Not only is it cold and flu season, but the COVID-19 virus is still spreading throughout the country. Having a healthy immune system is the best way to fight off the threat of any virus. Your immune system is the first line of defense against foreign microorganisms entering your body so it’s important that it’s strong.
There are lots of ways that you can strengthen your immune system, many of which are virtually effortless. Check out our tips to keep your immune system operating at tip top shape so that you’re in the best position to fight off any illness that comes your way.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Your immune system is working overtime while you sleep. Sleep supports the proteins and cells of your immune system to detect and destroy germs, and helps to strengthen your body’s immune response. It’s important to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night to reap the benefits of a good night’s rest.
Don’t Skip Your Workout
Regular exercise has a lot of health benefits, including giving your immune system a boost. Exercise is known to increase the number and aggressiveness of T-cells in the body as much as 50-300 percent. T-cells attack bacteria and viruses, and people who exercise generally get fewer colds and flus than those who are sedentary.
Too much stress weakens the body’s immune system. When you’re feeling stress the brain sends defense signals to the endocrine system, which then releases a variety of hormones that ultimately cause inflammation and depresses our immunity. It’s important to relax and breathe when stress starts to rear its head so that your immune system isn’t compromised.
Obesity has been linked to an increase risk of getting sick. Cutting your sugar intake can decrease inflammation and help with weight loss, reducing the risk of chronic health conditions and susceptibility to viruses. Reducing sugar consumption is an important component of an immune-boosting diet. Swapping sugar for stevia will still allow you enjoy sweet taste without compromising your immune system.
Add More Whole Plant Foods to Your Diet
Diet plays an integral part in a strong immune system. Whole plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes are rich in nutrients and antioxidants, which help to decrease inflammation and promote healthy bacteria in your gut. Fruits and vegetables are also full of nutrients like vitamin C, which can help reduce the duration of the common cold.
The new year is the perfect time to incorporate these lifestyle and dietary changes into your routine so that your body’s immune system is in the best possible shape to fight off any seasonal illness.