it is best to avoid alcohol or only consume it in moderation.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can increase your chances of illness because it puts pressure on your immune system. Similarly, if you are underweight, your body might not have the mass that it requires to ward off illness, making you more susceptible. Staying at a healthy weight is important for a healthy immune system.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is important for your body to reset and heal. Not letting your body rest means that your immune system can’t do its job properly. A typical adult should be getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night depending on your individual needs.
Wash Your Hands
A tried and true method of preventing colds and flus is washing your hands. Preventing bacteria and germs from your hands from entering your body through your mouth, eyes, or nose is a good way to protect your immune system. Wash your hands with soap and warm water to kill bacteria and wash it away.
Avoid Processed Foods and Sugars
Processed foods are typically high in saturated fats, salts, and empty calories without many nutrients to make up for it. These things can easily cause inflammation in the body, meaning the immune system needs to work harder to restore things to normal. Sugars are also foods for microorganisms like yeast that can cause infection when they get out of control.
Stress adds a lot of pressure to your body. When your mind is occupied with a stressor, it can cause very real effects on your immune system, as the immune system is directly connected with the brain and is impacted by psychological health. Taking care of stress is essential to eliminate stress related inflammation and keep the immune system healthy.
It is thought that people that do regular moderate exercise are less likely to come down with a cold. The increased circulation and muscle mass are both factors that can help improve the strength and health of your immune system.
Load Up on Antioxidants
Antioxidants are nutrients that help protect your cells from damage by free radicals. This keeps some of the pressure off of the immune system so it can focus on eliminating harmful microorganisms.
Drink Plenty of Water
Your body is run on water, and in fact mostly made of water. Drinking plenty of water helps carry oxygen to your cells, and flush out toxins to prevent buildup that can weaken immune function.
Take Food Safety Seriously
Our foods are what give us energy, but they can also serve as the transportation of dangerous microorganisms. Make sure that you are taking the time to wash your food thoroughly before serving or cooking, cook food all the way through, and make sure to throw away any food that is expired.
Use Antibiotics Sparingly
Antibiotics are an amazing discovery, but unfortunately overuse has caused many antibiotic resistant bacteria to spread. Using antibiotics only when necessary as prescribed by a doctor, and finishing your treatment will help eliminate harmful bacteria without creating stronger ones for your immune system to have to tackle.
As we mentioned before, reducing stress is a good way to help your immune system. It is also important to enjoy yourself and spend time with others. By laughing with friends, you are not only reducing stress, but you are increasing your immune response.
Get More Sunlight
Vitamin D is very important for the immune system and protecting the cells from damage. Vitamin D deficiency is very common in modern adults. Our bodies are great at making vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Just 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight on your skin without sunscreen can help your body create enough vitamin D without the harmful effects of long term sun exposure.
Water, air, and food can all contain contaminants that can put your immune system into attack mode and cause inflammation. Preventing this stress is a good way to keep the immune system healthy.
Get Out of The House
Leaving the house to hang out with friends can in fact help your immune system. People with a good social support structure are more likely to ward off illness and have healthier immune systems.
Supplements are an easy way to give your body the extra nutrients that your body misses out on in your daily diet. Vitamin C, D, E, probiotics, antioxidants, and iodine are all potentially beneficial supplements for your immune system. Iodine is perhaps one of the hardest nutrients to find in your daily diet.