Your immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that protect your body from infection. Your immune system keeps a record of every germ, microbe it has ever come in contact with so that way it can fight it in the future. Your immune system is made up of:
white blood cells
the lymphatic system
and the thymus
Keeping your immune system working efficiently is very important. Our top 5 simple ways to boost your immune system are: eating a well balanced diet, talking vitamins and supplements, reducing stress, improving sleep and exercise. We break these down into 5 simple ways.
Eat a Well Balanced Diet
Inflammation is the root cause of disease. Eating a well balanced diet low in inflammatory foods will help keep your immune system working efficiently. Removing inflammatory foods that are highly processed, full of sugar and starchy carbohydrates is a good start. As we age, your immune system is weakened and your body reacts poorly to a diet full of sugar. Begin replacing these types of foods with nutrient dense ones. Eating a range of vegetables, full of colors and leafy green vegetables along with healthy fats, fermented foods and green tea will help boost your immune system.
Take Vitamins & Supplements
Supplementing your well balanced diet with vitamins is a powerful tool to help boost your immune system. Our favorite vitamins and supplements are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Zinc, Elderberry and Probiotics. Your body doesn’t produce or store Vitamin C so it is good to supplement your diet with foods rich in them such as oranges, strawberries, elderberry and bell pepper. Elderberry supplements are also great to take if you can’t find the berry. They are rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber. Talking a 20 minutes walk outside without sunblock on gives you a good dose of Vitamin D, but you can also eat enriched foods such as mushrooms, salmon and egg yolks. Vitamin B can be found in salmon, chickpeas and green leafy vegetables. Feel like making a salad? Make it with spinach and throw some nuts and seeds on there to give you a good dose of Vitamin E and Zinc. You can also add some red meat or shellfish to your meal to give you a good boost of Zinc. Add these vitamins and supplements with a good dose of probiotics, such as yogurt, kefir, and pickles, each day to help enrich your immune cells.
Chronic stress has a negative impact on overall wellness. Stress leads to increased inflammation and reduced immune function. DO you feel overwhelmed or pain in your neck from working on the computer too long? Finding ways to relax, decompress and reduce stress are important for boosting your immune system leading to living a long healthy life. Self-Care and Self-Love on this day is very important. Finding things that relieve stress are very great ways to find breaks in your daily life. Yoga, deep breathing, reading your favorite book, taking a walk in nature or just stretching your body will help decrease your stress levels. These will give you peace of mind and help “fill your cup” so you can take on the day.
A lack of sleep suppresses your immune system and increases inflammation. It is very important to get at least 7 to 8 hour of sleep each time. Getting a good night’s rest, allows your body to repair itself, recharge and prepare for the next day. When you don’t get good sleep, you will feel the side effects of inflammation and exhaustion. Some of our lifestyle adjustments to get a good night’s rest is to stop eating after 6 pm, say no to blue light 2 hours before bed, avoid high sugar or carb meals and take a magnesium supplement. Why not create a meal rich in magnesium 4 hours before bed? Foods rich in magnesium, such as nuts, green leafy vegetables, fish and beans are great additions to your balanced meals. As you get into a routine of eating healthy and seeing what works to calm your mind before you fall asleep you will create a relaxing space for you to drift off to sleep. Your bedroom should be just for sleeping, keep it dark, cool and quiet to promote good sleep.
Living a sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to your health. Individuals who do not exercise are more vulnerable to conditions that can lead to immunodeficiencies like heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Daily exercise, such as walking and bike riding can reduce your systemic inflammation and boost your immune system. Getting 30 minutes of exercise a day, whatever that may be and what you enjoy will help keep you well. If you can get outside for an extra boost of Vitamin D, sunshine will also give you a natural boost to your immune system. Be careful and protect your skin from too much sun’s rays. Don’t forget to put sunscreen on after 20 minutes in the sunshine. Get outside and move your body, have fun with it and make it a routine. Routines become habits and part of your lifestyle.
As we age, our immune system weakness. The importance of boosting our immune system daily will help fight off illness, inflammation and stress. Following these 5 simple ways to boost your immune system will help create balance in your life. Try these ways to boost your immune system and see how your lifestyle evolves into what it needs to be. Go on and get to it, move your body, eat delicious food, relax and get good quality sleep. Begin living your best life! See how great you feel, full of energy, strength and motivation.