8 Best Ways to Strengthen the Immune System
Avoid getting frequently down with the cold or cough with these immunity-boosting tips.
"I want to get the flu," said no one ever. Developing a cold or flu is never a good thing, especially if you are raising a family or if you are your family's breadwinner. Our immune systems are doing a great job of defending us against infectious microbes, but sometimes they fail. With that said, we have to boost our immune system to make it stronger at fighting off contagious diseases.
Naturally boosting the immune system will help you avoid getting nasty illnesses all-year-round. Just follow these tips:
1. Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
You have probably heard this advice a million times already. But annoying as it may sound, it is one surefire way to boost your immunity. Eating plenty of veggies, fruits, seeds, and nuts will provide your immune system with the nutrients it needs. In fact, one study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that older adults who are eating more vegetables and fruits every day improved their antibody response to the vaccine for pneumonia.
2. Try immune-boosting herbs.
Aside from taking a daily dose of Vitamin C and other multivitamins, immune-boosting herbs are also helpful. Korean Red Ginseng is one, and you can consume it in various ways. You can take it as an extract pill, which is made from concentrated Korean red ginseng extract that has been grown for six years, or the mouth-freshening sugar-free candy made of ginseng, menthol, and xylitol. But the best Korean red ginseng product to take in the morning is the ginseng extract instant tea, as it's easy to prepare, gives a soothing feeling to the throat, and relaxes the stomach muscles. Ginseng, as with other herbs, supports immunity and provides remarkable health benefits to people of all ages.
3. Exercise regularly.
You don't have to get a gym membership to exercise regularly; walking for several minutes every day actually counts as exercise and a healthy one at that. If you don't have time and luxury of going to the gym, consider walking to work, walking around your neighborhood, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Get some sunlight.
If your preferred form of daily exercise is walking, it's best to do it in the morning. Exposure to morning rays for about 10 to 15 minutes, triggers the skin's production of Vitamin D. Medical experts say that low Vitamin D levels in the body pose a higher risk of infection in the respiratory system. In fact, a study in 2010 found that children that get 1200 IU per day of supplemental Vitamin D lessened the risk of getting seasonal flu.
5. Stop smoking.
This may be hard to do, but if you really want to boost your immune system, it is definitely worth the sacrifice. This is because the chemicals in cigarette smoke damages cells throughout your body, and the immune system continuously works to fight off this damage and exhausts it. This is the same case with second-hand smoke, so avoid going to places where heavy smoking is the norm, such as bars and restaurants.
6. Drink alcohol in moderation.
Drinking your favorite alcoholic drink isn't entirely bad, just make sure that you drink in moderation. According to a study, excessive alcohol consumption impairs the immune system and also increases the risk of pulmonary infections and liver disease.
7. Avoid stress.
We are more susceptible to infections when we are stressed because our immune system's defense against antigens is lessened. Corticosteroid, the stress hormone, can reduce the immunity's effectiveness. That said, stress is linked to infectious illnesses like flu, heart disease, asthma, headaches, and even gastric ulcers.
8. Get enough sleep.
Getting inadequate sleep can negatively affect your immune system. Numerous studies show that people who lack enough or quality sleep are more susceptible to get sick after getting exposed to viruses. And when you do get sick, lack of sleep also affects your recovery time. So always catch up on your zzzs to boost your immunity.