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Everyone knows it's important to eat healthy and stay active to keep yourself at peak health. However, not many people take into account the ways they could add immune boosting to their routines. Our body's immune system fights off germs and viruses to help us quickly recover from illnesses. Here are some common-sense immune-boosting tips to add to your routine:
Get Your Beauty Rest
Sleep deficiency is linked to higher probabilities of contracting illnesses, so make sure you're getting enough rest. Adults should sleep a minimum of seven hours every night, teenagers need 10–14 hours, and younger children and infants up to 14 hours. If you're having trouble sleeping, be sure you're exercising enough, limit your screen time before bed, and sleep in a completely dark room.
Eat for Your Immune System
When you add foods that contain high levels of antioxidants to your diet such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes, your immune system will get stronger. Fermented foods are beneficial for your immune system as well. Foods such as yogurt, kimchi, miso, and sauerkraut contain probiotics that can strengthen the bacteria in your digestive tract, so your body can determine a normal healthy cell from a harmful intruder.
Drink Water, Even If You're Not Thirsty
As people age, their body's ability to determine if they are thirsty decreases. So it's important to drink at least eight cups of pure water a day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Dehydration negatively affects digestion and heart and kidney function, putting you at an increased risk of illness.
Actively Manage Your Stress Levels
Managing stress is vital in keeping your immune system strong. Long-term stress can cause inflammation and weakens the immune response in adults and children. Manage your stress levels by integrating stress-relieving activities into your life, such as journaling, meditation, exercise, or receiving help from a therapist or counselor.
Supplement Your Diet
There are several types of daily supplements that help strengthen your immune system. Vitamin C helps reduce the duration of colds; vitamin D reduces the chances of getting sick; zinc reduces the duration of colds; elderberry reduces symptoms of upper respiratory infections; echinacea can promote a quicker recovery from colds; and garlic can reduce the chances of contracting a cold.
Adjust Your Habits Over Time
All the natural options for boosting your immune system can seem overwhelming—but you don't have to incorporate each of them into your life immediately. Focus on one or two at a time until you have changed your daily habits for good.
Please note that none of these tips are intended to treat an illness, such as COVID-19, but will help strengthen your immune system to fight off pathogens and improve your overall health.