How to easily strengthen the immune system?
Boosting your immune system will not only help you fight colds and flu in the fall and winter, but it will also help you feel better throughout the year. This is partly because the steps required to strengthen the immune system also benefit your overall health, which ultimately leads to better physical, mental, and emotional performance.
Read on to learn how to boost your immune system, including things you should reduce or avoid altogether.
Myths about ‘Immunity Boosters’
Generally speaking, there is no superfood, vitamin, or supplement that can strengthen your immune system. If supplements or herbs claim to “enhance” immunity, these claims are not supported by science. Adding vitamins and minerals to an already healthy lifestyle can help boost your immune function, but there is no silver bullet. Healthy habits are the best thing you can do for your immune system.
There is also a correlation between stress and immunity. You may have heard that stress reduces immune function, and there are medical and scientific data to support this theory. However, scientists have seen the relationship between chronic stress and decreased immune function, rather than short-term stress.
It is a myth that exercise will reduce immunity. In fact, healthy people should exercise if they want to strengthen their immune systems.
Habits that are good for you
There are some healthy habits to follow and some to avoid when it comes to your immune system. Smoking has been shown to have a significant impact on immunological function. Similarly, moderate-to-heavy alcohol consumption might impair immune function, so if you do drink, do so in moderation.
Getting adequate sleep is critical for maintaining a healthy immune system. Sleep deprivation can result in long-term chronic stress and lowered immunity, among other issues. As previously stated, exercise on a regular basis — at least several times per week.
You could believe that being cold weakens your defenses. While remaining warm is certainly necessary to avoid hypothermia, cold exposure does not have a harmful impact on your immune system.
If you must take supplements, choose those that have been linked to improved immunity, such as vitamin C, D, zinc, elderberry, and garlic. Keep in mind that even higher immunity won’t prevent you from getting sick.
Finally, it is critical to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid coffee if possible.
Foods Linked to a Strong Immune System
While there is no one superfood that is an absolute necessity, there are a few foods that are worth incorporating into your diet to promote overall wellness and health. Citrus fruits lead the list because of their high vitamin C content. While it’s not bad to take vitamin C in supplement form, it’s always best to get vitamins and minerals directly from the source (food) if possible. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, clementines, and even red bell peppers have a high concentration of vitamin C and should be on your shopping list.
Broccoli is another vegetable that you should eat as often as possible, as it’s loaded with vitamins A, C, and E. Other fruits and vegetables that are loaded with vitamins and minerals include garlic, ginger, spinach, papaya, and kiwi.
While many food and beverages claim to be loaded with antioxidants, green tea is one of the few beverages that contains numerous antioxidants and is a terrific choice as a morning or evening beverage. It comes with epigallocatechin gallate, which may help immune function. Don’t depend solely on green tea, however.
When it comes to protein, poultry and shellfish are both good choices, as poultry is high in vitamin B6 and shellfish has more than your daily allowance of zinc. For snacks, almonds and sunflower seeds are great choices, as well as yogurt, which is a natural probiotic. Probiotics and fermented foods in general can promote the health of good gut bacteria, which in turn can improve your overall health.