5 Ways To Boost Your Immune System Naturally
Most of us will pick up some sort of cold, virus or flu during winter. Whether it’s from being around sick people at work, at the grocery store or even those pesky germs your kids bring home from school. While we can’t avoid these harmful germs and viruses, having a strong immune system can help us become ill less often, and shorten the duration of these illnesses.
As of now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between a person’s lifestyle and enhanced immune function, but according to Harvard Medical School, researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, smoking harms the immune system and can make the body less successful at fighting disease. Additionally, smoking is known to compromise the equilibrium, or balance, of the immune system. This increases the risk of several immune and autoimmune disorders (conditions caused when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s healthy cells and tissues).
Eat A Healthy Diet
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, good nutrition is essential to a strong immune system. Protein plays a role in the body’s immune system, especially for healing and recovery. Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections by keeping skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy. Vitamin C helps protect you from infection by stimulating the formation of antibodies and boosting immunity. Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals and may improve immune function. Zinc, Vitamin B6, folate, selenium, iron, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, also may influence immune response.
Get Enough Sleep
According to the Mayo Clinic, lack of sleep does affect the immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.
Wash Your Hands
The easiest and most effective way to boost your immune system is by exposing it to fewer germs. Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially during winter. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, here is the proper technique for washing your hands: Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. One trick to track 20 seconds is to sing Happy Birthday to yourself while you wash.
Live Well Chiropractic Center knows that nutrition is a huge part of your overall health and wellbeing. We offer a variety of supplements and support products through trusted, quality manufacturers. We also offer a full suite of chiropractic care, orthotics and corrective exercise for your entire family. Give us a call at 513-285-7482 to find out how we can help improve your nutrition and overall health. And be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for our latest updates and tips!