Ways To Boost Your Immune System
It is no secret that our immune system is important. It is key for protecting our bodies from infections and diseases. Germs and bacteria, both safe and harmful, lie around every corner. It is our immune system that shields our health whenever we may scrape our knee or accidentally get sick. However, there are certain actions that you can do that can help boost your immune system to better safeguard your body, especially during times when your physical health may not be in the best shape or when your immune system is crippled.
Eating healthily is one of the most well-known and obvious ways to boost your immune system. Being able to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables provides your body with the sufficient amount of nutrients to better the functioning of your immune system. One study conducted in older adults showed that a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables enhanced the adult’s antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which is able to prevent Streptococcus pneumonia. There are also additional health benefits that a diet high in fruits and vegetables can increase that does not have to do with the immune system. On the topic of diet, drinking less alcohol is also important. Although occasional drinking of alcohol can be tolerated, consuming large amounts can hinder the drinker’s immune system, making the person more likely to develop lung infections.
Stress is another factor that can limit your immune system. In today’s world, it is common to be stressed. Stress increases a hormone called cortisol and having high levels of cortisol for long periods of time suppresses immune function. Although it is easier said than done, being able to better manage your stress can help your immune system be in top shape. Everyone is different and their sources of stress can vary, but the internet can offer a plethora of suggestions to lift the weight off your shoulders, including being able to better manage your sleeping schedule and pursuing a hobby you enjoy.
There are also lesser known ways to boost your immune system. This includes increasing the amount of time you spend outside. More specifically, being able to take in more sunlight can increase the skin’s production of vitamin D. This does not have to take up a lot of time. On average, a ten to fifteen minute exposure during the summer time is enough. However, there are certain areas, such as above forty two degrees latitude, which include regions like Boston, that have weak sunlight from November to February. A lower amount of vitamin D means a higher likelihood of developing a respiratory infection. In 2010, a study revealed that kids who took in 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D were less likely to obtain influenza A. Another surprising way to improve your immune system is by including garlic in your diet. Garlic is known to be an immune system booster and a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent. However, cooking garlic actually prevents a key active ingredient from doing its job. Therefore, it is advised to simply add it to foods after the cooking is completed.
As always, everyone is different. The suggestions offered in this article are those that can be applied to the average person, but not everyone may be able to implement them. For example, although it may be better for individuals, people may find it too difficult to manage their sleep schedule. It is better to consult your physician for which plan works best for you. The internet also provides more suggestions and information to widen your knowledge on the subject. Although it generally never hurts to try some of the actions listed, it is up to you to figure out whether or not you want to pursue the actions as you know yourself the best.