Boost Your Immune System
In this new age of COVID-19, immunity is definitely on everyone’s mind. The immune system – a complex network of cells, tissues, and organs – works in harmony to protect your body against harmful pathogens, like bacteria and viruses, and limits the potential damage from other noninfectious factors, such as cancer or sunburns. It is important that each component of the immune system performs at its best, as a weak link in the chain could cause havoc. Those with weakened or compromised immune systems have a much more difficult job of defending the body against illness and disease.
But, how do you know if your immune system is less than ideal? There are several warning signs and symptoms that could suggest signs of a weak immune system.
Are you constantly catching colds that seems to last forever?
Are you often exhausted, with inconsistent sleep?
Do you experience depression?
Suffer from gastrointestinal problems?
Do you eat a diet that is high in refined carbs and sugar?
Do you suffer from skin conditions, itchy or inflamed?
Do you consume a lot of alcohol?
All of the above can put unwanted stress on your body, and in turn your immune system, leaving your health vulnerable to infection and a number of other health conditions. But, there are several ways that you can naturally boost your immunity and build up a better defense system for your body.
Here are a few key tips:
- Eat a Healthy Diet. Plant-based foods are essential to a properly functioning immune system. Many plants have antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
- Keep Stress to a Minimum. Long-term stress increases levels of cortisol in your body. When this hormone is dangerously high for extended periods of time, it can inhibit the immune system from protecting the body from dangerous threats.
- Sleep. Make sure to get adequate, good quality sleep for at least 7-8 hours a night. When you sleep, your body heals itself and regenerates. Turn off all electronics, turn down the lights and get good quality sleep.• Regular Exercise. Regular exercise reduces your risk of chronic diseases and reduces the stress hormone cortisol. If done outdoors, the sunshine can boost levels of vitamin D in the body which is important in immunity too.
- Alcohol in Moderation. Drinking alcohol puts your body in a state of detoxification, which can lower your body’s ability to properly defend itself. If you do drink alcohol, do it in moderation.
- Put Down the Cigarettes. Cigarettes cause havoc throughout the body, introducing toxins such as carbon monoxide, nicotine, and nitrogen oxides which interfere directly with the function of your immune system.
- Manage Your Current Health. Any current chronic health conditions that you may have, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes, can certainly affect your immunity and health. Make sure to manage these daily to decrease your risk of infection.
Practicing these lifestyle tips every day can help ensure that your immune system continues to run properly or can help get it back into fighting shape. In the end, your body will thank you.