Our immune system helps us to fight off harmful substances including bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and toxins.
If you want to avoid getting ill and stay at the top of your game, having a strong immune system is essential.
But just how do you build up your immune system? There are a number of different ways in which you can give your immune system a boost.
Here are just five easy to boost your immune system.
Exercise has many benefits from building muscles to reducing stress – but did you know that it can also help boost your immune system?
Any exercise that makes you mildly out of breath could be helping your body to fight off illness. This is due to a number of factors:
- Firstly, exercise increases blood circulation, allowing white blood cells to more easily get around the body and defend against bacteria and viruses.
- Research shows that those who engage in regular exercise also have a larger white blood cell count, helping you to fight off infection more quickly.
- Exercise causes us to inhale and exhale more deeply. This helps to clear foreign substances out of the lungs.
Try to be active every day. Even a brisk walk or some physically active housework could be enough to stimulate and improve your immune system.
Get your fix of vitamins
Micronutrients such as vitamins can help to enhance our white blood cells and reduce inflammation.
They are essential for maintaining an effective immune system, helping us to fight off infections more quickly and more successfully.
You can get your fix of vitamins by keeping up a healthy diet. Vitamin C is one of the best micronutrients for boosting our immune system and can be found in many leafy green vegetables and fruit (especially citrus fruit).
Vitamin E is another essential micronutrient found within almonds, sunflower seeds and peanut butter. Vitamin B6 is meanwhile found in foods such as bananas, potatoes and fish.
On top of eating healthy foods, you can up your intake of vitamins by taking various supplements.
These can be bought at your local pharmacy or at a trusted online chemist. Make sure to stick to the recommended dosage.
Staying hydrated is essential for the health of every organ in our body. This includes the organs making up our immune system such as our spleen, lymph nodes, thymus and appendix..
Drinking lots of water is also important for producing lymph. This is a fluid that helps to carry white blood cells around the body, allowing us to fight off infections.
When you’re dehydrated, your body isn’t able to produce as much lymph, which can lead to a delayed immune system response.
Just how much water should you be consuming each day? Most health experts recommend the 8 x 8 rule – this involves drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
If you’re doing lots of exercise or the climate is dry and hot, you may want to drink a little more.
Get a good night’s sleep
Research shows that those that don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to develop illnesses.
Sleep is important for recharging our body’s energy levels so that every organ can perform at its best.
When you haven’t got enough sleep, your immune system is likely to be a lot slower and a lot less effective.
You should aim to get 6 to 9 hours of sleep per night. This should be as uninterrupted as possible.
There are lots of different ways to improve your sleep quality including making sure that your bed is comfortable, getting enough physical activity during the day, reducing light and maintaining a steady temperature.
Smoking is one of the unhealthiest habits you can take up. It damages pretty much every part of your body – including your immune system.
Smoking is known to negatively affect the production of white blood cells. It also reduces blood circulation by causing fatty deposits to build up in our arteries and vessels. On top of this, smoking reduces lung capacity, which makes it repel bacteria and viruses from our lungs.
By quitting smoking, you could help your immune system to recover. For a lot of people, quitting isn’t ‘easy’ – it can take a huge amount of willpower to fight the addiction.
However there are now more ways of quitting smoking than ever before.
Take the time to try different strategies to see what works for you so that you can boost your immune system.