Enhancing your immune system naturally can be one of the best ways to keep yourself and your body healthy and well.
Your immune system protects you from germs and illnesses by secreting antibodies that target viruses or bacteria that cause infections. Eating well, sleeping enough, exercising regularly, managing stress effectively and taking supplements all play an integral part in strengthening your immunity naturally.
1. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
If you want to naturally strengthen your immune system, there are a few steps that you can take. One effective method is eating more fruits and vegetables as these contain essential vitamins that can help your body fight viruses and bacteria.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale and Swiss chard provide vital micronutrients to support immune health, as well as antioxidants which fight free radicals within your body.
Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons and limes contain high concentrations of vitamin C which aids the body in creating white blood cells to fight germs. In addition, these fruits provide plenty of zinc which increases your white blood cells and can protect from infection.
Others nutrient-rich foods that can bolster immunity include mushrooms, which contain beta-glucans that stimulate your immune system. You can add mushrooms to soups or stews or even salads as part of their boost to health benefits.
Salmon is another delicious way to support your immune system and reduce inflammation, according to research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Salmon provides plenty of polyunsatured fatty acids (PUFAs), which have been proven beneficial by studies.
To maximize your immune-enhancing diet, aim to consume five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily – this should include at least one medium-sized fruit and half cup of raw or cooked veggies.
These foods can enhance their immune-enhancing benefits when eaten alongside other strategies to support immunity, such as drinking plenty of water and restorative sleep as well as exercising regularly. Supplements may also provide support, but please check with your physician first before taking dietary or herbal remedies.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Adequate hydration is crucial to the healthy function of both your immune system and other body systems, including our immune systems. Water helps facilitate the transfer of nutrients between cells and aids the elimination of waste efficiently – all key elements for the optimal operation of organs and systems (including immune systems).
Water makes up approximately 60 percent of an adult human’s body, including their brain, heart, muscles, kidneys and lungs. Your body loses fluid through sweating, eating or drinking as well as through urine output; to replenish them regularly.
Drinking enough water can prevent dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke as well as adversely affect your mood, energy level and digestive system.
Drinking plenty of water can naturally help strengthen your immune system and ensure proper blood circulation, helping protect you against infectious disease and infections.
Be sure to drink at least the recommended daily amount of water; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine recommends men consume 3.7 liters while women should aim to drink 2.7. This will prevent dehydration from setting in.
Vitamin C and B6 have been proven to strengthen your immune system, and should be included as part of your daily diet. You can find these vitamins in fruits, vegetables and supplements.
Sugary drinks and sodas contain many calories and additives that contribute to weight gain, making them an unhealthy option. An alternative would be drinking clean drinking water that is free of contaminants while providing ample mineral benefits.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential to good health, as studies indicate. Sleep can even help your immune system develop naturally!
As you sleep, your body releases many chemicals and substances to regulate and strengthen its natural defenses against pathogens. Cytokines, small proteins that fight infection and inflammation responses, are one such substance released during this process.
Researchers have determined that when people do not receive enough restful sleep, their bodies fail to produce these protective substances at sufficient amounts and this increases your risk for physical illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
For optimal sleeping results, aim for at least 7-8 hours of quality rest each night. In order to lower stress levels and ensure quality restful slumber, regular physical exercise and low stress levels should also be incorporated.
Dr. Yvonne Chu from VA Connecticut Healthcare System suggests that getting enough REM sleep may reduce your risk of contracting the common cold and other viral illnesses, while simultaneously strengthening your immune system by decreasing inflammation throughout your body, she claims.
Establish a consistent sleep-wake schedule is another key to optimizing the quality of your rest, according to Shelton. Adherence will help you fall asleep more quickly and enhance its quality, she notes.
Exercising regularly can boost immune function by decreasing daily stress hormones such as cortisol. Exercising at least several times each week also improves sleep quality and decreases risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, she notes.
Diet can play an essential role in building immunity by providing essential nutrients necessary for strong immunity system function. Aim for a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats for maximum effectiveness.
4. Exercise Regularly
Regular physical activity can strengthen your immunity and lower your risk for long-term (chronic) conditions such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer. Furthermore, physical activity has many other advantages such as improving sleep quality, self-esteem and energy levels.
Exercise has numerous health benefits for you, such as increasing blood flow to cells in your body and decreasing stress hormones, strengthening antibodies that fight infections more effectively, and making immune cells more effective. Exercise also lowers inflammation which helps prevent infections.
If you haven’t been exercising regularly for some time, it is essential that you start slow and gradually increase both intensity and duration of workouts. This will allow your body to adapt to this new regiment more quickly, increasing the likelihood that you continue it.
Your ideal fitness exercise depends on your health and fitness, but most experts advise participating in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week such as walking, jogging, or cycling.
Weightlifting or resistance training can also be an excellent addition to your fitness regime, as this type of activity helps strengthen immunity by increasing white blood cells – the cells responsible for fighting infection – in your body and strengthening your immune system.
If you need assistance in choosing an exercise routine to boost your immune system, seek advice from healthcare professionals. They will offer guidance and advice as to the type of workout best suited to you and its frequency.
5. Take Supplements
Your immune system is an integral component of protecting yourself against infection. It is an interconnected network influenced by numerous factors including diet, exercise, age and stress.
Supplements may also help strengthen your immunity naturally. Such supplements include vitamins, herbs and minerals.
Vitamins known for supporting immunity such as C and zinc can boost your ability to combat disease. But for maximum effect, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy products will give your immune system a significant boost.
Fruits and vegetables contain numerous essential nutrients for maintaining optimal immune system functioning, including vitamins C, beta-carotene, selenium, magnesium, and zinc. Furthermore, their antioxidant content assists your body’s defenses to ward off potentially harmful free radicals.
Foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and red bell peppers, can boost your immune system’s defenses against colds and flu. Studies have demonstrated that getting adequate amounts of Vitamin C may shorten duration and alleviate symptoms of these illnesses.
Ginseng is another natural remedy that may boost immunity. It works by increasing immune cell responses in the body – macrophages, natural killer cells, dendritic cells and T cells among them – increasing immunity response as a whole and acting as an antimicrobial that protects against bacterial and viral infections.
Supplements are used to treat various health conditions, such as high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disorders; however they should not serve as a replacement for leading an active life and regular physical exercise.