October 14, 2021
Have you ever heard the phrase “prevention is better than cure?” That applies to everything in life, including your health.
There are numerous ways to prevent illnesses, including avoiding contact with people who are ill and making sure you are up to date on your immunizations. One of the best ways to reduce the need for lengthy treatments is to boost your immune system.
A more robust immune system will be better able to fight off disease-causing pathogens, so you won’t have to worry about being laid up in bed for ages. Here are six methods you can try to ensure your immune system is as healthy as possible.
1. Sleep Well
Sleep is closely linked with your body’s natural immunity. There are multiple studies that have demonstrated that people who have inadequate (or low quality) sleep are more likely to fall ill. Ideally, adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night, and teens should get 8-10 hours of sleep.
Younger children will need even more sleep – infants can need up to 14 hours of sleep a night. If you don’t meet your daily sleep requirement, you’ll feel lethargic and lack energy the next day. Stay sleepless for long enough, and you’ll fall ill more easily.
If you can’t fall asleep at night, limit screen time for the hour before you get to bed – the blue light from tech devices like phones and televisions can affect the body’s natural sleep pattern.
2. Be Careful with Supplements
The right supplements can help boost your immune system’s response – however, you should always be aware of what and how much you’re taking. For one, as the team at Supplement First recommends, make sure that your supplements have been properly clinically tested. Additionally, check USDA guidelines and speak to your doctor to determine how much of a given supplement you should take in a day.
For example, the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C supplements is 75-90 mg for adults. However, if you take too much, you risk side effects like cramps, nausea, and other gastrointestinal issues.
3. Consume Probiotics
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that play a major role in your digestive system. You can get them either from supplements or foods like yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, kimchi, kombucha, and so on. The probiotics in these foods ensure that you have a flourishing network of gut bacteria.
A good collection of gut bacteria has been shown to help your immune system distinguish between healthy cells and harmful organisms. Other studies show that children who drink fermented milk daily suffer from about 20% fewer infectious diseases during childhood than children in a control group.
4. Drink Water
Ideally, you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. However, if this is challenging, you should at least drink a glass of water when you wake up in the morning.
Water helps carry oxygen to the cells of your body and helps remove toxins, both of which ensure your immune system is healthy. If you’re not fond of plain water, you can also add a bit of lemon juice or drink it in the form of hot tea. Tea leaves and lemon have both been shown to help your immune system as well.
Moderate exercise can boost the healthy functioning of your immune system. One study found that vaccines are more effective in people who do even one session of exercise, and moderate levels of exercise have been shown to help immune cells regenerate regularly, reduce inflammation, and stave off chronic issues such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
However, keep in mind that this piece of advice is only about moderate exercise. Heavy exercise can actually suppress your immune system instead of helping it.
6. Reduce Added Sugars
Added sugars and refined carbs contribute to obesity, which, in turn, increase the risk of you falling ill. Numerous studies show that people with obesity are more likely to fall sick, and losing weight has been shown to reduce chronic conditions such as type-2 diabetes, heart issues, and more.
It’s essential to remember that this tip refers to reducing obesity, not curtailing it altogether. In moderate amounts, even sweets can be helpful! That said, you will need to make sure that your sugar intake does not exceed over 5% of your daily calorie requirements.
Depending on the condition of your immune system, you may need to take medications to treat your issues and allow you to return to a healthier state. However, if you’re only looking to ensure that your immune system is working perfectly, there are numerous easy methods you can use to achieve that desire.