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Dorchester Center, MA 02124
However, there are things that you can do to assist in providing your immune system with the things that it needs to work properly when it is required to do so. Even though none of them involve taking a supplement.
Developing and keeping a robust immune system can be accomplished by the following five strategies, all of which are supported by scientific research:
1. Always be current with the recommended vaccinations.
Having a robust immune system necessitates making use of vaccines, which provide the most effective form of protection we can muster against infectious diseases.
Vaccines not only make your immune system smarter, but they also teach it how to spot and combat particular pathogens that might cause disease. Your immune system is already rather intelligent, but vaccines teach it how to be even wiser. It is far preferable for your immune system to learn about these dangerous pathogens through vaccination than through infection with them.
It is of the utmost need to maintain a vaccination schedule that is up to date at all times, particularly regarding the COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot and the annual flu shot.
2. Eat well and exercise regularly
A good immune system depends on having a healthy diet, just like it does on most other aspects of your body. This requires you to make certain that you consume a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats in sufficient quantities.
A balanced diet can assist ensure that you obtain adequate amounts of the micronutrients that contribute to immune system health. Among the micronutrients that contribute to the maintenance of the immune system are the following:
Chicken, salmon, tuna, bananas, green vegetables, and potatoes are good sources of vitamin B6, which is also found in these foods (with the skin)
Vitamin C is a nutrient that can be found in a variety of foods, including citrus fruits like oranges and strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.
Almonds, sunflower and safflower oil, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, spinach, and sunflower seeds are all good sources of vitamin E.
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is the best approach to help your immune system since, contrary to the belief that your body absorbs vitamins from supplements more effectively, your body absorbs vitamins from food sources more effectively. (Related: Are You Getting Enough Vitamins in Your Diet?)
3. Exercise regularly
Not only can engaging in physical activity help you gain muscle and reduce stress, but it’s also an essential component of maintaining overall health and ensuring that your immune system stays strong.
Increasing general circulation is one of how exercise might aid in enhancing immune function. This makes it easier for immune cells and other infection-fighting substances to circulate throughout the body and combat infections more efficiently.
Exercising at a moderate to vigorous intensity for as little as half an hour every day has been found to have a positive impact on a person’s immune system, according to several studies. This indicates that it is essential to emphasize maintaining an active lifestyle and making time for regular exercise.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Your immune system is just one of the numerous functions that are positively impacted by water’s presence in your body.
The lymphatic fluid that is found within your circulatory system and is responsible for transporting lymphocytes, which are vital immune cells that fight infection, to different parts of your body is primarily composed of water. When a person is dehydrated, the mobility of their lymph slows down, which can occasionally contribute to an impaired immune system.
Even if you are not exercising or perspiring, you continue to lose water through your breath, urine, and bowel motions. This is true even if you haven’t been drinking enough water. For the benefit of your immune system, replace the water you lose with water that you can consume. This begins with determining how much water you should drink each day.
5. Make sure you get enough rest.
Although it may not feel like it, your body is engaged in several critical processes when you are sleeping, even though you aren’t consciously aware of any of them. During your sleep, for instance, your body will produce essential molecules that fight infections.
Numerous studies have shown that people who don’t get enough quality sleep are more likely to become ill after being exposed to typical cold-causing viruses.
Knowing how much sleep you should receive each night and what to do if it isn’t happening is crucial if you want to give your immune system the greatest possible chance to fend off infections and illnesses. It is crucial to be aware of how much sleep you should receive each night if you are unaware of your recommended amount.
(Related: QUIZ: Does Your Sleep Schedule Need Work?)
6. Minimize stress
It is essential to have an understanding of how stress can affect your health, particularly the effect it has on your immune system. Stress can strike suddenly or build up over some time.
Your body will react to a stressful situation by generating what is known as a stress reaction. Chronic stress, which is defined as stress that is both regular and long-lasting, is extremely stressful. It is made to help you deal with the challenging circumstances that are coming your way. Unfortunately, this reaction also weakens your immune system, which raises your risk of contracting an infection or another ailment.
How we each get relief from stress is also unique to us as individuals. Because stress can hurt one’s health, it is essential to be able to recognize the symptoms of stress. You should also familiarize yourself with the practices that can help you relieve stress, such as practicing deep breathing, meditating, praying, or engaging in physical activity.
One final note concerning dietary supplements
Be aware of supplements that claim to strengthen your immune system even more if you are otherwise healthy and are already taking the steps mentioned above.
Contrary to pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements are not subject to the scrutiny or approval of the FDA. No proof taking supplements will genuinely assist enhance your immune system or increase the likelihood that you will successfully ward off an infection or disease. For example, if you believe that taking a megadose of vitamin C will help you avoid getting sick, you should rethink that belief.