A healthy immune system will reduce the risk of getting a viral infection. We’ve gathered the best tips for boosting your immune system from easy actions you can take today to immune-boosting superfoods.
I am always looking for ways to improve myself; trying to live a healthier lifestyle is at the top of the list. Of course, it requires some changes in your daily routines and regular diet, from sleeping 8 hours a day to taking a short walk under the sun for a couple of minutes. Taking easy steps to improve your immune system will help you win the fight against viral infections.
Of course, washing your hands and practicing personal hygiene will improve anyone’s immune system. But there is much more to discover. Read on to learn more about other ways to boost your immune system.
What is the immune system?
Good question, right? Let’s begin by trying to understand a little how our body deals with viruses. According to Wikipedia, the immune system is a defense system containing many biological structures and processes, like organs, tissues, cells, and proteins, to protect your body against diseases. They work together to fight off pathogens like viruses, parasitic worms, bacteria, or any other foreign body that could cause an infection.
When a pathogen enters the body, the immune system kicks into high gear, releasing antibodies. These little molecules bind themselves to specific receptors and provoke an immune response, killing the pathogens.
So, in kid terms, the immune system is like our army of teeny soldiers fighting to protect us against tiny evil invaders. The better stocked our soldiers are, the better chance to defeat those annoying intruders.
Which foods boost your immune system?
A healthy lifestyle may help improve the immune system. Incorporating some specific foods into our daily diet is the first step you can take towards a more robust immune system.
Fruits and vegetables
It is a very popular belief that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” … and the truth is not far behind. Eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidant properties and vitamins can help boost your immune system. Foods like oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, blueberries, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers have a high content of vitamin A, C, E, flavonoids, and many other antioxidant properties. They are the perfect solution for reinforcing your immune system and eating the required daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
The Three Gs
Ginger, garlic, and green tea are known for having antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. All three provide health benefits, helping fight colds and other infections.
Fish, crustaceans, and mollusks
Salmon, tuna, lobsters, oysters, squid are a valuable source of omega-3 oils. They help to deliciously reduce the risk of infection… Tuna ceviche, here I come!
They are a very trendy healthful snack! Just a handful of almonds is packed with vitamin E and fiber, perfect for the immune system. Add them to your favorite salad or roast them for a quick snack on long car rides.
Eat your mushrooms
Some types of mushrooms have very high levels of antioxidants acting as a powerful boost to your immune system and reducing inflammation. Not all mushrooms are created equal though. According to studies shiitake mushrooms have been shown to have positive effects in strengthening your immune system. Other mushrooms that are believed to be beneficial include tremella mushrooms, maitake mushrooms and turkey tail. Shiitake and maitake can be incorporated into meals while others are easier to find as part of a supplement. Just make sure that the mushrooms you are eating are certified organic.
Other easy ways to boost your immune system
There are many ways to improve your lifestyle, focusing on strengthening your immune system. Here is a list of general activities and changes you can make to bring your health to a whole new level:
- Minimize stress by meditating, practicing yoga, going dancing with your friends, hiking with your family, or any activity that helps you clear your head and relax.
- Time for bed! Establishing a daily routine will help you and your kids to sleep better. Try to squeeze in at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
- Get some vitamin D. Getting lots of sun is a great way to ensure your body can produce the vitamin D it needs. You cand find ways to spend time outdoors even if it’s only hanging out in your back yard or taking a short stroll. It doesn’t have to be at noon under a scorching sun, or a day-long hike on the Appalachian trails. A quick 10-15 minute walk around your block will be enough to get your juices flowing and filled with Vitamin D.
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or drink only in moderation. If you like the occasional glass of wine at dinner, go ahead! It can even be helpful to your health.
- Put your running shoes on, do some yoga or hop on your stationary bike. Regular exercise will not only help boost your immune system, but it will also lower your stress levels… talk about killing two birds with one stone!
- No better day than today to stop smoking. This nasty habit not only weakens the immune system but also increases the risk of lung cancer. And if you start eating right and exercise regularly, the quitting process won’t feel like such an impossible task.
- Take a break from technology and disconnect. Being constantly online and being subject to the non-stop onslaught of news and information can be overwhelming and create anxiety.
Changing your lifestyle may seem like an overwhelming task but even small changes over time can have a huge impact. Think positive and start small! Having a healthy immune system that can fight back infections and fend off viruses is the best thing you can do to take care of your health.