Ways You Can Boost Your Immune System
Colder months are coming, which means it is a perfect time to reflect on your health and what you can do to stay healthy. The best defence you have against getting sick is your immune system, but what is it exactly? And what can you do to give it a helping hand?
Your immune system isn’t just one organ or part in your body, but rather a collection of organs, cells, and tissues that ensures you can fight off infections and illnesses. It includes the skin, lymphatic system, glands, the linings of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, and mostly the blood system in red and white blood cells, and platelets. Simply put, the white blood cells are the heavy lifters of the immune system, as they identify any viruses, bacteria, or other infections that may harm the body. They then then fight off the foreign bodies and produce antibodies in order to recognise the same infections later on.
As the immune system is comprised of multiple parts of the body, it can go through changes and experience disruptions that can lead to more periods of poor health. In early adult years, the immune system is typically operating at its best, but as people age, its efficiency decreases - which is why it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle through:
- Lessening the burden on your body by staying fit and active.
- Giving your body the nutrients it needs in order to work effectively as possible.
So how exactly do you improve your overall health which in turn helps your immune system? You can try the following:
- Reducing stress (High cortisol levels can increase your blood pressure, impact your sleep, and affect your weight).
- Eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid junk or highly processed, sugar-filled snacks.
- Exercise regularly.
- Don’t smoke.
- Maintain a healthy weight (Consult a doctor to find out what weight you should be at).
- Get enough sleep (7 to 8 hours is the average for most adults).
- Reduce alcohol intake.
All of these steps can improve your life in an overall manner, but also aid each part of the immune system in functioning properly. Your diet plays a huge role in the functions of your body, so it’s important to maintain your intake of proteins, probiotics, and prebiotics, along with your vitamins and minerals.
How do you stay healthy?