The immune system plays a very vital role in blocking disease-causing micro-organisms. At times, germs, viruses and bacteria manage to bypass this “shield” and successfully make you sick. This is why it is important for you to learn ways in which you can strengthen your immune system to avoid falling sick.
The ability to boost your immunity, however, can prove elusive if you fail to understand one thing; that your immune system is exactly that – a system – not a single entity. For it to function effectively, it requires harmony and balance. There are various ways in which you can help it achieve this. The following are the 5 ways to strengthen your immune system:
- Eat the Right Food
Eating a healthy diet is beneficial to overall health, and this includes a healthy and strong immune system. You should incorporate fresh vegetables and fruits into your diet as they are packed with vitamins, which are antioxidants that protect cells from damage by toxins. Dark-colored food such as broccoli, kale and berries are rich in polyphonols, flavonoids and other antioxidants.
Healthy fats and snacks are also welcome in your diet as they help with boosting energy and ensure that the blood sugar stays relatively even. You can take a little saturated fat from coconut oil or butter with your veggies. Not only should you eat enough good food, but you should try not to skip meals.
- Drink Water in Plenty
Staying hydrated is crucial, especially when sick. This is because body fluids are not only responsible for transporting nutrients to sick cells, but they also carry toxins away for disposal. Therefore, drinking water in plenty is highly recommended. If you find it hard to drink plain water in plenty, you can boost your fluids intake by taking rooibos, herbal or green tea.
You should be careful, though, not to drink too much water. This is because overabundance of water in the body can dilute and washout out crucial electrolytes and minerals that your body direly needs to stay healthy. To know if you are drinking too much, you can check your urine. If it’s clear, it means that you’re drinking too much water. When taking enough water, the urine is straw-colored or darker. Drinking eight glasses of water a day is ideal.
- Get Enough Sleep
Getting at least 8hours of sleep everyday is also crucial in strengthening the immune system. Lack of enough sleep depresses the immune system and exposes you to upper respiratory infections, colds and other irksome ills. You can consider reducing your caffeine intake as too much consumption can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid Refined Sugar
Refined sugar radically reduces immune function. Nutritionists and health practitioners insist that added sugar has a huge negative impact on the body. Therefore, eliminating refined sugar from you diet is highly recommended. You can substitute refined sugar with healthier sweeteners such as stevia or honey, but they should also be used in moderation. Artificial sweeteners should be avoided as they are more toxic than cane sugar.
- Mind your Overall Wellbeing
This includes a number of things, such as exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight, shunning bad habits such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking, committing to regular checkups and medical screenings, control your blood pressure and take steps to avoid infection, such as cooking meats thoroughly, washing fruits and veggies thoroughly and washing your hands before eating.
Research is underway with researchers and scientists exploring the effects of diet, age, exercise, stress and other aspects on the immune response, both in humans and animals. Meanwhile, you should adopt general healthy living strategies so as to strengthen your immune system.