Your immune system works tirelessly to fend off illness every day. It’s a silent hero on the front lines keeping us healthy and strong. And we can’t think of a better way to show our thanks and support for everything our immune system does than by lending it a helping hand! Here are a few easy ways you can help boost your immune system!
Everyone knows that foods containing vitamin C are great for your immune system – and it’s true! Foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and even red bell peppers, can strengthen your immune system because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, meaning that it boosts your immune system by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. Thankfully, though, there are many other foods that can help you fend off infection as well, including:
Almonds and sunflower seeds: These contain vitamin E, which boosts the activity of immune cells to support your body’s ability to fend off invading bacteria and viruses.
Sweet potatoes and carrots: These are both great sources of beta carotene, a nutrient that helps to produce white blood cells, which fight bacteria and viruses.
Baked beans: Baked beans are a good source of zinc, which is crucial for the normal development and function of your immune system. When zinc intake is too low, it can limit the production of certain immune cells.
Turmeric: Curcumin is a natural compound in turmeric and has been shown to boost immune cell activity and enhance antibody responses.
Walnuts: These aren’t just one of the top anti-inflammatory foods. Walnuts also contain several nutrients that support the immune system, including vitamins E and B6, copper, and folate.
Leafy green vegetables: These provide key nutrients known to boost immune system function, including vitamins A and C, and folate. They also provide bioactive compounds that release a chemical signal that optimizes immunity in the gut, where 70-80% of immune cells are located!
Whether you work out regularly or not at all, staying hydrated is essential because dehydration can lead to headaches and hinder your physical performance, focus, mood, digestion and even heart and kidney function. All of those complications can increase your susceptibility to illness. In other words, you’re less likely to get sick when your whole body is working as it should with the resources it needs, and that includes hydration. You can improve your hydration by keeping a water bottle filled and nearby throughout the day, as well as regularly eating fruits and vegetables with a high water content like citrus fruits, cucumbers, bell peppers and more.
Exercise is always a great idea, but did you know it can improve your immune system too? According to Healthline, “moderate exercise may reduce inflammation and help your immune cells regenerate regularly.” If you’re wondering what is considered “moderate exercise,” it’s not as intense as you may be thinking! Moderate exercise includes brisk walking, steady bicycling, jogging, swimming and even light hiking. When you can do these activities while maintaining social distancing, you’re in the perfect position to boost your immune system and your mood (because exercise releases feel-good endorphins) all at once!
Cutting back on the sweet stuff
Too much added sugar is strongly linked to obesity and conditions caused by obesity such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. People experiencing obesity and related conditions are at a higher risk of infection, meaning that it’s especially important to limit added sugars each day. We know it’s certainly something that’s easier said than done, but it doesn’t mean you have to cut out sugar! Any reduction in your daily added sugar intake can help reduce inflammation in your body and aid in weight loss, thus improving your immune system. Healthline recommends you “limit your sugar intake to less than 5% of your daily calories. This equals about 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of sugar for someone on a 2,000-calorie diet.”
We realize we just recommended you limit your added sugar consumption, but we promise there are other, far more effective ways to manage your stress! Relieving stress and anxiety can do a lot to boost your immune health, especially when it comes to long-term stress. There are myriad ways to relieve stress, so the important thing to remember is to find something that works best for you and make it an achievable part of your daily routine. Some stress-reducing activities to try include meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga, and speaking with a licensed counselor or therapist. Some people even find enough relief in baking, coloring or reading, so the options are nearly endless!
Whether you choose to take up all of these immune-boosting habits or just a few, doing any of these is a positive step for yourself today! We can’t wait to see you soon! Just give us a call today at (678) 235-8221 or request a consultation online.