Focusing on building a strong immune system might be the best thing that you can do for your health. Your immune system is your body’s defense from bacteria, viruses and infections. It plays an extremely important role in your overall health and well being. When your immune system is strong, your body is less likely to be affected by the bacteria and viruses that you come across daily. Contrarily, when your immune system weakens, you are more likely to develop various diseases and infections. So, what can you do to boost immunity? How to boost your immune system at home?
The truth is, there are no shortcuts and there’s no magical pill that can instantly boost immunity. It’s all about developing healthy habits and implementing some simple changes in your daily routine.
Here are some of the things that you can do to naturally boost your immune system.
Change Your Diet
There is a saying that goes “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” This is absolutely true. There are many harmful ingredients in processed, unhealthy foods and drinks that may weaken the function of the immune system. Nowadays, fast foods and sugary drinks are considered to be a normal part of our everyday lives, however, they’re anything but. Regular consumption of junk food is linked to heart disease, depression, obesity, type 2 diabetes, digestive issues and cancer. Of course, you would want to avoid these, so that’s why it’s best to opt for fresh, healthy foods. If you’re wondering how to boost your immune system at home, you should start with changing the content of your plate.
There are many immunity boosting foods that you can easily add to your meals. Foods rich in vitamin C are known to boost immune function. Instead of sugary drinks, drink freshly squeezed oranges, lemons, grapefruit and other citrus fruits. Eat more salads and add vegetables rich in vitamin C like broccoli, red bell peppers, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, parsley and tomatoes. Don’t forget to consume foods that fight off infection, such as garlic, yoghurt, poultry, beef, nuts and dark chocolate.
To naturally boost your immune system, you need to maintain a balanced diet. This is not as restrictive as it sounds; it just means that you can enjoy a great deal of delicious foods without damaging your health.
Once you switch to a healthier diet, you wouldn’t want to look back. This change will improve not only your immunity, but your mood and energy levels as well.
Another thing you can do to naturally boost your immune system is exercise. You don’t need to follow the regimen of a professional athlete to make a positive impact on your health. In fact, if you’re looking to strengthen your immune system with fitness, you should avoid intense workouts. Instead, you need to do light, moderate exercises. This could be any activity that would raise your heart rate, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, hiking, etc.
How to boost your immune system at home with exercise? Easy – you can do yoga, dance, walk on a treadmill, or do moderate intensity exercise. Whatever activity you choose, indoors or outdoors, it’s important to keep moving and spend 30 minutes of your day on exercise. This will surely benefit your physical and mental health.
There are some essential vitamins and minerals that we can’t get solely from food, and this is where supplements come into play. Try to add Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Selenium, B complex vitamins and Zinc in your diet. These are known to strengthen immune response and ease the symptoms of colds.
Before you take any supplements, it’s best to consult with your physician. To detect any vitamin and mineral deficiencies, check your levels with a blood test. This way you’ll know exactly which supplements you need to take.
Get Enough Sleep
If you want to know how to boost your immune system at home in the easiest way possible, the answer would be – sleep. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to catch colds. This occurs because lack of sleep can weaken your immune system.
Sleep deprivation and naturalistic disturbance of sleep (i.e., short sleep duration or reduced sleep efficiency) impair adaptive immunity; this impairment is associated with reduced response to vaccines and increased susceptibility to infectious disease.Irwin M. R. (2015). Why sleep is important for health: a psychoneuroimmunology perspective. Annual review of psychology, 66, 143–172. Article available at https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010213-115205
To support immune function, make sure to get 8 hours of sleep every night.
Reduce Stress Levels
There’s probably not a single person living completely stress – free nowadays. We are all facing challenges and each one of us is going through a difficult time right now. However, being constantly stressed out can have serious negative effects on your health. This is why it’s important to guard your mental health and try to reduce your stress levels.
Some activities that may help you manage stress are yoga, meditation, exercise and journaling. Reducing your stress levels will help your immune system function properly, so you might need to take it easy and try doing some of these stress relieving activities.
Quit Unhealthy Habits
If improving the function of your immune system is your priority, it’s time to ditch your bad habits. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can weaken your immune system and increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease, chronic liver disease, diabetes, lung diseases and cancer. This is quite challenging, but it’s the best option for your health on the long run. If you want to naturally boost your immune system, quit the bad habits and choose healthy lifestyle changes instead.
Taking care of your mind and body should not be limited to cold and flu season only. If you want to stay fit and healthy, you should focus on improving your health all year round. All of these ways to boost your immune system can be easily implemented into your daily routine. You just have to determine to take the first step to better health!