The flu, colds, and other illness seem like they can strike at a moment’s notice. While you can’t see everything coming, there are actions you can take to be proactive about your immune health. Taking the steps to build a healthy immune system can help you prevent illness and recover from things quicker. The healthier and more functional you feel in life, the more you can do!
Building a healthy immune system will help improve your health overall so you can lead a happier life and do the things that bring you joy. When seeking to increase your immune health, there are a few specific things to keep in mind.
1. Exercise Regularly
Moving your body on a regular basis can improve immune regulation in order to keep you healthier. Exercise offers better defense activity and metabolic health, and this can help reduce the risk of illness and make you feel better overall in your body.
2. Eat Citrus
Citrus fruits provide you with a good source of vitamin C, which can help prevent illness. Many people suggest vitamin C in order to recover from illness once you’ve already caught something, but the best way to utilize vitamin C is to get it from natural sources and consume it on a regular basis. Often, by the time you’ve caught something, there isn’t much vitamin C can do to make that thing go away. It’s much more effective as a preventative tool.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Cytokines are proteins that target inflammation and infection and help to create immune system responses. These proteins are created and released during sleep, which means a lack of sleep could result in poor immune system health. In order to keep healthy, try to make sure you’re getting eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re not meeting the eight-hour mark, even taking naps can help make up for that gap.
4. Eat More Greens
Green vegetables like spinach and broccoli contain plenty of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, C, and E in addition to things like fiber and iron. The contents will differ depending on the specific vegetables you’re going for. However, all of these vitamins and minerals promote immune health.
5. Include Seafood in Your Diet
Seafood is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and vitamin E. All of these vitamins and minerals promote immune health and are uniquely found together in seafood such as salmon, shellfish, and other marine catches. Even including seafood in your diet a few times a week can make a difference in your immune system, especially when you eat it in place of foods like processed meat and red meat.
6. Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains antioxidants such as EGCG and flavonoids, which can boost your immune system health. While black tea offers some of these benefits too, green tea offers them in much higher quantities. If you’re usually a coffee drinker, green tea might be an easy swap for you, as it’s one of the more caffeinated teas available.
7. Eat More Nuts and Seeds
There are so many nuts and seeds out there to choose from, and they all offer unique benefits. Often, they’re rich in vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, and sesame seeds can all serve as immune system helpers, which is great because they can be eaten as plain snacks, or included in things like granola, cereals or other foods, making it easy to get your dose.
8. Don’t Smoke
While it’s no secret that smoking is bad for you, it’s especially unkind to your immune system’s well being. Smoking impacts both innate immunity and adaptive immunity and can slow your immune system responses. Smoking tires out your body and your immune system. Even if quitting isn’t in the cards immediately, cutting back on the habit may help you improve your immune health.
9. Eat Garlic
This might not be too tough, as garlic is a tasty and savory addition to most dishes. In addition to the flavor, garlic also offers compounds like alliin that help to fight germs and illnesses. Garlic can also slow artery hardening and even improve blood pressure. All of these benefits combine to make garlic an effective immune aid.
10. Drink Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that boasts a number of health benefits. It contains antioxidants, can help to fight negative bacteria, and is an effective probiotic. Drinking kombucha can improve your overall body health, including that of your immune system — plus, plenty of people love the sparkling, earthy taste.
When it comes to looking after your health, your immune system should be a top priority. There are so many natural life choices you can make to improve your immune system’s function and avoid illness. While there are some things you just can’t control, your immune system provides little ways to take charge of your health every day. Which immune health habit will you pick up next?